Facebook is adding a “Donate Now” button to users’ News Feeds to help raise money to fight Ebola.
Facebook members will see a message at the top of their feeds on Thursday urging them to donate money to Ebola relief efforts.
The button will allow users to contribute to any of three nonprofits — the International Medical Corps, the American Red Cross and Save The Children — that actively work in the areas of the world most heavily impacted by Ebola; the disease has plagued the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan donated $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control Foundation to put an end to the Ebola outbreak last month.
Now Zuckerberg is using the broad reach of his platform, which boasts 1.35 billion monthly active users, to raise awareness and funds. The news comes as the death toll from Ebola nears 5,000 people, with 13,000 infected worldwide.
In addition to the “Donate Now” button, Facebook is working to spread accurate information abut Ebola throughout West Africa. The social network is partnering with UNICEF to deliver messages that will appear in users’ News Feeds in the affected regions, and will “focus on Ebola detection, prevention and treatment.” About half of Africa’s 200 million Internet users are on Facebook.
In a news release, Facebook stated communication is pivotal in the fight against Ebola, but many of the areas struck the hardest by the disease lack the resources needed to effectively access information. The company is also donating 100 mobile hotspots to be used in remote areas of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Facebook has used such donation buttons in the past. In 2013, Facebook added a “Donate Now” button for 18 nonprofits, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, on their brand pages. Facebook also added a Red Cross donation button in November to aid relief efforts in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.