Two web leaders have their sights set on changing the world — one mouse click at a time. Facebook and Google have joined the fight against Ebola by launching massive public giving campaigns to combat the deadly disease and making the most out of donors’ dollars.
Have you noticed anything different about your Facebook newsfeed lately? A little over a week ago, the social network integrated a donation button into users’ newsfeeds making it easier for everyone to donate to charities focused on containing the lethal virus. Facebook users can now donate to the International Medical Corps, the American Red Cross, or Save the Children through the push of a button on their desktop or mobile devices.
The money raised for these three organizations will be used to treat patients, train health workers, aid in safe burials, educate communities to help prevent the spread of Ebola, build treatment centers, and provide protection for orphans in the affected areas.
Facebook has also partnered with NetHope to donate 100 satellite terminals to make communication throughout Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia easier. The company wants to do more than simply pay for medical aid. Facebook wants to make sure that communication between the affected regions is up to par so that preventative measures can be met to confine the virus from spreading any further.
These efforts hope to bring donation outlets directly to the public, connect people to truthful and timely information, and make information available to everyone. In a video post earlier this month Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, stated, “This is an important moment in this fight. And I’m optimistic that together, the Facebook community can help stop Ebola.” (Watch full video) By making direct donation outlets accessible to everyone, users can find comfort in knowing that 100% of their donation will go towards legitimate Ebola relief projects.
In comparison to Facebook’s campaign, which focuses on both user donation and Ebola education, Google’s campaign was designed to make the most out of the public’s generosity by matching donations at a 200% rate. For every $1 donated to nonprofits working to provide Ebola relief in West Africa, Google would give $2. The company has since achieved it’s cap of $7.5 million, but is still generating donations for its partner organizations.
Furthermore, Google donated $10 million to causes such as International Rescue Committee, Medecins Sans Frontieres, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, NetHope, Partners in Health, InSTEDD, and Save the Children.
In addition, internet moguls turned philanthropists have expressed their ample support in regard to Ebola relief via private donations, including a $100 million pledge from Microsoft’s Paul Allen, a $15 million donation from Google CEO’s Larry Page Family Foundation, and a $25 million donation from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.