Facebook has eliminated its fees for online donations, as well as launching a raft of new tools and features in Europe over the past few months, aimed at helping charities fundraise.


In its latest move, at its second annual Social Good Forum, which took place on 30 November, Facebook's CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that it would no longer charge non-profits fees for donations made through its platform.


During the Forum, Zuckerberg also announced that starting in 2018, Facebook would have an annual $50m Donations Fund, that it will use to help communities recover from disasters through donations and matched funding.


A Fundraisers API was also announced, which will enable offline fundraising campaigns to be synced to Facebook Fundraisers.  


Earlier in November, Facebook announced that it is now possible to send money to friends in Messenger in France and the UK. This marks the first time Messenger has extended peer-to-peer payments since launching in the US in 2015. With this feature, people can send money to others in their country but not across borders, using their debit cards.


It has also recently launched its Personal Fundraisers feature in Europe. This feature enables individuals signed up to Facebook to raise money for a specific cause, for themselves, for a friend or for someone or something not on Facebook, such as a pet.


To launch a campaign, users must be over 18, and must go to facebook.com/fundraisers, find Create in the menu and then click on Fundraiser, or tap the menu icon on their mobile and select Fundraisers. They can then select the Raise Money button, select a charity from the list available and decide how much they wish to raise and by what date. People can also search for fundraisers to support by category, such as animals, education, crisis relief, and personal emergency. The recipient charity receives the donations raised through Facebook.


Facebook Fundraisers are public, enabling anyone on or off the social media platform to see them, and Facebook will also tell the user’s chosen charity that a Fundraiser has been created for them. Once someone has created a Fundraiser, they can invite their friends to donate, post updates, and thank people for donating, all without leaving Facebook. When someone donates to a Fundraiser, they can then share it and invite their friends.


The moves follow September’s European rollout of its suite of fundraising tools. These include a Donate button that charities can add to their Facebook page and to individual posts as well as to Facebook Live to create video fundraising campaigns, and the launch of the Facebook Fundraisers community.