Create a Nonprofit Facebook Page in 3 Easy Steps

Three simple steps on a stairway

Step 1: Contemplate

Ask your­self this ques­tion: “Why am I doing this?”

(This is a pret­ty good ques­tion to ask before doing most things.)

If you can’t answer that ques­tion clear­ly and specif­i­cal­ly, you should do more think­ing before you make a Page. Answers like “Because everybody’s doing it” and “Because some­body asked me why we’re not on Face­book” don’t count.

There’s been much dis­cus­sion of why and whether non­prof­its should cre­ate Pages, and I won’t dupli­cate that here. If you’re still think­ing this through you might find some of these resources help­ful:

How­ev­er, less has been writ­ten about how (in detail) to cre­ate a Page.

Is that because it’s easy? Maybe. If you’re already com­fort­able with Face­book. And you’re mild­ly geeky. And you know about all the set­tings a tweaks you should put in place when set­ting up your Page.

If you use the wrong tool Face­book reserves the right to take action up to and includ­ing dis­abling your per­sonal Face­book account.

Since a good num­ber of peo­ple aren’t all of those things, here’s a lit­tle help.

Step 2: Avoid a Serious Mistake

Before mess­ing with Face­book for your non­prof­it you real­ly, tru­ly need to under­stand the dif­fer­ences between Pro­files, Pages, and Groups. Why? Because if you use the wrong tool Face­book reserves the right to take action up to and includ­ing dis­abling your per­son­al Face­book account.

Is Face­book mean enough to do this?

I don’t know, and I don’t want to find out.

Do you?

There are good dis­cus­sions of the dis­tinc­tions at Mash­able and Wild Apri­cot. Here’s a sum­ma­ry of the sum­ma­ry.

Impor­tant: the dis­tinc­tions have been in flux over the last year, and unfor­tu­nate­ly Facebook’s offi­cial help on the top­ic is fleet­ing (they recent­ly delet­ed and didn’t replace what lit­tle advice they offered on the top­ic). So under­stand that the rules might change over time. You can find a more recent dis­cus­sion of the issue in my post, “Non­prof­it Pro­files, Groups, and Pages: Face­book Pol­i­cy”.

Profile”

  • Type: Per­son­al.
  • What it is: A space in Face­book rep­re­sent­ing an indi­vid­ual per­son.
  • Who may cre­ate it: You, for your­self, peri­od.
  • Warn­ings: You may not cre­ate a pro­file for a non­prof­it (or any oth­er) orga­ni­za­tion.

Page”

  • Type: Pro­fes­sion­al.
  • What it is: A space in Face­book rep­re­sent­ing a real pub­lic fig­ure, artist, brand or orga­ni­za­tion. Peo­ple with Face­book pro­files can become fans of Pages.
  • Who may cre­ate it: Offi­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the fig­ure, artist, brand, or orga­ni­za­tion.
  • Warn­ings: You may not cre­ate a pro­file for a fake orga­ni­za­tion. You may not cre­ate a pro­file for your­self unless you’re some sort of hot-dig­gi­ty fan­cy-pants famous-type per­son. (Which, by the way, you are almost cer­tain­ly not.)

Group”

  • Type: Infor­mal.
  • What it is: A space in Face­book rep­re­sent­ing pret­ty much any­thing that you think peo­ple might want to par­tic­i­pate in. It’s a place for peo­ple to share opin­ions, pic­tures, etc. on the top­ic in ques­tion. For exam­ple, groups are great for clubs, infor­mal events, and the like.
  • Who may cre­ate it: Any­one, for pret­ty much any­thing.

Step 3: All the Other Steps

Ok, so I’m cheat­ing a lit­tle on the count­ing thing.

3.1 Create Your Personal Profile

If you don’t already have a per­son­al pro­file, you’ll need one so that you can be your non­prof­it Page’s admin­is­tra­tor. In this case go to the login page and cre­ate an account for your­self.

3.2 Create Your Nonprofit’s Page

Get to the login page. (If your Face­book account logs you in auto­mat­i­cal­ly, you’ll need to log out to see the login page.) Click “Cre­ate a Page” at the bot­tom of the sign-up area.

Facebook Login Page

Face­book Login Page

Then under “Brand, Prod­uct, or Orga­ni­za­tion” pick “Non-Prof­it”.

Create New Page

Cre­ate New Page

Final­ly, promise that you’re autho­rized to rep­re­sent the orga­ni­za­tion then click “Cre­ate”.

Actually Create the Page

Actu­al­ly Cre­ate the Page

3.3 Enter Basic Information

Now you’ll see some­thing like this blank page:

Blank Facebook Page

Blank Face­book Page

Click “Edit Infor­ma­tion” at the upper right, fill in what­ev­er infor­ma­tion you’d like to, then click “Done Edit­ing” in the upper right.

Fill In Basic Information

Fill In Basic Infor­ma­tion

3.4 Upload a Picture

You should now see your home Page along with the basic infor­ma­tion you added. Move your cur­sor over that huge ques­tion mark image in the upper left and you’ll see “Change Pic­ture” appear. Click it.

Upload a Picture

Upload a Pic­ture

Your organization’s Pho­to Album will open with a mes­sage that there are no pic­tures. Click “Change Pro­file Pic­ture”.

Change Profile Picture

Change Pro­file Pic­ture

Under “Upload Pic­ture” click the Browse but­ton and find the pic­ture or logo that will rep­re­sent your orga­ni­za­tion. Once you’ve found it, cer­ti­fy that you have the right to use it and click Upload Pic­ture.

Face­book will auto­mat­i­cal­ly pick part of the pic­ture to be your thumb­nail. If you don’t like what it’s picked you can click the thumb­nail win­dow and drag the image until it’s the way you’d like it.

Dragging to Create Thumbnail Image

Drag­ging to Cre­ate Thumb­nail Image

Final­ly, click “Back to Edit­ing” in the upper right.

Back to Editing

Back to Edit­ing

3.5 Publish It

You should see a mes­sage at the top say­ing your Page hasn’t been pub­lished. Click “pub­lish this Page”.

Home Page Not Yet Published

Home Page Not Yet Pub­lished

3.6 Make Your Settings

You can get to a few of your set­tings by click­ing “Set­tings” near the top of your page—it has a lit­tle gear next to it.

But to see all the set­tings click “Edit Page” in the upper left:

Edit Page

Edit Page

Poke around in all of the set­tings to under­stand your options.

If noth­ing else you’ll want to think about your wall set­tings. Do you want fans to be able to post to your wall (i.e., more oppor­tu­ni­ty for inter­ac­tion and a sense of com­mu­ni­ty)? Or do you want edi­to­r­i­al con­trol of the site (i.e., less oppor­tu­ni­ty for peo­ple to post things on your wall that you wish they hadn’t post­ed, and that you have to clean up after)?

Here you can also define which tab from your Page peo­ple will arrive at by default.

Edit Wall Settings

Edit Wall Set­tings

3.7 Add Another Administrator

Q: What hap­pens if you get hit by a prover­bial bus? Or, worse, a tan­gi­ble one? Who will be able to admin­is­ter your organization’s Page?

A: Nobody.

The best way to avoid that kind of unwant­ed job secu­ri­ty is to add one or more addi­tion­al admin­is­tra­tors. While still in “Edit Page” mode, look at the right-hand col­umn of options. You’ll see a lit­tle box called “Admins” and your Face­book pro­file pic­ture. Click “Add” to give more peo­ple the right to admin­is­ter your Page.

Edit Right Sidebar

Edit Right Side­bar

Some Other Things to Try

(Optional) Create a Discussion

If you’d like you can cre­ate a new Dis­cus­sion area where peo­ple can… well… dis­cuss things and stuff. Just click the “Dis­cus­sions” tab at the top of your organization’s Page and then click “+ Start New Top­ic”.

(Optional) Create an Event

In the tabs at the top of your Page, click the big plus sign and choose Events, then click the “+ Cre­ate Event” but­ton and fill in the details.

The 'Create Event' Form Filled Out

The ‘Cre­ate Event’ Form Filled Out

Click the “Save” but­ton then pro­vide any oth­er details you’d like to, includ­ing invit­ing your Face­book friends to the event, then click “Fin­ish and View” in the upper right.

Finish and View

Fin­ish and View

Click your organization’s name in the upper left and you should see your organization’s Page includ­ing the new­ly cre­at­ed event.

(Optional) Blog on Facebook

The Notes fea­ture is like a lit­tle blog that posts only to your Face­book Page. To add a Note (i.e., to post to your Face­book blog), click the Plus tab at the top of your Page and choose “Notes”.

Add Notes Hover

Add Notes Hov­er

After adding the infor­ma­tion for your post, click the “Pub­lish” but­ton and your note will appear on your Page.

Note Created

Note Cre­at­ed

John Haydon’s blog has a great post on using Face­book Notes.

(Optional) Check out Facebook Insights

The Insights fea­ture is great for under­stand­ing your fan base. Look for “Insights” in the right col­umn of your Page and click “See All”. Note the the infor­ma­tion will be pret­ty dull until you’ve got a few fans and they’ve inter­act­ed with your Page.

(Optional) Promote Your Facebook Page on Your Website

Face­book gives you two easy ways to pro­mote your new Face­book Page on your web­site: Fan Box­es and Badges. These let you put lit­tle snip­pets of HTML code on your organization’s web page to cre­ate a link to your Face­book Page.

Click “Edit Page” in the upper right to go to your glob­al set­tings. Now look down the right-hand col­umn, near where you found your pic­ture in the Admins box. You’ll find a link to “Add Fan Box to your site” and anoth­er link to “Get Your Badge”.

Both of these are sim­i­lar in that they give you a snip­pet of code that you, or some­one geeki­er than you, can add to your organization’s home page. The dif­fer­ence is that a Fan Box is larg­er and includes the most recent addi­tions to your Page, where a Badge is small­er and just gives basic infor­ma­tion.

Here’s a Fan Box:

Fan Box

Fan Box

And here’s a Badge:

Badge

Badge

You might want to wait until you have some fans, though. Both the Fan Box and the Badge will show how many fans your Page has. (As in, “My Los­er Orga­ni­za­tion Has 0 Fans”.)

Happy Networking!

Post image cred­it: Temari 09

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