A small, useful Facebook feature is doing a lot of good. CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post yesterday that birthday fundraisers, in which users can request that their friends donate to a cause for their birthday, have raised over $300 million for more than 750,000 non-profits. The service only launched last year. He said those organizations range from food banks to animal shelters to Alzheimer’s research. In June, Facebook said it would donate $5 for every birthday fundraiser started, so long as it supports one of those 750,000 vetted US nonprofits.
This isn’t the only fundraising option users have. They can also start Pages to raise money for charity, for example, but the clear success of birthday fundraisers makes sense. People love Facebook’s birthday reminders; it’s the most crucial platform offering for lots of people, other than event invites. Letting people parlay all that attention into donations was a wise move.