Causes on Facebook is a huge up-and-coming application which is going to explode in the coming weeks. It allows Facebook users to create causes, invite friends to join causes and most importantly donate to causes like Save Darfur, the Humane Society, Teach for America, Greenpeace, UNICEF and 1.5 million other nonprofits from all over America. In the last two weeks Causes has grown to 934,160 users and I expect it will pass 1,000,000 users within days.
Initially, I was very excited about the application. This was a way for Facebook's 25 million users (according to Wikipedia) to easily donate to charities through a website they used regularly and to even make it cool to do so. However, after a little while I started to wonder what percentage of each donation goes directly to charity. The answer, which the creators of Causes outlined in their details section, was 95.5%. How can they take 4.5% of each donation away? Well, everyone does. As one of the program founders said, the next cheapest program on the internet right now is the Network for Good which charges 4.75% for each donation. Causes only charges 4.5%, with 3% of each donation going to Justgive.org which processes the donation and 1.5% go to Project Agape which runs Causes. There is a lot of discussion about whether the Causes program is making an unfair profit from the donation transactions, but overall I think the program is very honorable and right-minded.
If you like the program and have Facebook, add it as one of your applications and then join your own cause. I think it is a wonderful way to give back and share your priorities with others. For starters I have started my own cause: Advance Humanity- named after and fundraising for the organization which gave me the motto to begin with: UNICEF. If you are interested in joining the cause, please feel free. I'd love to see you there and see just how much we can donate together!