Starting today, some Instagrammers can run fundraisers for a cause that’s important to them, themselves, their small business or a friend. It’s effectively a take on GoFundMe directly within the app. Instagram is initially testing the Personal Fundraiser feature in the US, UK and Ireland, and it follows Facebook rolling out a similar function in March.
People living in countries where they can donate to a nonprofit through the donation sticker can pledge to personal fundraisers. Instagram says that users of its platform and Facebook have raised over $65 million through COVID-19 and racial justice fundraisers since January. Donations have doubled in the last month on Instagram in the US.
The personal fundraiser trial starts today on Android in those three countries and it’ll be available on iOS soon. If you’re 18 or older and you’re in an eligible country, you can get started by accessing the Add Fundraiser option from the Edit Profile settings. You’ll be asked to select a photo, fundraiser category (from a list of 14) and more details about your cause, including why you’re looking to raise money. You’ll also need to enter your checking account details via Stripe, which handles the payments.
Instagram will review all fundraisers to make sure they’re legitimate. Eligible categories (which are the same as those on Facebook’s personal fundraisers) include community projects and groups, crisis relief, volunteering, travel, medical, education and pets and animals. You won’t, for instance, be able to raise funds for a political campaign or anything that’d violate local laws.
Fundraisers will last for 30 days by default, but that timeframe can be extended for another 30 days at a time or you can end them early. You can manage your fundraiser(s) from your account settings.
If you choose to donate to a personal fundraiser, you can remain anonymous from the public. The creator can still see your Instagram username, the name that’s on your profile and how much you donated. Creators will start receiving eligible payments from their fundraisers six days after the first donation. Those funds may be taxable, however.
People who run personal fundraisers on Facebook have to pay a per-donation processing fee and the same fee structure applies here. A spokesperson confirmed to Engadget that Instagram doesn’t make any money from fundraisers.
Instagram says it’ll expand the feature in the US, UK and Ireland in the coming months, and it’ll make it easier for people to share their fundraiser in their stories and feed. Still, given the success of its nonprofit donation stickers, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Instagram roll this out to other territories in the future.
Update 7/21 12:20 PM ET: Added some clarification from Instagram regarding fees.