As in-kind donations and pro bono/skills-based volunteerism become more popular among corporate philanthropists, many companies are examining their core products, services and business expertise to see how they could be put to charitable use. In most cases, the situation is clear: A particular product or service can be used by a specific nonprofit in support of their programming, such as a donation of water purifiers given to a humanitarian group working to bring safe drinking water to rural villages.
But sometimes, the full beneficial uses of a product aren’t as easily seen or understood—by the company or the nonprofit. Such is the case with Facebook, the ubiquitous social network that virtually every charity is clamoring to leverage in their quest for donations. While everyone inherently knows the platform can be used to drive donations and garner supporters, it’s not eminently clear how to do that—the various tools, tabs and functions can be overwhelming, especially those in the older age brackets. Recognizing this, the company has tasked its own staff with developing tutorials to help nonprofits use the many sections and tools on the site to engage with supporters and get them to open their wallets.
To help charities start off 2017 with a bang, the company’s social good partnerships office—tasked with identifying ways to use the site for charity—posted on its website a list of a dozen ways nonprofits can use Facebook for fundraising. These range from the very basic—incorporating “donate” or “call-to-action” buttons on the organization’s page—to leveraging the newest technologies to livestream events. For example:
- They offer tips for optimizing their Facebook page. According to the company, the goal is to present content that is relevant and that engages viewers on a “human level.” That means using Facebook to celebrate achievements and milestones important to your organization or field of interest; posting engaging “behind-the-scenes” photos and videos that give supporters a better idea of what you do and how you do it; and using visual media to demonstrate tangible proof of your group’s on-the-ground impact.
- They explain the ins and outs of getting “verified.” Many organizations don’t understand that a “verified” page shows up higher in search results, which in turn attracts more visitors, and the “verified” badge lets visitors know the page is authentic, which builds trust among those worried about privacy breaches and other security concerns.
- It shows them how to leverage Facebook Events and Facebook Live. Both of these tools help nonprofits engage their supporters, turn them out for events and boost donations, and Facebook’s tutorials show them how to use them effectively.
- They explain the use of ads. Per the company, Facebook Ads can be a highly effective way to scale an organization because it enables it to reach outside existing communities to find new supporters, targeting individuals similar to existing supporters and generally getting posts seen by a wider audience. The company’s guidance walks nonprofits through every step in the process.
- They offer in-depth training. For organizations planning on leveraging the social network for maximum benefit, Facebook now offers specialized training. According to the company, Facebook Blueprint is a global training and certification program that allows participants to take free, self-paced online courses on a wide range of topics to gain a better insight into how to utilize the Facebook platform. Participants learn directly from Facebook experts in Blueprint Live sessions, and test their knowledge via exams on their way to earning a marketing certification from Facebook.
These are just a few of the things the company is doing to actively aid nonprofits in using the Facebook platform to raise funds and attract supporters. In doing so, Facebook has taken the notion of in-kind giving to a whole new level—and nonprofits everywhere can benefit.
For more information, visit nonprofits.fb.com.