Those of you who already have access to the Facebook Gifts platform now have another type of gift you can give your friends. Instead of buying them a t-shirt, box of cookies, or gift card, why not make a charitable contribution in their name?
Today, Facebook announced that they have partnered with eleven nonprofits to make donations available inside their new Gifts platform. Those eleven charities include:
American Red Cross; Blue Star Families; Boys & Girls Clubs of America; DonorsChoose.org; Girls Inc.; Kiva; LIVESTRONG; Oxfam America; RAINN; St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital; Water.org
When you decide to make a donation, you can choose which organization to give to or your friend who's receiving the "gift" can choose on their end.
Facebook launched the new Gifts ecommerce venture in late September. Unlike the previous Gifts platform which only allowed virtual items, the new version allows users to send their friends real items that will ship directly to their doorstep. At the time of the soft launch, Facebook had already partnered with 100 retail partners. Facebook was scheduled to throw a media event at FAO Schwartz in downtown NYC on November 1st, but were forced to cancel due to Hurricane Sandy. It was speculated that Facebook may announce some new retail partners at that event.
It's clear that the timing of this charitable partnership was influenced, in some part, by the devastating superstorm that just slammed the east coast.
"We are especially pleased to be launching this test now – when so many people are looking for new ways to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy, or assist those most in need around the holidays," says Facebook.
Not everyone can access Gifts yet, but Facebook says that the rollout is coming "very soon."