When people are connected, they can achieve extraordinary things. We’ve seen how a post on Facebook can get someone life-saving help, how a video challenge can raise record amounts for ALS research, how a hashtag can become a global call to action and how people show up for each other in times of need. It’s these acts of kindness and community that inspire us to build new tools and features to enable the best of what people can do together.
We saw people posting on Facebook in need of blood transfusions, so we built a Blood Donations tool to help people register as donors and find local blood banks. After crises, people use our apps to let their friends and family know they’re safe, so we created Safety Check to make this easier. Our goal is to give people the tools they need to support each other and raise awareness and funds for causes they care about.
When wildfires ravaged New South Wales in January 2020, Australian actress-comedian Celeste Barber turned to Facebook fundraisers to raise money for bushfire relief efforts. Her fundraiser quickly became the biggest in Facebook fundraising history, generating $36 million for The Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service and Brigades Donations Fund. Also, as part of our Data for good program, disaster response organizations like Direct Relief delivered 500,000 N95 masks to those impacted most by the wildfires.
After seeing Community Help posts from people who were trapped by the floods from Hurricane Harvey, brothers Austin and Nathan from Lake Jackson, Texas grabbed their boat, drove to Houston and rescued 20 people from the rising waters.
Zabir from Bharuch, Gujarat regularly donates blood at a neighborhood blood bank. When he came across the Blood Donation feature on Facebook, he registered himself as a donor. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he saw a post from Bharuch General Hospital on Facebook with an urgent request for blood due to shortages during the COVID-19 lockdown. Zabir shared the call for blood with his friends and they all donated to help meet the need.
In May 2020, Washington residents and founders of EastWest Food Rescue George Ahearn, Nancy Bailin and Zsofia Pasztor used Community Help to find volunteers to help transport and distribute 40 tons of food to feed neighbors in need and ensure no crops went to waste. Since that first food delivery, East West Food Rescue has delivered more than 8 million pounds of produce.
Every year, thousands of children go missing around the world. To help, Meta partners with law enforcement and other stakeholders to distribute AMBER Alerts in 23 countries. In January, we started working with the South Africa Police Service to send AMBER Alerts on Facebook so people in the designated search area can see information and spread the word.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Italy hard, the Giorgia Libero Onlus association started a fundraiser on Facebook to support the Padua Hospital ICU. 19,000 people came together to raise nearly $550,000 to help pay for the treatment of patients – and healthcare providers – with COVID-19.
Every hour, someone in the world needs blood, and one donation can potentially save three lives. Lately, lots of businesses are struggling to keep the lights on, and every dollar counts. And when a natural disaster or crisis strikes, support from friends and neighbors helps people get through.
That’s why we’re focused on making these connections easier to:
Enable good on our platforms
Increase economic opportunity
Improve health and well-being for all
We’ve made progress, and we’ll keep following your lead and building tools that empower individuals to lend a hand in their local community and make positive impacts at scale.
People have now raised over $5 billion for nonprofits and personal causes through fundraisers on Facebook and Instagram.
Inspired by the ways people raised awareness through the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, we built fundraising tools to help people support the causes most important to them. Today through Facebook and Instagram, people fundraise for nonprofits, personal causes like health or educational needs, or for their favorite small business. When each person gives what they can, their impact can be incredible. Since January 2020, people have raised more than $100M for COVID-related fundraisers, and over half of donations were $25 each. And since May of 2020, people raised nearly $50M for racial justice causes - showing their solidarity and raising awareness during this critical moment.
We launched Safety Check in December 2014, following Typhoon Ruby in the Philippines, to help people let their loved ones know they’re safe, and in 2015 we expanded Safety Check beyond natural disasters for the Paris terrorist attacks. In 2017, after seeing people affected by crises mobilize their communities to help each other in Pages and Groups, we created Facebook Crisis Response, a place for people to check to see if their loved ones are safe via Safety Check, request or offer help and find timely information from first-hand and official sources.
After seeing hundreds of posts on Facebook calling for blood donors, we launched the Blood Donations feature in 2017 to make it easy for people to sign up to donate and find local hospitals and blood banks in need. Now, more than 70 million people across 14 countries have signed up as blood donors.
In 2014, we launched our first Election Day reminders for elections in India to encourage people to make their voices heard at the ballot box. Since then, we’ve helped millions of people register to vote and this year we launched our Voting Information Center in the US to provide a one-stop-shop for information on how to register and vote.
After crises like natural disasters, people post on Facebook asking for help and we’ve seen neighbors lend a hand in so many ways. So we created Community Help, a central place on Facebook for people to request or offer help, such as volunteering to deliver groceries. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen people use Community Help in inspiring ways, from supporting small businesses, to signing up to donate blood, finding local job opportunities, and delivering supplies to neighbors in need.
In May 2014, baby Victoria was kidnapped from a hospital in Canada just hours after she was born. People saw the news on Facebook and helped find and return Victoria to her parents. This inspired our AMBER Alerts program and now we share alerts for missing children in 23 countries around the world.
Whether you’re looking for support in a new career, tips on how to train for a marathon or advice on how to care for a family member, chances are there’s someone out there that can help. That’s why we created Mentorship to connect people with those who have the expertise and experience to offer guidance and support. Sharae Moore started the S.H.E. Trucking Facebook Group, and uses Mentorship to connect and empower a community of women truck drivers.
Data can help us address some of the world’s greatest humanitarian issues, from natural disasters to COVID-19. And with billions of people using our apps around the world, we have the ability to equip researchers, emergency responders, nonprofits, health experts and more with the information they need to respond effectively and aid in recovery. Our Data for Good program provides partners with data to help them make progress on major social issues across disaster response, health, connectivity, energy access and economic growth. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve provided maps on population movement to help researchers understand how population dynamics influence the spread of the disease and inform response efforts.
We want everyone, regardless of ability, to have access to Facebook. That’s why we’re developing new technologies and contributing to web standards that help make the internet accessible to more people. In April 2016, we launched Automatic Alt Text to provide visually impaired and blind people with descriptions of photos on Facebook using object recognition technology. This means those who can’t see Facebook can still enjoy it by having descriptions of photos read to them. This is just one of the ways we’re making Facebook more inclusive and ensuring everyone can participate. Because when everyone is connected, we all benefit.