How Fast the Facebook Matching Grant Runs Out on #GivingTuesday

This year in 2019, Facebook’s matching fund of $7 million ran out pretty quickly. From my calculations, under 15 minutes, on its first-come first-served basis. See Facebook’s Giving Tuesday info at for details about how their fee-free donations work.

– original post from 2017

I was wondering how long that $2M matching grant from the Gates Foundation lasted for today’s #givingtuesday on Facebook. With a $50k limit per nonprofit, 40 orgs could have used it all up in the first couple hours starting at 8:00am Eastern Time.

The matching grant won’t likely last all day. Good news is that Facebook will waive all fees for online donations made through Facebook – see update belowon #givingtuesday all day. That means 100% of your donation goes to the nonprofit, instead of the usual 95%. cf. “Donations to US-based charitable organizations that have been approved to receive donations through Facebook Payments are assessed a 5% fee.” In other words, Facebook donations made on #GivingTuesday get a 5% boost. Do donors care about that? If a donor gave $100, does a donor care if all $100 goes to the cause, or only $95 goes to the cause and $5 goes to administrative costs? Hey, $5 is $5!


The announcement about how fast the matching fund ran out was “unprecedented”:

We are so inspired by how the community came together to give back this Giving Tuesday in an unprecedented turnout. The $2M in matching dollars was met quickly by the Facebook community, but every donor and every dollar counts. We will continue to waive all Facebook fees on donations to nonprofits today.

How fast was did it run out? The answer to that question is: somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes (cf. 10 minutes; 15 minutes; the timestamp 6:07am @ Nonprofits on Facebook page might be a late announcement). Supposedly last year, the matching fund lasted a couple of hours.


Want more info? This excerpt from the PND article about #GivingTuesday 2017 gives some details that nonprofit organizations and some donors would want to know:

Facebook has announced that it will again partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to match up to $2 million in donations for this year’s #GivingTuesday event on November 28.

Launched in 2012, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving positioned as a “do-good” alternative to the post-Thanksgiving shopping and consumption associated with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Donations made to participating nonprofit organizations through Facebook’s charitable giving tools beginning at 8:00 am EST on November 28 will be matched — up to $50,000 per nonprofit, or $1,000 per fundraiser or donate button — until the matching funds run out. Facebook and the Gates Foundation are contributing $1 million each for the campaign, and all matched funds will be paid out to nonprofits through Network for Good‘s donor-advised fund.

Depending on the size of the nonprofit, getting a match of $1k might be considered a drop in the bucket. Plus, the effort it’d take to mobilize more than 50 raving fans to hit the $50k maximum match might be too much.

Of course, #GivingTuesday is more than trying to get a slice of the matching grant or getting the processing fees waived. It’s a good opportunity to raise awareness and connect more people to your cause.

Want to prepare for 2018? The Nonprofits on Facebook site has lots of info about using Facebook more effectively to connect more people with a nonprofit. And, the page at has info for #GivingTuesday 2017 — not sure if they will keep the same URL for next year.

[UPDATE 11/29/17] Big news! Facebook announced at its Social Good Forum on that they’re eliminating nonprofit fees100% of donations made through Facebook payments to nonprofits will now go directly to those organizations.


One response to “How Fast the Facebook Matching Grant Runs Out on #GivingTuesday”

  1. My fundraisers got matches at 5am PST and 5:01am, but any at 5:02 were not matched. So time was very limited.

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