PayPal Makes Online Fundraising a Social Experience with FundRazr

Paypal is making it easier to donate money to your friends and family on social networks. From raising money for a child’s soccer team to gathering donations to support a loved one’s surgery, this new service, called Fundrazr, makes it easy to to make relatively small donations directly on your Facebook wall. This easy one-click solution is right on the heels of similar products to come out, most notably the donation tool Flattr. Whether these services will compete or be able to carve out their own niches is yet to be seen.

Announced on the Paypal blog earlier this week, Fundrazr is designed to leverage individual’s social networks to allow them to raise money for their personal causes. The beauty of Fundrazr is that it can be added directly to your news feed item on Facebook, allowing friends and family to donate from the front page.

Fundrazr is also designed for non-profit and political organizations to raise money for their causes. Fundraisers can install the Fundrazr app onto their Facebook account and then add it to a page or a group. It can be set up to sell tickets or just to raise a lump sum of money, and it records how much has been raised and whether the fundraising goal has been met. Fundrazr also come with some financial tracking information so fundraisers can watch the donations come in.

Fundrazr is mainly designed to work with Facebook, showing up in news feeds and on your wall or page. However, users can share the direct link to the donations page with their friends and family not on Facebook and collect donations in that way.

Fundrazr is similar to the new microdonation service Flattr that we recently covered. Flattr is designed so that users can give microdonations to articles, websites and other things they want to flatter. Each month the money that the user has in his or her Flattr account is divided up between all of the items he or she flattered that month. Conceivably, this service could be used on Facebook pages, profiles and groups to get people to flatter a fundraising cause, putting it in competition with Fundrazr.

Services like these show promise, as they make it easy for people to give small amounts of money in one or just a few clicks. It’s this easy and speed of use that will be so appealing to social networkers, who are used to a fast-paced information stream. We’ll keep our eyes on Fundrazr, Flattr and other services and see how they fare in the future.