Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tapping Into Facebook

With such a wide variety of tools available to entertain and engage, it’s easy to see why Facebook has grown into a diverse online space of more than 200 million active users – young and old – from around the world. At its core, Facebook allows its users to connect with friends and (more importantly) their networks. However, Facebook has evolved to also connect organizations, constituencies, and like-minded groups – making it an extremely valuable tool for the non-profit community. You can create a page for your organization, post events, pose questions to your constituency, comment on responses, blog, video share, and link to interesting sites and articles – among other things.

There’s a substantial amount of material on the web about Facebook for non-profits. TechSoup provides a great starting point for beginners interested in launching a Facebook presence. After getting comfortable with your personal profile and creating a basic page for your organization, check out these very specific (but helpful) best practices for maximizing action and interaction on your non-profit page. Beth’s blog also offers a compilation of resources for non-profits to use Facebook effectively.

As with all new technologies, however, we’re learning that Facebook can’t do it all – well at least not yet. Folks got pretty jazzed when Facebook rolled out its fundraising tool, Causes, but the team at Blue State Digital explains why fundraising via Facebook has yet to prove itself. So while you may not raise millions overnight, you can build a constituency that can be tapped for resources – whether they be time, talent or treasure. The Timpano Group highlights what it considers to be some of the big fish and smaller fries in the non-profit community that are using Facebook successfully.

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