How to Get Approved for Facebook Donations

Facebook has developed helpful tools for nonprofits to go way beyond just growing a follower base. They make things like viral campaigns and peer-to-peer fundraising easy as they're built natively into their platform.

Why Facebook donations?

With Facebook donations, people don't need to leave the app to become a donor of your organization. Which also means it's much easier to invite friends and see your campaign ideas spread across their personal networks.

Pros

  • Facebook donation button on your page and in your posts.
  • People can create their own fundraisers that encourage their friends to give.
  • Followers and influencers can add a donate button for your org to their page.
  • Facebook forms load 10X faster than landing pages, so you don't lose people while pages are loading.
  • Facebook provides necessary tax forms to donors.

Cons

  • You only receive someone's email address if they choose to provide it.
  • This will not integrate with your donor CRM, so you can't easily link these donations to their account.

It's clear that the pros outweigh the cons here, especially if you're looking to create easy, first-time donations to build stronger relationships with your donors. But, I will admit that this is often a hard sell for most teams in donor relations. They want to send emails, call and write handwritten letters to these donors. And understandably so, as these are valuable strategies.

And there are some manual ways around the lack of donor information collected. Like tracking names and Facebook accounts that gave and reaching out to their personal accounts. But there's currently nothing that integrates seamlessly with a donor management system for Facebook donations.

That's why this needs to be about growth and spreadability. The more people you can reach, and get involved, the more you can find other ways to engage with them. Then you can collect their information, so you can nurture them through your whole donor journey. Facebook donations are a great way to accelerate this process.

I'd love to help you create one of these integrated donor journeys, by the way, so you can raise way more by building deeper relationships with your donors. Let's talk!

Let's Make Your Fundraising Way Easier 🎉

Claim your plan to make fundraising easy. And do good, better.

Let's Make Your Fundraising Way Easier 🎉

Claim your plan to make fundraising easy.

How long will it take to get approved?

Getting fully set up with a verified Facebook donations account can take several weeks, but there are ways to expedite the process. There's also a difference between receiving donations through Facebook and becoming verified through Facebook payments.

If people are fundraising for my nonprofit on Facebook, am I already verified?

The short answer is no. Just because you've received funds doesn't mean you're actually verified to accept Facebook's direct fundraising tools.

There are two ways to get funds from FB

  1. Fundraisers for accounts set up through Facebook partners (Network for Good and Guidestar). Unverified and slow to hit your account.
  2. Donations through Facebook payments. Verified and hits your account in a few weeks.

How are people able to donate when I haven't set up Facebook donations?

Facebook acts as a middleman for money raised for nonprofits that are verified outside of Facebook. For instance, organizations with accounts set up through the Network for Good or Guidestar. These funds are often raised from people on their birthday or on their own who otherwise want to support you.

You may have already collected funds this way, and found that it took a really long time to see it hit your account.

That's because Facebook doesn't process them. They need to be sent off to these partners for as long as 6 months, before you'll ever see them. Crazy right? You don't have months to wait for donations that you need now. There's a solution for you.

Why are verified donations better?

Becoming verified through Facebook payments means you'll receive these funds in your account just weeks after they've been collected. This is because FB uses the same payment processing system as they do for verified retailers. Now, they've made it free for nonprofits like you to use.

Without doing anything, you may have already qualified for the slow, unverified donations. What you want is to get set up as a verified payment recipient. And this may take some time. So let's get you started quickly!

Everything you need to get verified

To get verified for Facebook donations, you'll need:

Step 1: Before you start

Step 2: What to bring

  • A recent bank statement (from the last 3 months) from your org in PDF form.
  • The name and date of birth of your organization's CEO or Executive Director.
  • Your organization's tax ID number (EIN or VAT number), which verifies your charitable tax exemption status.

Step 3: How to apply

Now that you know what you need to get started, let's break down each of these steps.

Step 1: Your page must be categorized as a nonprofit.

If you've already created a page for your organization, you'll want to make sure it's categorized as a nonprofit. 

This can actually be a hard thing to miss, especially if the page was set up a long time ago by someone else. Instead, it may have been set up with default settings as a business, idea or public figure.

To fix this, simply update your page's category by:

  1. Going to your page.
  2. Clicking the "About" tab.
  3. By category, click "edit" and add "nonprofit organization" to your category.

It doesn't need to be the only category. You can have multiple, but "nonprofit organization" needs to be at least one of them.

If you've skipped this step, your organization won't appear as an option to verify on the sign-up page. If so, swoop back to your "About" section and just make sure this new category saved properly.

It doesn't need to be the only category. You can have multiple, but "nonprofit organization" needs to be at least one of them.

If you've skipped this step, your organization won't appear as an option to verify on the sign-up page. If so, swoop back to your "About" section and just make sure this new category saved properly.

Step 2: Bring the right documents and information with you.

  1. Your organization's official name, address, contact info, tax ID, and nonprofit category.
  2. Your CEO or executive director's name, date of birth, and business address.
  3. A legible bank statement or official bank letter dated within the last 3 months.

There are certainly things you can do while you're starting to collect these documents and information, like submitting your page for approval to Facebook's Community Standards. But you won't be able to complete everything until you have the information listed above in hand.

Some of the information you just need to know or have written down. But take note that your recent bank statement and sometimes a verified tax document will be needed in PDF form to complete this.

Step 3: Let's get to applying.

✅ Apply for an account using this sign-up page.

✅ Get approved for Facebook's Community Standards.

✅ You may be asked to submit an official document.

✅ Submit the required forms to create your donations account.

The sign-up page

When you arrive at this sign-up page for your verified Facebook donation account, you should see the icon for your nonprofit's Facebook page (shown in the photo below as "Slave Free Market"). 

If you don't see it, go back and make sure you've changed the category of your page in step 1.

To the right of your nonprofit's profile picture, click the arrow and your next steps will unfold, as shown in the picture above.

You'll use this page for everything.

Submitting your page for review to meet community standards, creating your Facebook payments account and checking on your status of approval can all be done here. You should bookmark this page in your browser. You'll return to it often.

Submit for Community Standards Review

Even if you're still waiting for some paperwork to come in you'll want to submit your page for Facebook's Community Standards review.

This is done with the simple click of the "Submit for Review" button.

Then, Facebook's 24hr review team will be on the job to manually review your page. They could have thousands of requests like this to get through, so submitting now will help you get ahead. Though, I've usually seen this take anywhere from a few days to just over a week. No further actions are required at this time.

Once you've submitted your organization for review, it will show a pending status.

You'll want to keep checking back until you see this stage has been completed.

Potential Step: Submit an Official Document

At times Facebook may ask you to submit an official document to confirm the legitimacy of your campaign.

Upload any of the files listed above and Facebook will review them to confirm you are eligible to receive donations through their platform.

Finally, create your Facebook donation account.

Let's submit the final forms for you to become a Facebook verified nonprofit!

If you've made it this far, and have the info and pdfs in hand, let's walk through what these forms look like.

Click “Create Donations Account” and the form will pop up.

Page 1: Nonprofit Organization Details

Most of these fields are straight forward. But one section you may want to think of in advance is your category, as you can only choose one. I've listed them below for you.

Nonprofit category options:

  • Arts, Culture and Humanities
  • Education
  • Environment and Animals
  • Health
  • Human Services
  • International, Foreign Affairs
  • Public, Societal Benefit
  • Religion Related
  • Mutual or Membership Benefit

Page 2: Donation Account Form - CEO or Executive Director

Page 3: Donation Account Form - Payment Info

One quick note that “bank account” is the only account type you can choose.

And on the last checkbox, here are the Terms of Use you're agreeing to, in case you'd like to review them ahead of time.

How to know when your application has been approved.

Once you've completed this, you're done! 🎉

Just keep checking back on the sign-up page until you see the green checkmark that says you're approved.

This confirms that your facebook donation account verification is complete

Let's Make Your Fundraising Way Easier 🎉

Claim your plan to make fundraising easy. And do good, better.

Add the donate button to your Facebook page.

To do this, you'll want to change the layout of your page so the main button says "donate" instead of "message," "sign up" or even "donate now."

There's a difference between "Donate Now" and "Donate".

Your call to action button on your page shows the main action you want people to take. "Message" will encourage them to send you a Facebook message. "Sign up" may lead them to your email list. "Donate Now" will lead them to a give form that you've linked to your site.

But "Donate" is different. Remember, you don't need them to leave your Facebook page to give anymore. The donate button will let them give right to your Facebook donations account.

The first step in changing this button is to change your page's layout to the nonprofit template.

  • Go to your page > Click settings (at the top-right).
  • Choose Templates and Tabs from the left-side menu.
  • Under Templates—current template section, click edit.
  • Choose nonprofit from the list of options > hit apply template.
  • Then, go back to your page.
  • Click edit on your main Call to Action Button and choose donate.

Encourage your supporters to create Facebook fundraisers.

In a Facebook post, email or planned campaign, ask your supporters to create their own Facebook fundraiser for your cause. To make sure this option is available:

  1. Go to Page Settings > Donations.
  2. Check both boxes to allow people to create fundraisers and add donate buttons to their posts.

It's best to set a goal for them, give them some suggested descriptions and even provide photos for them to post.

The most successful campaigns will be those that share their own personal stories and connections to your organizations, but you want to make setting up the campaign as easy as possible.

There are many people who simply won't when they're faced with the wall of what to say when sharing it. So they may just take what you suggest and share it verbatim. And that's ok, too.

Now, you grow!

But however they choose to share it, what's important is that your world-changing organization is going to reach way more people than before.

And because your account has been set up to receive Facebook donations, your cause and message can spread and receive new donors way easier. So let's get to work on you growing like never before!