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

There are 2 responses to this post.

By Nonprofit Profiles, Groups, and Pages: Facebook Policy » Blazing Moon on November 10, 2009 at 4:58 pm

[…] feel­ing is that in gen­eral a Face­book Page is the best approach, so I wrote instruc­tions on cre­at­ing one. But Groups have their place too. Some­times it makes sense to have both a Page and a Group if their […]

By Mainamuriithi on July 22, 2012 at 10:14 am

Blaz­ing moon is the best site for non profit organizations

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