Today the very fabric of Online Fundraising has been ripped apart with Facebooks announcement of Open Graph and the Graph API. In short Facebook just allowed you to collect and store ANY data a user is willing to share with you.

On top of that the amount and types of data that Open Graph will allow is mind blowing, everything from who a person connects to right down to the things like like in and outside of Facebook and the services they connect with.

An Open Graph Example

A user uses the "Like" Graph button incorporated into the Movie Database IMDB, the movie's subject has a strong theme around Cancer, the user is also connected to your website via the Graph Api or at a later date connects to your site.

You would then be able to request that users data including the films they like, doing a bit of clever server side processing you note that the user watched a film where the theme was Cancer, you now know more about that user and with that data I'm sure you can already think of 10 ways that data can be fed into your donor acquisition systems.

One example would be to then send an email to that user specificaly around a Donation ask that taps into that film or mentions the film in some way. Creating a more personal attachement to a cause and based on the actually likes and expereinces of a user is going to really drive online donations in the similar way it's driven advertisements for Google.

Every website that adds Facebook Open Graph helps other sites to collect more personal data about a user building up a better picture of what they love and engage with.

Yes there are bound to be Privacy Issues but really it's up-to the user to be aware of what they are sharing and with who, they will always have to opt-in to share data with a website before you can request and store their personal Open Graph.

The Semantic Facebook

Semantic Web here we come, one thing to be very aware of is that Facebook have kicked off a first play for the Semantic web and defining how it will work at massive scale. It's bound to evolve but for the first time we really have a way to learning more about a user based on the real interactions they are having across the web, all marked up in ways that make reprocessing and storage of that Social Graph easy.

If your charity want's to learn more about Facebook Open Graph, Graph Api or any part of the new Facebook system get in touch @JohnCarnell