Social networking sites are popular with individuals, businesses and causes and an attractive option to market your fundraiser. If you’ve decided you’re ready to take the plunge, here are the steps to creating a Facebook Page for your non-profit.
Set up a Page (Not a Group) on Facebook
The easiest way to do a Page on Facebook is, first of all, to log out of your personal account. Although you will need to use your details later on, it’s easiest to start while logged out. Go to “Create a Page” where you can choose between creating a Page for a business, artist, brand, a cause and more.
Click on “Company, Organization, or Institution” and you will be presented with a drop down menu. Scroll down until you find “Non-profit,” then enter the name of the page you’re going to create, ideally your group’s name. (You might have to log in at this point or create an account. Facebook changes this process occasionally.) Clicking on “Causes and Community” will create a Group page to help support a specific cause or create another community of which you don’t necessarily have to be an official owner or member. Creating a Page through the Company, Organization, or Institution link will give you more options when managing and customizing your page. Whichever one you choose, be sure to read Facebook’s terms before you click “agree,” because they are continuously updated. Next, go through prompts.
Now here’s where it helps to already have a Facebook account. You have to choose between “I already have a Facebook account” and “I do not have a Facebook account”. If you don’t have a personal Facebook account yet, Facebook requires you to have one when creating a Page. Again, follow the prompts to either sign in with your personal account, or create a new one. Log in and voilà! your Page is now created.
Keep in mind that a Facebook Page is not transferable, so make sure that the personal account it is linked to won’t change, or will be accessible by others if necessary. That means to not let just anyone set up your Page, but as the head of your organization, it’s best to do it yourself. Facebook continuously changes and updates its rules, so make sure you do read all the fine print when crating your Page, or if you give anyone else admin access to it.
>> Update: Facebook has changed its policy so you can in fact transfer a Facebook Page. You can now name more than one person an admin, but that also means that an administrator of a page can remove other administrators, or delete the Page altogether. So the same rules still apply: make sure that any person who has access to your Facebook Page is trustworthy!
Raise Money through Your Facebook Page
>> Update: In 2016 Facebook rolled out a new way to raise funds through your organization’s Facebook Page. The new system allows supporters to give via their saved credit card information on their Facebook account. It may be a challenge to ask supporters to add their credit card information, but Facebook’s stringent vetting process should instill confidence in your supporters to do so. Also, the new system allows for your supporters to raise funds from their pages for your cause. More about the new feature here.
Great! That was easy, right? Well…yes, and no. You still can’t raise money on your site, at least not directly. The best way to do that is to use the “Causes” app on Facebook: you can search “Causes” on Facebook, or just go here to get started. You will have to log into your Facebook account and give the app permission to access your information. (To simply support a cause, start here.)
From there you choose if you’d like to start a petition, pledge or fundraiser. Click on ‘Fundraise’ and you will be presented with a questionnaire. Whichever organization you’re raising funds for has to be registered with GuideStar. If you’re already registered with GuideStar, your organization’s name should come up when you type it in the first box on the questionnaire. If not, you might consider getting registered with them, because usually any online fundraising websites require you to be registered with GuideStar.
This information will be used to create a designated page for your cause on the Causes website from which visitors can donate directly to your cause. Every campaign created through Causes is automatically integrated with Facebook, which means that your actions can easily be shared via Timeline and newsfeed. Now you can tweet, email, and post a Facebook status update right from every campaign page! All donations made on Causes are 100% tax-deductible, and will be sent directly to the nonprofit you select.
What Else Can You Use Your Facebook Page For?
Once your Page is set up, you’ll have to let people know about your new Facebook Page, and consistently update it. Link to it from your website, add a link to it in each e-mail you send out and also post the link in your office, and any printed materials you have. But what else can you do with a Facebook page?
– give consistent updates about your activities as a non-profit
– post pictures
– reiterate details about your mission
– ‘listen’ to your supporters: answer their questions and get new ideas
– study who your supporters are on Facebook
– announce events
– announce new fundraising projects
– post links to your website about latest news or articles
– add your blog feed
– use it as a branding tool for your organization (In contrast, if you create a Facebook Group, all Group pages look alike. Groups are meant to support an idea or a cause, but not a brand.)
…and the list goes on!
A Facebook Page is not only useful as a fundraising tool in itself, but also to create awareness and as a branding tool for your group. Make sure you assign someone to be in charge of your Page, post updates and keep track on the activities on the Page. In time you will notice how having a Page on Facebook is a great tool to complement your other marketing and fundraising efforts online.