Notes on Using a Facebook “Cause” to raise money for JewishGen

by Brian J. Reiser, JewishGen Yizkor Book Coordinator
for the Kolki, Ukraine Yizkor Book

In this note I will describe my experience using Facebook “Causes” to raise money for JewishGen. Please note that I am not an expert, so Facebook users who wish to use Facebook for fundraising should read the guidelines here very carefully:

http://apps.facebook.com/causes/help

“Causes” is a Facebook (FB) application that enables FB users to create a “cause,” or a page that enables those who visit the page to donate to the non-profit organization you specify. You can create a cause for a particular non-profit, such as JewishGen, and can publicize the cause in your social network to solicit donations for the cause.

Here is a example of how to use a FB cause to raise money for JewishGen. This is the cause I created to raise money for the Kolki Yizkor Book translation project:

http://www.causes.com/causes/536766-help-translate-a-book-about-my-family-s-shtetl-kolki-russia-poland?m=53ac9db4

You can create your own cause to help the JewishGen general fund, or to raise money for specific projects within JewishGen. It is relatively easy to create a cause. JewishGen is already listed as a beneficiary that can be selected for a FB cause. The info for JewishGen as a beneficiary for FB causes is here:

http://apps.facebook.com/causes/beneficiaries/82771/info

To create a new Cause that will raise money for a specific purpose in JewishGen, click on the above link to visit the JewishGen beneficiary page, and click on the link on the bottom right of the page that says “Start a cause for this non-profit.” Note that even though the beneficiary JewishGen exists on FB, you need to create your own Cause to raise money for this beneficiary.

When you create your Cause, you will be prompted to fill in various information, such as the name, the mission, and so on. Be sure to name the cause so that when JewishGen gets the check they will know which project the money is to support. I would also email your financial contact at JewishGen and inform him or her to expect a check from “Network for Good” who is the non-profit partner of Causes that processes the donations

After you have created the cause, you will see various options to publicize the cause. You can post a link on your wall, and your FB friends will see this link when they see your updates. You will also see an option to start a “birthday wish” for the cause, which puts posts on your wall asking your friends to donate rather than send you a present. This can be a very effective way to publicize that you are looking for donations for your cause.


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