Facebook is testing ‘fundraisers’, a new tool for nonprofit organizations to raise money for specific projects. It is also working on improving the Donate button, which it introduced for nonprofits in August, to allow people to donate to charities without leaving Facebook.

Using the fundraisers feature, nonprofits can setup a campaign on a separate page, where they can set the target amount, the goal date and other details, a link to which is displayed on the nonprofit’s main page. Users can donate for this cause from within Facebook and then share the post with friends. The shared post will also feature a donate button, letting other users donate directly from their news feeds. Nonprofits will also be able to include a donate button in their posts.

According to Facebook, it is currently testing this feature with 37 organizations including Mercy Corps and World Wildlife Fund. The company mentions that this feature available to all US-based nonprofits soon. However, there is no mention of when this feature will be available to all nonprofits worldwide.

MediaNama’s take: While currently only for nonprofits, Facebook is simply testing out a Kickstarter like crowdfunding model. It pretty much works the same way: create a campaign, set a monetary goal, the campaign time limit, and let the donations come in. Facebook could easily extend this feature to for-profit projects, beating players like Kickstarter at their own game. Afterall even projects on crowdfunding websites rely on social media to spread the word. Here Facebook has the advantage as users won’t have to leave their news feed, or whatever it is they are doing on Facebook, to make the donation.

Other developments:

– In September, Facebook launched a discovery and curation tool called Signal for journalists, which would allow them to track trending and breaking news.

– The same month, the company started allowing media companies, organizations, and individual creators to publish 360 degree videos. In March, Facebook had introduced an embedded video player, a new social plugin that would enable publishers to embed native Facebook videos in a video player.

– In July, Facebook, which had started testing a buy button for Shopify in June, extended this feature to various business’ Facebook pages.

– In May, Facebook announced Instant Articles, a mobile app feature where news from various news publishers were displayed.

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