Facebook has launched its Fundraisers initiative in India, and local users can now contribute to COVID-19 relief funds directly through the platform.
Over 70 ‘verified’ non-profits engaged in coronavirus-related fundraising activities can be supported through Facebook. Some of these include HelpAge India, Goonj, Akshaya Patra Foundation, Sevalaya, Foundation for Mother and Child Health, and others.
Facebook has partnered with GiveIndia to verify the charities and Razorpay to facilitate the transactions. Users can even raise money for their friends or themselves.
Facebook clarifies on the fundraiser page that it “charges no fees for donations made to nonprofits”. However, “for donations made to personal fundraisers, fees vary depending on where the money is being raised,” it states.
The social media giant will also be holding live sessions with local artistes, content publishers and creators to encourage users to donate for COVID-19 relief. This is a part of Facebook’s #SocialForGood Live-a-thon programme.
Facebook said it has roped in over 150 partners for the initiative. These artistes and content creators will go live from their Facebook accounts between April 24 and May 1, and the platform will display a donate button on the live video.
Ajit Mohan, Head of Facebook in India, said in a statement:
“At a time when the country is in the middle of an unprecedented effort to fight the outbreak of the coronavirus, we are deeply aware of the economic impact of the disruption in normal life. Communities around the country need help. Facebook Fundraisers allows people to leverage the full scale and power of the platform, and their passion, to direct resources to initiatives that can protect and save lives.”
Facebook Fundraisers have been available in other markets since 2015. More than $3 billion has been raised for a multitude of user-supported causes through the platform.
To curb fake news and misinformation around the coronavirus outbreak, Facebook has also launched a COVID-19 information centre which is pinned on top of every user’s homepage. The information hub is tailored for location-wise updates.
In March, it had launched a multi-language chatbot on Messenger in partnership with the Indian government to raise awareness about the pandemic.
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