Americans who use Facebook saw an unusual fundraising solicitation on top of their newsfeed this week. The appeal asks people to donate $10 to the American Red Cross to help in the emergency relief and recovery efforts in the Philippines, as the country struggles to provide basic needs after Super Typhoon Haiyan cut a swath of destruction last week.
This is the first time Facebook has deployed such a direct and visible fundraising plea to people on its site, says Elizabeth Wasden, a Facebook spokeswoman. The fundraising appeal, which first showed up Tuesday night, will appear prominently until Friday.
The campaign also marks the first time the Red Cross has mounted a large-scale donation effort on a social-media platform, says Laura Howe, an American Red Cross spokesman. She says Facebook approached the organization, and the Red Cross jumped on the opportunity.
The experimental effort doesn’t have a specific fundraising goal.
So far, the Red Cross has raised $11-million in gifts and pledges, not counting the Facebook donations. Fundraising totals for the Facebook campaign will be released within the next several days, says Ms. Howe.
Facebook designed the appeal so people can click on it and send a contribution. They can use their credit card, PayPal, or Facebook account to complete the transaction.