ATLANTA -- The Facebook fundraising button: it seems like an easy way to raise money for friends and family in need.

Anyone registered as a nonprofit can use it – visitors can just click the icon on their homepage and ask for donations. But some nonprofits in the area have raised questions about their policies and procedures – some going as far as calling it a scam.

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So, 11Alive looked deeper to see if it’s a legitimate way to help those in need. It’s not a scam, so that claim is false. But you do have to be careful when using the function.

If you’re only running a small fundraiser where you don’t expect a ton of donations, it might be more trouble than it’s worth. According to the Facebook terms of service, they only release the money once your fundraiser hits $100. And if it never gets to that level, you’ll have to request in writing that the funds be released.

They release the payments bi-weekly but charge between 5.75 and 6.9 percent depending on the type of fundraiser you have.

So, the bottom line is that if you are a non-profit looking to raise money, it is a tool you can use – but be sure to read the terms of service very carefully before starting your fundraiser. That way, you know what you’re getting into.


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