The coronavirus pandemic has caused an increase in the number of crowdfunding campaigns for hospital bills, funeral expenses and other coronavirus-related causes, and now Instagram announced Personal Fundraiser, a new tool that lets users raise money for personal causes.
Starting Tuesday, Instagram will roll out its Personal Fundraiser tool in the U.S., UK and Ireland on Android, followed by iOS.
The company described it as a way for people to “raise money for a personal cause, like yourself, your small business, a friend, or a cause that’s important to you.”
Personal Fundraiser will be available to people over the age of 18 and all fundraisers must go through a review process and be approved, the company said, adding that Stripe is the chosen payment processor.
Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, said that since January people have raised more than $100 million for Covid-19 fundraisers globally across both social media platforms.
Instagram had already been experimenting with donation features, nonprofits have long been able to raise funding on the platform and in April the company announced that individuals could raise funding for nonprofits on Instagram Live.
Donations made on Instagram alone doubled in the U.S. in the last 30 days, the company said.
Instagram has launched a number of public service efforts throughout the pandemic, including expanding nonprofit fundraising to additional countries to support global relief efforts, adding more educational resources in Instagram Search and introducing a “Stay Home” sticker to promote social distancing. To increase access to accurate information, people who search for information related to the coronavirus or Covid-19 on Instagram are offered resources from the World Health Organization and local health agencies.
Instagram says that there has been an increase in “digital activism” efforts, including raising money to buy medical equipment for Black Lives Matter protesters, rebuilding Black-owned small businesses affected by the pandemic and funding educational resources about racial justice.