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Facebook opens up donations for personal needs

Personal fundraisers ask your friends to contribute to your cause.
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Last year, Facebook announced a tool to help you create fundraisers for 501c3 nonprofits verified by the company. The social network even extended those donations to live videos. Today, Facebook is giving you the chance to raise money for causes that hit a little closer to home. With what it's calling personal fundraisers, the company will allow you to accept donations to cover expenses for education, medical, pet medical, crisis relief, personal emergency and a funeral or loss.

Sure, it's a bit like GoFundMe, but right now your fundraiser has to fit one of those six specific categories. Facebook says it hopes to expand them in the future. There's also a 24-hour review process in place at the start, but more of that could be automated as the initiative grows. Personal fundraisers are open to people in the US who are 18 and older during a beta phase as Facebook gathers info on how it can make the tool more useful.

Facebook is also expanding who can seek donations in live videos. Starting today, any verified page can add a donation button to a Facebook Live broadcast. This means public figures, brands, businesses and more can help raise funds for the nonprofit organizations they support on a regular basis. Viewers will have the option of contributing during the broadcast or after it has ended and the video is posted on the appropriate page.

In Facebook's announcement, there's no mention of whether the social network is taking a percentage of the funds raised of if 100 percent of the donations reach the individual. When the nonprofit donations were first announced, the company said it would take a 5 percent cut to cover payment processing costs. We reached out to Facebook to confirm if this applies to the new personal fundraisers and we'll update this post when we hear back.

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