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”.


  • 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.


  • 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.)


  • 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:



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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