On June 30, Facebook announced an expansion to their Peer-to-Peer Fundraising tools. It’s no surprise that Facebook is directing its development in this direction. Here at Charity Dynamics we are seeing the expansion of philanthropy and peer-to-peer giving across the general public increase every year. Now the 1.19 billion people on Facebook can become social entrepreneurs raising money for the causes that are most important to them.

Integrating philanthropy into public social profiles is an increasing trend we’re seeing on multiple social networks. Back in 2011 LinkedIn added the ability to show volunteer experience and share causes you’re interested in. On the nonprofit side we see the use of DIY campaigns exploding. More and more people want to create projects and events to raise money for causes that concern them. In 2014 Charity Dynamics did a study on Independent Fundraising Events and found that most nonprofits expected their programs to grow by at least 20%.

Back on Facebook, the roll out of the Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Tool is also consistent with Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s focus on social entrepreneurship, with their recent creation of their fund aimed at improving the world. It’s only natural Mark Zuckerburg would want other people to have the tools to create their own path for impacting the world.

Does this spell the end of signature P2P programs, such as American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, American Diabetes’ Step Out, or Crohn’s and Colitis Foundations Team Challenge?  I don’t think so. These programs not only allow people to raise money for their causes, but they provide community, branded awareness with consistent messaging, and organized participation events. The P2P Professional Forum reported on over $1.7billion in P2P fundraising in 2015 (and that’s just for programs that reported their totals), so I think tools like Facebook’s are more likely to grow the pie than shift around existing dollars.

In 2009 our first clients went live with Boundless Fundraising, the first social and mobile application for P2P fundraisers.  Since then over $500 million has been directly raised for nonprofit organization with these tools. Most of the dollars we see raised through the Boundless Fundraising tools come through Facebook.  Facebook’s social network supports the best practices of peer to peer fundraising; tell as many people as possible you’re fundraising and tell them multiple times.

I’m excited to see more people asked to the table of P2P fundraising and now able to more easily make an impact on the causes most important to them.