Editor's Note: This article was updated on Friday, March 24th to reflect changes to Facebook products (Meta Pay), provide additional resources for nonprofits to research the legitimacy of Network for Good, and provide the direct Network for Good login website information.
In 2017, Facebook partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to launch a matching gift initiative for Giving Tuesday. During this campaign, all matched funds were processed through an organization called Network for Good.
If your nonprofit has received any funding from Facebook fundraisers or Challenges, there is a decent chance you’ve encountered Network for Good at some point along the process. Whether you’re holding a birthday fundraiser or a spontaneous effort, Network for Good is one of two ways that Facebook could process the donated funds.
Understanding the intersection of Network for Good and Facebook and how to optimize the fundraising process is key to raising donations effectively through the social network. Here's what we will be covering in this blog:
- Understanding the Basics of Network for Good and Facebook
- Network for Good vs. Meta Pay
- Frequently Asked Questions About Network for Good
Are you ready to learn more about the donor-advised fund so closely related to Facebook Challenges? Let’s dive in.
Understanding the Basics of Network for Good and Facebook
What is Network for Good?
Network for Good is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that operates a donor-advised fund used to distribute millions in online fundraisers to nonprofits each year.
A donor-advised fund (DAF) is a specialized type of philanthropic savings account. These accounts are often managed by large financial services firms and provide a location for donors to deposit charitable funds, grow those funds with interest, and then direct the funds to a beneficiary (a nonprofit just like yours) down the line.
Nonprofit for Good also offers a suite of fundraising software for nonprofit use. However, for the purposes of this guide, we’re going to focus on the DAF aspect of Network for Good. This is because the DAF is instrumental for nonprofits to receive Facebook Challenge donations.
Is Network for Good legitimate?
Network for Good plays a major role in processing and distributing the funds raised in many Facebook Challenges. For nonprofits that have never interacted with this particular DAF before, you might be wondering:
Is Network for Good legitimate? For your nonprofit to entrust fundraising dollars to this organization, they better be.
This fund uses industry-accepted security and privacy protocols, including encryption and firewalls to keep donors’ information secure. Plus, on Network’s website, the organization provides a few key disclosures to remain transparent with organizations receiving funding through its DAF. Here’s what we know:
- Network is an accredited nonprofit organization.
- The organization meets all 20 charity accountability standards outlined by the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance.
- So far, it’s distributed donations to 300,000+ nonprofit organizations.
Each of these statements points to the legitimacy of Network for Good.
You can review the organization’s charitable solicitation disclosures further or review actual user's unbiased reviews on 3rd party review site like G2 to gain further insight into the legitimacy of Network for Good.
What is the connection between Network for Good and Facebook?
Network for Good is the intermediary between Facebook fundraising and your nonprofit’s bank account if you haven’t signed up directly with Facebook Payments.
Even if your nonprofit has never conducted research about Facebook fundraisers previously, your supporters may still be actively raising gifts on your behalf through the platform. When they do, you’ll see a deposit in your nonprofit’s account from Network for Good after the fundraiser ends. In fact, that might be what brought you to this article!
Network for Good processes all Facebook fundraising donations for nonprofits that aren't registered with Facebook Payments.
Essentially, Network for Good processes all donations made via Facebook Challenges to nonprofits that haven’t directly registered with Meta Pay. It’s a safe channel for Facebook to deliver funds to organizations that haven’t registered, without having to worry that these organizations are fake— Network essentially handles the bulk of the verification heavy-lifting.
That said, it is a third-party partnership, so there are a few areas of disconnect that might make Network for Good the less-desirable option for organizations receiving funds from Facebook fundraising.
Network for Good vs. Meta Pay
We’ve covered what Network for Good does in relation to Facebook fundraising, but this isn’t the only payment processing pathway that a donation made on the social network could take. In fact, there are four distinct payment processing options for Facebook donations.
For the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on the two options for North American users: Network for Good and Meta Pay.
Let’s explore both options to decide which pathway your nonprofit should take.
Payout Process with Network for Good
While the payout process with Network for Good is fairly straightforward, it can take a while for the donations to actually reach your nonprofit due to Network’s DAF status.
Let’s look at the steps a donation would take to make it to your organization:
- A supporter starts a fundraiser or joins a Challenge on behalf of your nonprofit.
- Their friends donate to the fundraiser.
- Because your nonprofit isn’t enrolled with Payments, the donation is sent to Network for Good.
- During that time, Network pairs the donation with the beneficiary, your organization.
- After anywhere from 45 to 75 days, Network sends the donation to your organization. If you’ve registered with the organization, you’ll receive a direct deposit. If not, you’ll receive a check in the mail.
In total, the process of receiving a Facebook Challenge donation processed via Network for Good will take anywhere from 45 to 75 days.
How much does Network for Good charge?
Any processing fees associated with Network for Good shouldn’t be a huge area of concern for your organization as Facebook covers all processing fees— including those paid to Network for Good. This means that even if a donation is processed through Network for Good, your nonprofit will receive the entire amount of the donation. To learn more about that, check out our comprehensive guide to Facebook fundraising fees.
Payout Process with Meta Pay
When your nonprofit aligns directly with Meta Pay, the payout process is slightly different. The first steps are the same:
- A supporter starts a fundraiser or joins a Challenge on your behalf.
- Their friends donate to the fundraiser.
However, this is where the two payout processes diverge.
Donations processed via Meta Pay follow a significantly more streamlined path, including the following steps:
- Once the minimum raise amount ($50) is raised on behalf of your nonprofit, the payout process begins.
- Two weeks after that point, your nonprofit receives a direct deposit.
- Bi-weekly payouts continue so long as donations continue coming in on behalf of your nonprofit.
For a nonprofit looking to get paid quickly and efficiently, Meta Pay is a great option.
How much does Meta Pay charge?
As with Network, any administrative and payment processing fees amassed by Facebook when processing gifts via Meta Pay are covered by the social platform itself.
Facebook made the landmark decision to cover all processing fees for efforts benefiting accredited nonprofits in 2017. This decision made Facebook fundraising one of the few no-fee digital fundraising methods.
FAQ's About Network for Good and Facebook
Q: Why should my nonprofit register with Meta Pay when we can receive funding via Network for Good?
As we’ve covered, your nonprofit doesn’t have to register for Facebook fundraising— with Pay or Network— to receive donations that your supporters raise through the platform. Whether you’re registered with either option or not, Network for Good will still locate your organization and ensure the funding designated for you is delivered.
That said, there are a few compelling arguments for registering directly with Meta Pay rather than relying on Network. For example, Meta Pay:
- Has a faster payout timeline. Rather than waiting 45-75 days to receive donations, you can receive donations two weeks after a fundraiser concludes.
- Provides guaranteed access to funds. Network uses Guidestar to match donations with the intended organization. If your organization’s Guidestar listing is out of date, they may send the funds to the wrong organization or address. When you register with Meta Pay, you can rest assured your money is directed to the right place.
If your organization opts out of registering with Meta Pay, we recommend registering directly with Network for Good. This allows the organization to electronically transfer funds to your nonprofit’s bank account rather than sending a physical check by mail— something that can be time-consuming and unreliable.
Q: Can I discover who donated to my nonprofit through Network for Good and Facebook?
Remember when we mentioned that Facebook and Network for Good have a third-party partnership?
With Meta Pay, you can receive the name and potentially even the email address of fundraiser donors. While the name is always available, the email address is only shared if the donor chooses to share it. On the other hand, you can’t access any of this information from Network— all donations are reported as made by an anonymous supporter.
When it comes to stewarding donors after the fact, the simple truth is that processing Facebook Challenge donations via Network leaves valuable donor information on the table.
Q: How can my nonprofit raise more using Network for Good and Facebook?
Whether your organization uses Network for Good or Meta Pay, you’re unlikely to reach your full fundraising potential on Facebook if you’re not actively opting into the process. While you may know the tips and tricks to reach your fundraising goals, your supporters aren’t fundraising professionals. When it comes to raising large amounts of money, this is likely a whole new ballgame for these Facebook users!
At GoodUnited, we’ve optimized the Facebook fundraising process to help nonprofits just like yours lead supporters to success. There are a few strategies that your team can use to elevate these fundraisers to raise more. For example, you should:
- Host Facebook Challenges throughout the year. Facebook Challenges are time-bound fundraising events that offer a low barrier to entry for participants. Popular examples include asking participants to walk a certain number of steps, volunteer a number of hours, or run a number of miles. Simply invite users to participate in the Challenge and add them to a corresponding Facebook group with their fellow participants. Challenges are easy to host and easy to join, so it's a great way to supplement your fundraising revenue.
- Connect with supporters early on in the process. We recommend thanking each and every Facebook fundraiser and doing so early on in the fundraising process, i.e. not when there’s an hour left in the effort. These thank you’s should be personalized and provide encouragement to the fundraiser. To learn how to discover these fundraisers early, read our Ultimate Nonprofit Guide to Facebook Fundraisers.
- Create a guide to Facebook challenges. The user guide you create should explain how to start a fundraiser on behalf of your nonprofit and tips for raising more donations (ex: supporters making the first gift themselves). Then, you should share this guide on your website and across social channels.
- Use targeted ads to reach supporters on Facebook. For example, you can use ads to target supporters two weeks out from their birthday and encourage them to donate their birthday to fundraise for your cause.
- Make the most of the data provided. While Facebook doesn’t provide a ton of information about the fundraisers started on behalf of your nonprofit, you should make the most of the information available. If any donors opt-in to share their email address, you should follow up with a personalized thank you and more information about your organization.
All of these tips will position your organization for success with Facebook fundraising. That said, we have one more crucial tip that can supercharge your Facebook fundraising efforts:
Use Facebook Messenger to connect with fundraisers.
Our top tip? Use Facebook Messenger to connect with fundraisers.
GoodUnited is a conversational messaging tool for social media fundraising that uses technology and human insight to help nonprofits acquire and activate supporters, build meaningful relationships at scale, and grow revenue in social channels. For more information and to access these services, contact our team today.
To learn more about Facebook fundraisers, Network for Good, and GoodUnited, explore the following additional resources:
- The Ultimate Nonprofit Guide to Facebook Fundraisers. If your nonprofit is still fairly new to the world of Facebook fundraising, dive into our ultimate guide for a comprehensive breakdown.
- Why Your Nonprofit Should Leverage Facebook Birthday Fundraisers. You might have heard arguments against Facebook birthday fundraisers, but we strongly believe the pros outweigh the cons. Read more here and decide for yourself.
- Facebook Fundraising. At GoodUnited, we’ve written the playbook for nonprofits looking to raise more through Facebook fundraising.