If you’ve been avoiding getting your organization involved in Facebook, here are three good reasons to think twice:
- Facebook has an audience of 600 million and growing, making it equivalent to the population of the world’s 3rdlargest country
- Meet them where they’re at: it is extremely likely that a considerable amount of your wired network is already engaged on the platform
- More and more donations are happening online
Here are a few guidelines for getting started with Facebook:
First, create a “Page” for your organization—this is similar to a personal profile. It allows members to become a “friend” of your nonprofit, allowing them to subscribe to your updates and engage in dialogue with you and other supporters. To set up your Facebook Page, visit: www.facebook.com/pages/create.php.
Second, create a Facebook Group: If you are interested in sending direct messages to the inboxes of your supporters (and you have under 5,000 followers), setting up a group is the way to go. Without a group, you are limited to posting status updates and having your supporters read them via their Facebook News Feed. To set up your group, visit www.facebook.com/groups/create.php.
Once you are established on Facebook and your supporters are accustomed to communicating with you through this platform, it is time to start raising money. “Causes” is a tool (application) built for Facebook that allows you to fundraise within the Facebook network. While it’s difficult to build a community within Causes, it’s worth exploring as a fundraising supplement to your Page or Group. Get a better feel for this tool at www.causes.com.
Once you are set up on Facebook, a great tip for integrating fundraising activities is to use the platform to express thanks for member contributions generously and frequently—public recognition helps spread loyalty and reinforces generous support. Read more from Nicci Noble and Sean Sullivan in Chapter 22 of Nonprofit Management 101, “Online Peer-to-Peer Fundraising.”