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how-to-set-up-a-successful-nonprofit-facebook-page

How to Set Up a Successful Nonprofit Facebook Page

Danica

For nonprofit organizations, outreach and public support are critical to success. So it is no wonder that today, social media for nonprofits plays such a huge role for these organizations. There is no easier way to reach a wide audience in today’s world than through a well-managed social media page. Whether you are building a Facebook page as a first step into social media or looking to augment your LinkedIn for nonprofits, website blog, and Twitter for nonprofits strategy, understand that each platform offers its own unique benefits to nonprofits. 

Facebook provides an opportunity for organizations to share their stories and dramatically increase their engagement. Here is everything you need to know about Facebook for nonprofits, and how to set up a nonprofit page.

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Why Set Up A Facebook Page

Before worrying about how to set up your page, you want to know why Facebook for nonprofits is important. A Facebook presence is valuable for nonprofit organizations in a number of ways. 

Visibility

Facebook can serve as the anchor of your web presence for people who might be interested in your work. When people hear about your organization, they will take an interest and start searching for you online. 

Credibility

Having a visible, active Facebook page establishes legitimacy and gives people a means to state connected, get involved, or donate. Without a Facebook page, people might be unable to find you. The more active you are on Facebook, the more opportunities people will have to engage with your organization.

how-to-set-up-a-successful-nonprofit-facebook-page-why-set-upCorinne is ready to get her nonprofit's Facebook page up to snuff!

Branding

Once you have a bit of an audience, Facebook also provides you with a great branding opportunity. Think about how you want to be perceived, and develop a voice for your content that aligns with this vision. Because Facebook allows for more varieties of content than other social media platforms, (videos, photos, content from other organizations, straight text, podcasts, blogs, memes and more) this is a great place for branding.

Fundraising

Last, but certainly not least, is the great fundraising opportunities that Facebook provides. It is no secret that fundraising is a major part of any nonprofit’s success. And with Facebook, fundraising, when done right, can be easy and effective. Facebook recently added all new fundraising features for nonprofits, let’s look at this in a bit more detail.

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Facebook’s New Fundraising Features

If you are focused on fundraising, Facebook offers useful features to help you meet your goals.

Donate Button

With Facebook, visitors to your page can make donations with the simple click of a button. In the past and on other platforms, visitors would need to leave your page to make donations. These extra steps would often deter would-be donors, especially those who are using their cell phone (which is far more common now). But with Facebook, the process is simpler than ever. Visitors can be assured that any donation they give will go directly to your nonprofit organization.

Fundraising

In addition to a prominent "Donate" button, Facebook also provides your nonprofit with additional great fundraising opportunities. Nonprofits can also run fundraising campaigns through Facebook. A specific fundraising campaign gives your followers more purpose and motivation to make donations by displaying the goal, the progress, and engaging media with what the funds will accomplish and who will be impacted. These campaigns also provide you with an opportunity to highlight and raise funds for specific projects you are working on.

What’s better than you running a successful campaign? Having others help by doing it on your behalf! This is one feature that makes Facebook fundraisers so effective, individuals are enabled to fundraise on your behalf. Facebook’s peer-to-peer fundraising feature makes it easy for your followers to share your organization’s mission with their friends and family. A Facebook fundraiser is not only an active campaign to raise funds for your nonprofit. It is also an excellent opportunity to raise awareness and gain a wider, more engaged audience. This sort of activity, when done right, can only boost your nonprofit’s brand and image.

Payment Tracking

Facebook recently enabled the ability to track payments and donations. By sending receipts to all donors,  payments can be easily documented and recorded. As an added bonus, this makes it easy for nonprofit organizations to reach out and follow up with those who have donated to them. 

Pro Tip: In the past, users expressed concerns over the lack of transparency involved with Facebook fundraising. These new payment tracking procedures allow your organization to combat these fears.

Transparency is necessary when it comes to donations. Providing nonprofits with another opportunity to increase their audience engagement is just icing on the cake. Payment tracking facilitates outreach opportunities to thank donors and keep them engaged in future projects and campaigns.

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How To Create A Facebook Page

Now that you know why you should create a Facebook page, let's dive into how
you can create one!

Step #1: Create Page

The first step, obviously, is actually making your Facebook page. To do this, click on "Pages" on the left-hand sidebar, then click the "+ Create New Page" button.

Step #2: Select A Page Name And Category

Once you have your page, you need to give it a name. Typically, you want your page name to be the name of your organization. However, you can make slight adjustments to better suit your target audience on Facebook. For instance, the Make-a-Wish Foundation’s main Facebook page is "Make-a-Wish America", as its focus is the foundation’s American chapter.

You will also want to categorize your page as a "Business or Brand" when prompted. This will enable you to operate your page with all of the settings you will need.

Step #3: Customize Your Page

Now that you have your page, it is time to customize it to suit your requirements. Use this opportunity to find the most effective way to tell your story and inform visitors about your organization. This is all about identifying your voice and sharing the information and vision that are central to your organization. While there is no one-size-fits-all formula for customization, there are some guidelines you can follow to maximize your success. More on this later!

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How To Optimize Your Page

Getting your page set up to suit the needs and vision of your organization is an exciting opportunity. It can also be a crucial step in your process. You want your page to be informative and welcoming, and also to provide opportunities for engagement. While this will look different for every nonprofit, here are some steps you can follow to optimize your page.

Profile Picture

The first step is choosing your profile picture. Many organizations will use their logo. This can be a very effective choice if you want to catch the eye and stand out. A logo can help communicate your organization’s purpose while also drawing attention.

Other organizations will use an image to give their page a more personal feel. For instance, an animal shelter can use a picture of a dog, or environmental organizations can use plants or trees. Whatever your image is, it should communicate something about your organization’s purpose.

how-to-set-up-a-successful-nonprofit-facebook-page-profile-pictureOliver is framing up the perfect profile picture for his page.

Cover Image

In addition to, and separate from, your profile picture is your cover image. This is the banner image displayed at the top of your Facebook page. Many nonprofits use this space to advertise an ongoing fundraiser campaign, other events, or their catchphrase. Updating this regularly with current events will help maintain activity on your page and drive fundraising efforts consistently.

Pro Tip: If you are worried about creating effective designs for your header images, free design tools like Canva can be very useful.

About Us

The "About Us" section is your opportunity to tell visitors all about your nonprofit. This can be a bit tricky, though. You want to strike the right tone and balance between "informative" and "overwhelming." Too little text and visitors might leave feeling confused and uninformed. But superfluous text can drive visitors away. Ideally, you want to convey your organization’s mission and goals by adding your mission statement. This way visitors do not need to spend time figuring out who you are or why they should care. If your "About Us" is compelling, visitors and followers will want to learn more on their own.

URL

One last step for your page settings involves customizing your URL. Ideally, you should set your URL to be your organization’s name or at least something representative of it. This simply provides your page with a cleaner look, and also makes it easier for people to link to you.

Pro Tip: If your organization’s name is composed of multiple words, consider adding a "-" between each word. For example, the URL for an organization called "Dogs For Life" would show as "dogs-for-life."

Turn On "Similar Page Suggestions"

Once your page is set up just the way you like it, you will want to activate the "Similar Page Suggestions" setting. This will allow users to find your page after viewing similar content on Facebook. This is a simple yet effective way to grow your page traffic passively and organically.

Take Advantage of Facebook’s New Fundraising Features

Lastly, you will want to make sure you activate and get approved to use Facebook’s fundraising features, discussed above. This allows you to enjoy all the benefits of your fully optimized page and grow your brand from there.

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How To Build A Following

The last step to setting up a successful nonprofit Facebook page is growing your following. This is often the fun part, but that does not mean there is not work involved. Getting your page off the ground is not always easy. Here are a few early actions:

  • Start with the group of people who are most willing to support you. You know, the ones who have listened to you talk about your nonprofit dreams for years, your friends and family! 

  • If your organization has an existing newsletter, it absolutely pays to invite all your subscribers to your page (and invite them to like it in the next newsletter).

  • For organizations with an established presence on other social media platforms, ask your followers in other channels to give you a boost to help you establish your Facebook page.

Once you have established the foundation for your audience, it is time to start producing content. Get those creative juices flowing, this is where they will come into play. An effective nonprofit social media strategy will be active, engaging, and inspiring. A regular content schedule also shows that your organization is legitimate and actively working towards your goals and campaigns.

how-to-set-up-a-successful-nonprofit-facebook-page-build-a-followingSalma is feeling ecstatic about her nonprofit's following growing!

One of the great advantages of Facebook is that it supports a wide variety of content creation. Videos, images, and text posts are all options on Facebook. Just because it is available, does not mean it needs to overwhelm you. Identify what type of content works best on Facebook, and what works best for your nonprofit. Set a content strategy, be rigorous with your posting schedule, monitor results, and adapt if and when needed. Your content should be tailored to your goals and your audience.

For most nonprofits, the main goals of social media content are to inspire, interact, inform, and entertain your followers. You do not need to do each of these things in each post. Rather, an effective content strategy will incorporate these goals into regular distinct post types.

Pro Tip: Once you set your ideal posting schedule, you may find it easier to create content if you have a predetermined goal per post. For example, an organization that plans to post four times a week may choose a theme of sorts per post. Perhaps the first is meant to inspire followers to get involved. The second will inform followers about an issue relating to your cause. The third will provide light entertainment like a quiz or a fun video. Finally, the fourth might offer the audience a chance to interact directly with a member or other supporters of the organization through Facebook Live videos that facilitate interactive content. 

Other ways to grow your following include effective social media management. Hashtags can be used to cluster relevant content and make things easier to find. Some of the best hashtags for nonprofits include phrases like "#fundraising," "#givingback" "#love," or "#charity." Anything that promotes ideas of generosity and giving can be an effective general hashtag for nonprofits. More specific hashtags related directly to causes or campaigns are also a must.

Social media management itself can sometimes seem daunting. This is especially true when managing accounts. In addition to Facebook, you may want to investigate Instagram for Nonprofits, TikTok, LinkedIn, and more. Curating content that suits the audience, and posting it all at the right times, is not easy. Thankfully, many social media tools exist to reduce this burden for you. As you put the finishing touches on your Facebook for nonprofits strategy, be sure to incorporate best practices and some of the best social media management tools for nonprofits. These tools allow you to customize and monitor content analytics, and schedule posting times across different platforms. This way you can keep your content organized and focus on more important things.

That is everything you need to know to get started on running a successful nonprofit Facebook page. If you found this guide helpful, check out these other guides for nonprofits on social media: 

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Communication & Marketing
Danica