Facebook is adding new features to an online hub where users offer and request help as part of an effort to encourage people to contribute to a new global day of giving on Tuesday that was created in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The hub, called Community Help, will include ways to buy gift cards from businesses, donate to local fundraisers, sign up to give blood or find job opportunities. While you can already do those activities on the social network, Facebook said it’s making it easier to find by including these features in one place on Tuesday. The social network released within its coronavirus information center in March.
The coronavirus pandemic has given Facebook, which has been plagued by numerous privacy scandals, a chance to showcase how its tools can be used for good. Since January, Facebook users have donated more than $67 million for causes related to COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. GivingTuesdayNow, a new global day of giving and unity, will take place on May 5. The day of giving typically occurs the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the US but the organizers of the movement created an extra day because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Nonprofits are feeling the financial impact from the coronavirus pandemic as people cut back spending and lose their jobs. About 83% of nonprofits are suffering financially, according to an April survey by Charity Navigator and Reuters News.
“People are uncertain economically whether they’re losing their jobs or not,” said Asha Curran, CEO of GivingTuesday. “This GivingTuesday is really about presenting them with many ways to give and donating money is only one of those ways.”
Naomi Gleit, who oversees Facebook’s social good efforts, said that people are using the Community Help tool to request supplies such as toilet paper and baby supplies along with finding information about topics such as stimulus checks and the coronavirus. Those offering help are mostly volunteering to do activities such as shopping for groceries for the elderly, making homemade masks and offering food.
“Every little bit matters and that’s why our partnership this year really is about expanding Community Help to make it even easier for people to give in whatever way that may be,” she said.