Facebook feature now allows friends to give you money on your birthday—but there’s a catch

BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 12: The Facebook logo is seen on cakes at the #CDUdigital conference on September 12, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The world's largest social media network was launched by Mark Zuckerberg and his Harvard College roommates in 2004, and had its initial public offering in February 2012. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
Adam Berry | Getty Images

Saying "happy birthday" can be as simple as a few clicks. On Facebook, in fact, "more than 45 million people give birthday wishes" every day, according to the social media website.

Now, you can add a dollar amount to those good wishes.

A new feature announced Aug. 16 allows your Facebook connections to send you money on your birthday — but that money must be donated to a charitable cause or nonprofit.

"People often dedicate their birthday to support a cause, and we've seen people using Facebook to raise money for causes they care about," the site says in a news release.

"For those in the [United States], we're now making it easier to do this by giving you the opportunity to create a fundraiser for your birthday directly on Facebook."

Donate through Facebook on your birthday for a charitable cause or nonprofit.

Two weeks before your birthday, Facebook will show a prompt in your news feed that gives you the option to create a fundraiser for 750,000 available nonprofit organizations.

You'll set a goal amount and create a custom message, and, on your birthday, your friends will receive a notification inviting them to donate to that cause. The fundraiser will end at midnight.

After friends donate, they'll receive a receipt by email, according to the release. Their names and the amount of their contribution will be shared with the charity as well as with the creator of the fundraiser.

If a nonprofit is registered with Facebook Payments and has received at least $100 in donations, it becomes eligible, Facebook says. If the organization has not received at least $100, the funds will roll over until it has.

For nonprofits not registered with Facebook Payments, donations are distributed electronically via the online fundraising platform Network for Good. And if the nonprofit isn't registered with that network, a check is mailed to the organization.

Donate through Facebook on your birthday to a cause like an animal rescue or autism.

Facebook charges a five percent operational fee on donations. Three percent covers payment processing and two percent covers the cost of fraud protection and payment support.

In addition to donating to nonprofits, users can also set up fundraisers for a personal cause. They must follow Facebook's community standards and abide by the personal fundraiser categories policy. For personal-cause donations, Facebook charges 6.9 percent, plus $.30 of the donation for fraud protection.

"Birthdays have always been a part of Facebook," the site says in the release. "We hope to continue providing you with a variety of experiences that make celebrating on the platform fun and meaningful for you and your friends."

The ability to donate on Facebook is not offered in every area. For more details on making and receiving donations, visit the site's fundraisers and donations page.

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