Charities on Facebook - what you need to know before you donate

Are Facebook fundraisers safe?

(WWBT) - A Facebook fundraiser collecting money for kids and families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border raised more than $12 million in one week - the biggest Facebook fundraiser ever.

But whether it's this cause or another one, how safe is it really, to give?

Facebook users donated more than $10 million to victims of the flooding after Hurricane Harvey last year. Now they've given even more to help immigrant families detained at the border with Mexico.

So how does Facebook checks out those charities, and how are donations handled?

Facebook's fundraising arm requires that a non-profit be registered with the IRS, and Facebook also examines a charity's accounts and financial documents before it approves its fundraiser. Facebook does not charge a fee to those charities, so Facebook is not getting a cut of the money you give.

Those donations are collected one of three ways: through the charity's own payment system; through Facebook Payments platform; or through a processor called Network for Good - which handles donations for non-profits.

Facebook says more than 750,000 nonprofits have used Facebook's platform for fundraising since 2015.

While it's good Facebook checks out these charities, your safest bet is to research them before you give. Sites like Guidestar and Charity Navigator are a good place to start.

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