Instagram’s New Charity Tool Lets Creators Raise Funds While Livestreaming

By 04/28/2020
Instagram’s New Charity Tool Lets Creators Raise Funds While Livestreaming

Instagram users can now collect funds for nonprofit organizations while livestreaming.

The Facebook-owned platform today launched Live Donations, a feature that lets users create fundraisers for any of the more than one million organizations registered with Facebook. It’s Instagram’s second charitable giving tool; the first, Donation Stickers, which can be embedded in Stories, launched almost exactly a year ago.

According to an official Instagram post, 100% of money given through Live Donations will go to users’ chosen charities. That likely means Instagram is covering transaction fees, like YouTube does with YouTube Giving fundraisers.


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Facebook is launching this feature specifically for Instagram Live because many users were already hosting unofficial fundraising streams around coronavirus relief efforts, the company told TechCrunch.

To start a Live fundraiser, users can tap the ‘Live’ button as usual, and will see an option for ‘Fundraiser’ pop up. They’ll tap that, and will then be given a directory of organizations they can choose to support. It does not appear that users are able to display a goal amount for Live Donations sessions. During broadcasts, a live counter of the total raised and number of donations will update along the bottom of the stream, and viewers can swipe up to see everyone who’s donated and the amount each gave. (They can also ‘wave’/give kudos to individual donors from that screen.)

Like with Donation Stickers, giving funds to Live Donations unlocks a special “I donated!” sticker that users can post to their Stories that viewers can then tap to see the organization they supported, as well as the total funds raised across Instagram.

Organizations eligible for Live Donations must meet Facebook’s requirements for receiving donations, meaning those based in the U.S. must be: 501(c)(3) organizations registered with the IRS; have a tax ID number; have a registered bank account; and provide the date of birth and address of their CEO or executive director. Requirements vary for organizations based outside the U.S.

This feature comes as Instagram Live is in the midst of its most significant traffic spike to date. Dozens of major music artists are taking to Instagram to host virtual concerts — many for charity — and Live overall has seen a 70% jump in usage in the past month, an Instagram spokesperson recently told Business Insider.

Instagram isn’t the only social platform introducing new charitable features. Yesterday, TikTok launched its first giving tool (also called Donation Stickers) in partnership with fundraising platform Tiltify. For now, TikTok is only accepting donations to a limited number of organizations, including the CDC Foundation, the James Beard Foundation, Meals on Wheels, MusiCares, National PTA, National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, No Kid Hungry, and The Actors Fund.

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