Monday, August 17, 2009

How To: Create an Organizational Facebook Page

By now, you’ve probably heard it over and over again—social media is changing the face of communication. Here at New Voices, we’ve seen social media, including Facebook, change the face of science communication and advocacy. Top science and research advocacy organizations, like the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association, have attracted large numbers of supporters using Facebook, including over 160,000 members for the American Cancer Society!

So how should a non-profit go about using Facebook to increase their reach on the internet? An informal survey of non-profits using Facebook revealed that the best pages are set up as Fan Pages, as opposed to Group Pages. Fan Pages are more interactive, and provide Facebook users with more opportunities than Group Pages. Any authorized representative of a business, non-profit, or organization can set up a Fan Page. We’ll give you a quick crash course. (Tip: before you create a Fan Page, you will need to have a personal Facebook page.)

To create a Facebook Fan Page:
  1. Visit to get started.
  2. Determine your Page category. Most New Voices readers’ organizations would probably fall under the Brand, Product, or Organization category. This is where you’ll find sub-categories like ‘non-profit,’ ‘government’ and ‘technology product / service.’
  3. Enter the name of your organization in the box and sign the authorization release. (Tip: you must sign the authorization release with the same name you used to create your personal Facebook page.)
Now it’s time to set up your page so it will set you apart from the crowd. For advice, New Voices turned to the Wild Apricot, a blog that provides tools and advice for volunteers, webmasters and administrators of associations and nonprofits. Wild Apricot suggests adding Applications to your Facebook page. Applications allow Facebook users even more opportunities to interact with your organization.

One of the most popular Applications for non-profits is Causes on Facebook, also referred to as ‘Causes.’ Causes allows your organization to recruit more Facebook users, keep them up to date with your organization’s latest information, and raise money for your organization if it is a registered U.S. or Canadian non-profit organization. The American Heart Association has raised over $10,000 for its beneficiaries! To get started with Causes, visit the Causes homepage and click ‘Start a Cause’ under the ‘Find a Cause’ tab.

When you’re on Facebook, don’t forget to visit the Your Congress-Your Health and Research!America fan pages.

See you on Facebook!

This is Part 3 of our Facebook How To Series.
Part 1: Using Facebook as an Advocacy Tool
Part 2: Using Facebook Advertising to Raise Awareness


  1. How do you add a cause onto your fan page. i have been through these instructions but the cause appears on my profile instead.

    please help!!

  2. Great question--the distinction between the personal page and the Fan Page is tricky. You need to be an administrator of your organization's Fan Page to add the Causes application.

    If you are an administrator, go to your organization's Fan Page and follow these steps:
    -Click 'Edit Page' underneath the Fan Profile picture.
    -Go to the very bottom of the page to the box that says 'More Applications.' Click on the pencil in the upper right hand corner of the box. Click 'Browse More.'
    -Here you will see all the applications you could add to your Fan Page. You can find the Causes application by typing 'Causes' in the search box.
    -Click on the Causes application and you will be taken to the Causes page. Click 'Add to my Page' under the Causes picture. Here you can select the organization's Fan Page.

    Now you can go back to the Fan Page and promote the application.
    -Go back to your organization's Fan Page.
    -Click the double-right arrow (>>) on the tabs bar. You should see the Causes application pop up. Click it to add it to the Fan Page.

    This should get you up and running. Let up know how this goes . . . Good luck on your Facebook endeavors.