Wednesday, November 08, 2006

How Nonprofits Can Use Facebook

The Facebook is a social networking website made up of many different networks. These networks include high schools, colleges, workplaces, and regions.

The Facebook has the potential to be successful in the nonprofit sector and I have already found lots of nonprofit related content on there.

Why the Facebook can work in the nonprofit sector:

Colleges have student organizations who are involved in volunteering and fundraising. There are also student groups of a nonprofit organization. Both college and regional networks hold events such as Relay for Life or Race for the Cure.

They create groups for their organization or event. The groups allow them to announce meetings, have discussions with other members to plan events, and post pictures. Each group is listed in a group category. Nonprofit related categories include Service Groups, Advocacy Organizations, Community Organizations, Non-Profit Organizations, Philanthropic Organizations, and Volunteer Organizations.

In addition to groups, members can post details of events where people can RSVP for an event. Each event must indicate an event type such as causes which you can select fundraiser, protest, or rally.

One feature that makes Facebook unique is being able to select who has access to groups or event listings. It can be open to people in your network (school, region, or workplace) or global (open to everyone). You might be interested in only having it open to your network if it is an event/group that only users in your network would be interested in. For example, you might have a group or event posted for a local Relay For Life event or Race for the Cure. You would only want people locally to see this information. However, you might decide to make it global where all members of the facebook can see how you are marketing your event/organization. The best way for organizations to use the facebook is to make sure their events and groups are global.

Most of the groups and events on the Facebook are created by supporters of an organization or cause.

How do members learn about groups and events?

Members can learn about groups and events by searching Facebook and joining the group or event lists. They can also be invited to a group or event list.

Another way members can learn about these are through their friends. Depending on the user settings, users can see what groups their friends have joined and what events they plan to attend by reading their mini-feed.

Examples of Nonprofit Related Content on the Facebook

  • 860, 170 members are part of the Join to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month group in the global network
  • The World Education and Development Fund, an organization who transforms lives by supporting high-quality education for impoverished communities in Latin America, held an event at Babson College. This organization also has a group on the Facebook.
  • November 4th was International Day of Action on Climate Change and a Walk Against Warming was held in Australia. This was posted as an event on the Facebook in the global network. The page for the event has the logo of the walk posted as the event picture.
  • There is a campus group for UNICEF at Indiana University. They started a group on the Facebook to announce news and meetings.
  • A global group was created for Action In Africa, an organization at a high school in Palo Alto, CA.
  • A global group was created for Advocates for Grassroots Development in Uganda (AGRADU), a UNC student initiative aiming to support indigenous grassroots efforts at community building and economic development in Uganda.
  • The president and founder of Books All Around, a national literacy initiative, created a global group for the organization.
  • created a global group called "I am an Idealist".
  • About 1, 750 members joined the global group for The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
  • There are lots of groups and events listed for Campus/Regional Relay for Life and Race for the Cure events.


Creative Apricot said...

Hi Emily,

I really enjoyed your post! After reading it, I wrote a beginner's guide to Facebook along with helpful tips for using it effectively.

A beginner's guide to Facebook for non-profits

Chris Auer said...

Great post Emily, thanks for the information. We have put together a quick step by step on how organizations can create a Facebook page. Check it out if you have time! Keep up the good work!