What Facebook’s News Feed Changes Mean for Nonprofits

ActionSprout will be monitoring how the changes to the Newsfeed are impacting nonprofits and NGOs around the world and reporting back frequently, but here are our initial thoughts.

On January 11th 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced some changes to Facebook that are designed to alter what people see in their Facebook News Feed.

Does the idea of yet another change to the News Feed make you nervous? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’ve heard from lots of people who are bracing themselves for the worst. But don’t let this change worry you. Let it motivate you!

At ActionSprout we believe this change will help nonprofits and causes which create content people value in a big way.

Here’s why!

Over the years we have seen thousands of nonprofits transform their Facebook Pages and blow their goals out of the water with one simple strategy — a strategy that is about to become even more powerful. It can be summed up in two words: engagement and engagement! That means posting captivating content and deepening your relationship with your community day in and day out. We have crunched the data from five billion data points and this path to success on Facebook just keeps getting clearer every day. This change to the algorithm is just the latest move from the company to put the power to decide what people see on Facebook into the hands of their friends and family.

The changes Zuckerberg announced will pay off in a big way for all of you who’ve been focusing on engaging your audience. Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll likely see your reach soar! After all, this change means that there will be more room in the news feed for the kind of engaging content you’re already creating. In short, your content will be put in front of more people!

The flip side is that we are pretty sure that Facebook Page managers who focus mostly on reach and fan count metrics will see a considerable drop in performance. This drop might be twenty-five percent or maybe fifty percent. We don’t know. But we’re pretty sure that if you’re not focused on engagement, now is the time to make the change.

But the changes don’t stop with the News Feed. The power of Facebook Groups will only become stronger in 2018. Why? Because Facebook’s number one goal is to ensure that people see the content they value most. Nearly every post made in a group is created by a person who cares deeply about the topic of the group. In other words, posts from Groups will get greater prominence in the news feed as these changes roll out.

Having a vibrant Facebook Group full of volunteers, staff, and supporters sharing stories related to a cause will become a more powerful strategy for growing reach and engagement.

Tactically here is what organizations should start doing or do more of to take advantage of these changes:

  1. Make sure you are focused on curating engaging stories each day and monitoring which posts are getting the most engageme , and in particular shares. Use ActionSprout to find them. You can never post too much engaging content!

  2. Respond to as many comments as you can to encourage the people that are most engaged on your Page to do more in the future. This means responding both to people who comment on your posts and the people who follow up on those comments. Get your staff on board to help you build a larger and more active community.

  3. Create a Facebook Group to connect and foster engagement between you and your most involved Facebook community members and supporters.

  4. Pay to promote. Yes, we are saying you should spend a bit of money on Facebook ads. But, no, we do not believe you should boost every post. Facebook is not making this change to force you to pay to get your content in front of your supporters. But when used correctly, Facebook ads are an incredibly powerful and inexpensive way to grow your community, reach, and influence. But remember, only boost posts that have a lot of comments or shares. Work with the algorithm, don’t fight it by paying to promote posts that have a low engagement rate. That’s what the algorithm is working to suppress. You can’t win that fight!

  5. Give people meaningful actions to do from Facebook that they want to share with friends because it reflects positively on them when they do. Things that obviously add value to their friends lives and contribute to making the world a better place.

Ps. In case you missed it, we repeated the word Engage or Engagement seven times in this article. After counting, we realize that really isn’t enough. So, we leave you with this: engage, engage, engage, engage, engage!!!!!

How to find your university’s alumni on Facebook

Western Washington University (WWU) uses Facebook to reach and connect with alumni living across the globe. Their team works hard to identify and tag those who engage with their Facebook posts so that they can track their engagement and build relationships. From there they can target alumni about fundraising and events that support WWU.


WWU Alumni Association’s mission is to strengthen WWU by building strong and caring relationships among their students, alumni, friends and the greater University community. Through these relationships WWU is able to raise money, host events that connect students with alumni and foster a community that changes student’s lives and help them reach their full potential.


The goals of WWU Alumni Association are:

  • Reach and identify WWU alumni on Facebook in order to grow their alumni network
  • Engage alumni with compelling content to remind them how much they love WWU
  • Bring them into the alumni fold and build productive relationships that benefit the university
  • Tap the alumni network to meet ongoing fundraising goals


  • Reached nearly 10,000 people with a single shared trending post in 24 hours. (For context their Facebook page has just over 6,000 page likes!)
  • Identified over 60 new alums they didn’t have in their records yet from a single post!
  • Boosted posts for as little as $20 each, and reach nearly 28,000 people in 22 countries


ActionSprout’s Inspiration feature empowers Facebook page managers to take back control of their reach. Instead of spending time guessing what audiences might enjoy, the tool tells you! You’re provided with daily trending content that is proven to reach and engage people on Facebook today.

The WWU Alumni Association follows over 200 Facebook pages through the tool. These pages are related to their work and local university community and share a similar audience. Inspiration then shows them only the top trending Facebook posts from these pages. Their staff can then browse through the content and choose which posts to share on their own Facebook page.

alumni on Facebook

Because this content is already proven to engage similar people on Facebook, there is a good chance it will perform well on WWU’s page too. You can think of it as low “risk” content. This is how WWU reaches and engages tens of thousands of alumnis on Facebook without spending an arm and a leg on Facebook ads!

ActionSprout’s Timeline feature on the other hand, can help you know when to spend money on ads if you have the budget. The best way to find success with Facebook ads is to only boost your top, most engaging posts. Facebook’s news feed and ads feed algorithms are very similar. Therefore if a post is doing well in the news feed, it’s likely to do well as an ad. This means lower cost per result, $1 and under, and reaching more of your target audience!

Using these two content features together, WWU Alumni Association shares content that reaches more alumni without the need for ad spend. And when they do spend their ad dollars, they know they are doing so in the most efficient way possible.

“We use it everyday and I have boosted posts on the stats ActionSprout provides to get immediate results!”

We mentioned at the beginning that WWU Alumni Association was applying alumni tags to the folks who engaged with their posts. By applying these tags, WWU easily tracks who’s who on their Facebook page.

alumni on Facebook

This is especially helpful when replying to comments using Comments Inbox! At a glance, the WWU staff knows if the comment came from an alumni or not and can reply accordingly.

alumni on Facebook

They can also choose to filter their Facebook audience by tag and only take a look at alumnis:

Campaign Creative:

This post alone helped them reach and identify over 60 WWU alumnus! Notice how they frame the article and pose a question to alumni to engage them in the comments.

alumni on Facebook

alumni on Facebook

Campaign lessons and takeaways

1) Lean into sharing other’s trending content.

We know this can be a difficult best practice to wrap your head around, let alone, get your boss on board with, but it really does work! The key is to make sure you’re following related pages that share content that could be shared on your page as well. It’s important to keep in mind that sharing content is one of the biggest functions of social media. Therefore sharing other’s content won’t make your organization look like they’re stealing or being lazy!

2) Include commentary, pose a question and start a conversation.

When sharing other’s trending content, be sure to include your own thoughts and commentary with the post. Why should your audience care? Is this good or bad news for the community? This helps frame the content for your audience and invites them into the conversation. This is how WWU is able to keep identifying “new” alumni not yet recorded in the comments section.

3) Only promote content that is already engaging. Very few have a budget that allows casual, carefree spending on Facebook ads. Instead, most organizations need to squeeze every ounce of value out of their ad dollars. The best way to do so is only spend money to promote posts that engaged more people than average. The Timeline feature inside of ActionSprout clearly shows you which of your page’s posts have engaged more people than average so you know if and when to boost.

Getting Started with ActionSprout

Want to use ActionSprout’s tools to reach and engage your own community on Facebook? Sign up for a Free account and get started today!

This guide will walk you through the steps to set up Inspiration and start sharing trending content. Or learn more about Timeline, and how it can help you analyze your page’s content, here. Using these two hand in hand, like WWU, can have a big impact on the reach and success of your Facebook page.

Leveraging Facebook to Persuade Global Leaders to Invest in Peace

A coalition reached over 300,000 Canadians on Facebook, engaging them in a grassroots effort to oppose increased military spending.

When world powers asked countries to increase their military spending, Canadian NGOs turned to Facebook and ActionSprout to urge their Prime Minister to invest in peace, not further military spending.

On September 4th, 2017, as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walked into the NATO leaders summit, he knew that 2,400 Canadians were watching. He received their letter urging him to oppose NATO’s 2% military spending and promote Canadian peacebuilding alternatives instead.


Public Response is a digital agency that serves leading nonprofits and unions in online engagement and government relations. Their coalition for this campaign included International Peace Bureau, Rideau Institute, Science for Peace, Conscience Canada, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, Group of 78, Ceasefire.ca and Physicians for Global Survival.

Ahead of the annual NATO leaders summit, the groups contributed to a Facebook advertising campaign promoting their letter through ActionSprout. They reached 10,000 people for every $100 spent on advertising.

Campaign goals:

The coalition needed to use grassroots pressure to persuade Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to oppose NATO’s 2% military spending demand and promote Canadian peacebuilding alternatives instead.

Leveraging Facebook


The campaign used video and an open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau to:

  • Reach over 300,000 Canadians on Facebook;
  • Receive 51,000 video views;
  • Gather over 2,400 signatures on an open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau opposing military spending increases;
  • Gain national media coverage from Postmedia’s David Pugliese.
  • Improve media coverage on military spending, such as CTV Question Period.


The coalition used a Facebook advertising campaign to promote their video and open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau. They gave people a voice promoting peacebuilding over international military spending over ten days. The letter received:

  • 2,434 signatures
  • 26% conversion rate
  • 5,263 shares on Facebook

According to Steve Staples, the president of Public Response:

“The big surprise was how strong the leads generated by the ActionSprout app are! These folks have remained committed to working with us and we continue to cultivate the list and engage with people on this and related issues. This is demonstrated by the open rate and CTR that are roughly DOUBLE what I would have expected.”

How was ActionSprout used?

Public Response used ActionSprout’s Social Actions feature to create the open letter to Trudeau. Social Actions generate leads built around Facebook and mobile device viewing. As Steve states:

“ActionSprout provided us with an effective call-to-action for our Facebook advertising campaign. We sent thousands of messages to the government, and are now connected with an amazing community of people who want to continue to work with us on peace issues.”

Public Response securely stored the names and email addresses in the their ActionSprout account where they could be exported and used anytime.

Campaign creative:

Their Facebook post:

And the full letter after the link was clicked:

Campaign lessons and takeaways

1.The letter used only two sentences to communicate its mission.

If folks don’t get your message immediately, they won’t spend time trying to figure it out. It’s crucial to concisely sum up your topic and call to action. Not only is it important in the post, but also in the action. Keep it short,on topic and easy to understand!

2.The call to action was clear, concise and actionable.

The letter included a single request of the viewer and was an easy lift. From our experience, you can consistently expect folks to complete one action at a time. Focusing on the single most important ask is key to success and high completion rates. You can always follow up later with secondary asks now that you have their email address!

3.The message was shareable. People on Facebook share content because it defines them as an individual, contains useful information and they believe it will make a real difference. Let’s look at those in more detail.

First, people share content that helps them tell a story about themselves. We share things that build up the person we want others to see us as. In this case, I’m someone who desires less military spending, and more investing in peace and people.

Second, by sharing a post, people wish to benefit their friends and family. Whether that is sharing important news and information, or simply helping them to smile or laugh that day.

Lastly, we share content because we genuinely think that by sharing it, we can help spread the word and make real change.

Who sees what and why on Facebook

Nonprofits on Facebook have a mission. You want to reach and engage hundreds, if not thousands, of people every day. You’re also on a tight budget, and have real urgency behind your message.

You may think that Facebook is working against you achieving your goal. We’ve heard the complaints: suppressed reach, no free ad dollars, blocking posts unless you pay. Sound familiar?

This post will clear up these misunderstandings. Simply put, it’ll help you reach more people for free on Facebook.

Let’s get this learning started!

Page Likes and Page Follows

There’s a difference between page Likes and Follows. Your supporters can Like you or Follow you — or both. The difference is showing their public support (Liking) vs. receiving posts in their feeds (Following).

When you first Like a page, you will also be Following it by default. Following a page means you’ll receive their posts in your news feed.

In the example above, Steve’s support for ActionSprout is private for he hasn’t Liked the page. But he still receives our posts in his news feed because he is Following the page. Anyone can choose to both Like and Follow a page, or opt for just one or the other.

What happens to page posts

You’ve likely noticed that not all of your page followers see all of your posts. Facebook delivers your posts to the people who follow you first, but chooses a subgroup of your fans it thinks will enjoy the post the most. They’re the only people who see it.


There’s too much content for everyone to see everything anymore — those days are long gone! Facebook’s number one job is to protect every user’s news feed including your own. This means playing matchmaker between people and posts.

Facebook can show you 1,750 plus posts each time you login. Nobody has time for that!

So Facebook serves up a short list of posts you’re likely to enjoy. They stick these posts at the top of your news feed and let you discover the rest if you scroll through your feed long enough.

Your goal is to get your posts placed on the short list. It’s easier said than done, but practice makes perfect!

What low reach actually means

Low Facebook reach means your content isn’t picked to be at the top of supporters’ news feeds. Facebook’s algorithm determined that your content isn’t the first thing supporters want to see.


It could be that supporters stopped engaging with your page’s content. If supporters scroll past posts for long enough, it’s signals lack of interest. Facebook wants to make people happy, so these folks will see less from your page…or nothing at all.

When your reach goes down, you get to figure out what content matches your supporters’ interests. It could be you have the wrong audience of people who aren’t likely to be interested, or that your content strategy just needs a little TLC. This is a time to test new content!

Facebook reach: organic, paid or viral

We’ve described organic reach above. This is when Facebook chooses which of your page Followers to show a post to. To increase organic reach, focus on getting content at the top of your audience’s feeds. Think about your target audience (people most likely to care about your mission) and talk authentically to them.

You can also use Facebook ads to reach more people. And you guessed it, it’s called paid reach. Paying Facebook to reach more people captures more current page followers, and also gets you in front of new faces. It’s a powerful strategy for organizations that can budget $50 or more a month on Facebook ads.

It’s natural to look at your posts with low reach and want to boost them. Don’t do it! Facebook already figured out that they don’t move people. A bad avocado is still a bad avocado, even if it’s at the top of the pile.

Long story short: Save your ad dollars to promote the posts that work already. You’ll reach and engage more people and your money will go much, much further.

Now let’s talk viral reach: Reaching people outside of our current follower base. When a supporter engages with your content, it reaches their network of friends who may not know about your organization or cause. These new faces are much more likely to dig in to your cause because a trusted friend cares about it. To increase viral reach, post stuff that’s useful or gives people ways to change the world. They will be more likely to engage with and share this content with others.

Final thoughts: Facebook is social

The moral of the story? Work with Facebook, not against it. Facebook is a social network, so work with your followers.

Listen to them, serve them, build human relationships with them and talk with them, not at them. PSA style posts never perform as well as thoughtful, conversational content! Respond to their comments and questions and think of them as an extended part of your organization because they are! The rest will fall into place in time.

Nonprofit Facebook page templates: What you need to know

If your organization’s Facebook page is categorized as a “non profit organization”, you may have received a message about the new nonprofit page template. On June 19 Facebook will automatically switch all nonprofit pages to the new template.

This has left folks with many, many questions:

  • “What does the new template look like?”
  • “How is it different from what I have now?”
  • “How can I opt out??”
  • “Where can I get more information?!”

The purpose of this guide is to answer all those questions and then some. By the end you will have all the information you need to be ready for the switch at the end of the month.

Previewing the new templates

Any Facebook page admin can preview what the new nonprofit template will look like right now.

To do so first navigate to your Facebook page and click the settings button in the top right corner.

Nonprofit Facebook page templates

Then select edit page from the left hand menu:Nonprofit Facebook page templates

On the following page, click the edit button to open the templates menu:

Nonprofit Facebook page templates

Inside the templates menu you’ll find a view details button on each type of template. Locate the Nonprofit template and select this button:

Nonprofit Facebook page templates

You’ll now be able to scroll through a summary of what this new template holds:Nonprofit Facebook page templates

Switching now

Page managers also have the option of switching to the new template now! If you’re interested, just select nonprofits from the list of templates and confirm the switch. Once done, Facebook will ask you if you’d like to start a tour of the new layout:

Nonprofit Facebook page templates

This takes you back to your Facebook page and a guided tour:

Nonprofit Facebook page templates

Further page editing controls

Underneath the option to edit your page template, you’ll find the option to edit the tabs on your Facebook page. Clicking the settings button opens this option and also gives you a direct link to that tab. How cool is that?!

Nonprofit Facebook page templates

Under the list of current tabs on your Facebook page you’ll also see the option to add tabs. Just click Add a Tab button:

Nonprofit Facebook page templates

Once you’re happy with your page’s tabs, you have the power to drag and drop them into any order you’d like:Nonprofit Facebook page templates

Opting out of the nonprofit page template

To opt out of the change, log into Facebook on or after June 19. Navigate to the edit page menu as laid out above. The nonprofit template will be your page’s new template. To switch back, click the edit button:

Nonprofit Facebook page templates

Scroll until you find Standard and click the View details button:

Nonprofit Facebook page templates

Scroll to the bottom and click the Apply Template button:

Nonprofit Facebook page templates

It will then ask you to confirm. Click okay:

Nonprofit Facebook page templates

Now the new template is applied:

Wrap up While this may feel like a big switch for nonprofits on Facebook, we don’t believe it will be in the long run. It’s important to keep in mind that Facebook is still testing their page templates idea. This could be a new feature that sticks around, or it could quietly leave like other failed tested features on the platform.

It’s also important to remember that very few of your supporters ever visit your Facebook page, let alone spend time there. People engage with your posts in their news feed and use your Facebook page to find your website, addresses, phone number, etc. In short, page templates are a nice improvement but probably won’t make a huge difference to organizations.

Facebook ad rules: Do More Good With Less Work

Don’t have time to check your ads, ad sets, and campaigns on a daily basis? Then you need to try Facebook’s new automated ad rules!

All you have to do is tell Facebook what to check, when to make changes, and what those changes should be… and voila! You have your own automated ad assistant. Or if you’d rather personally make adjustments on the fly, you can also request notifications to keep you in the loop if and when certain things occur.

Either way, Facebook just gave nonprofits like you a ton of new power on their ads platform!

But power is only good if you know how to use it, right? So let’s talk logistics. Here’s exactly how to set it up.

Creating New Ad Rules

To get started, open your Facebook Ads Manager or Power Editor. (In this example, we’ll be using Ads Manager.)

On the first screen, right when you login, you should see a Create Rule button in the middle of the page under the Campaigns tab.

automated rules facebook

Choose which ads you want this rule to apply to. You can choose a particular campaign, ad set, or ad, or you can choose to apply the rule more broadly.

automated rules facebook

Next, choose what action you’d like to happen once the rule is triggered. This can range from sending you a notification to automatically adjusting the budget or bid amount for the ad in question.

automated rules facebook

Now you need to choose the condition under which your action will be triggered. Facebook gives us a ton of options here, so spend some time digging into this menu to discover your options.

automated rules facebook

You’ll also need to choose the time range and attribution window for this rule. The time range is the number of days’ worth of data you’d like the rule to apply to. The attribution window allows you to track actions taken during a particular span of time.

automated rules facebook

Lastly, choose how to receive notifications and name the new rule.

automated rules facebook

And look at that: You’ve created an ad rule!

automated rules facebook

Managing Existing Ad Rules

Rules can then be managed by clicking the down arrow and choosing Manage Rules. You’ll find this right next to the Create Rule button when you login to Ads Manager or Power Editor.

automated rules facebook

From there you’ll be taken to a new screen, where you can turn rules on or off, make changes, or even delete rules.

Automated rules Facebook

Select the Activity tab at the top to see a list of all rules and details about each one. Automated rules Facebook

And that’s all there is to it. So go log into your Facebook ads account and give this new feature a spin. You can also find more info and resources here or email us if you have any questions: info@actionsprout.com

Facebook Town Hall features now available to nonprofits

Please note: This feature is currently only available to US users of Facebook.

Earlier this year, Facebook quietly released a new feature called Town Hall that they hoped would encourage US users to become more involved in elections.

“The feature is available to all U.S. users on desktop and mobile, and will now include News Feed integration….Facebook also announced it’s launching local election reminders for the first time, to encourage users to vote in state, county, and municipal elections.”

For the most part, this hasn’t been a very visible feature so far. Most users of the site probably didn’t even notice the new “Town Hall” icon in their left hand menu:

facebook town hall

But, that may be about to change. Facebook pages with the category of “non profit organization” now have the option to include a call to action, to contact a representative, in their Facebook posts.

That’s right. Your nonprofit Facebook page can add a Contact button to your posts that points to a representative supporters can start a conversation with.

Let’s look at all the bells and whistles of this exciting new feature, shall we?

Getting started

As the screenshot below shows, nonprofits now have a “Town Hall” icon they can select to add the call to action:

facebook town hall

Start typing a name and Facebook will suggest matching representatives on Facebook:

facebook town hall

Once you’ve selected your representative you’ll have the opportunity to fill out the rest of the post. This is a great place to include your theory of change! State the issue at hand, layout a reasonable solution and give supporters an easy way forward to help make a meaningful difference. Like contacting their local Reps!

facebook town hall

Here’s an example of what the post will look like once published.

A couple of things make this post really unique. First, we see a cute phone icon and “Contacting Senator Maria Cantwell” at the top of the post. Next we can see how many people have already contacted this representative. Lastly we find a call to action button embedded right on the post: facebook town hall

When supporters click the Contact button, they will be shown a screen with some options to do so. Do note: there is an option to start a conversation using Facebook Messenger!

facebook town hall

When a supporter selects the Share button, they are able to create their own call to action post encouraging their friends to reach out to this representative as well.

facebook town hall

Now you’re probably wondering, “But what happens if the person I select isn’t one of my supporters’ representatives?” The answer is, Facebook has your back!

In the example below we’re looking at a call to action to contact a state representative from Texas. Because I don’t live in Texas, Facebook doesn’t give me the contact button like before. Instead that button prompts me to find my Reps.

facebook town hall

Doing so takes me to the Town Hall page inside of Facebook. At the top of the screen Facebook has found 10 of my representatives on Facebook. I have options to follow these people or start a conversation. I’ll also see how many of my Facebook friends have connected with a representative in the past. In this case I have 52 Facebook friends who have.

facebook town hall

Wrap up

It’s not hard to see that this is one of Facebook’s many responses to the 2016 and 2017 elections in the US and European Union. It will be very interesting to see how this succeeds, or not, in getting more people involved in their country’s elections.

More interesting though, will be how nonprofit Facebook pages step up and leverage this powerful feature! Unlike Facebook the company, you and your organization probably have a much closer relationship with your audience of supporters. This puts you in a very unique, and powerful position, to drive and influence behaviors in your supporters. So take your newfound knowledge and go make the world a better place, you nonprofit hero you!

Nonprofits: Stop using “fake” profiles to access a Facebook page

Does your nonprofit uses “fake” or dummy Facebook logins to access your organization’s Facebook page? If so, you’ll need to switch to your team’s real Facebook profiles… TODAY.

Why so urgent?

Facebook is cracking down hard on fake accounts. Following the 2016 US presidential election and subsequent elections across the European Union, Facebook is under increasing pressure to go after anyone using its platform to perpetuate false information.

What’s their plan of attack? Well, first on their list is cracking down on fake profiles. Even though most fake logins aren’t created nefariously, if your nonprofit uses one, you will be caught in this sweep.

As Reuters reports,

“Facebook said it would go after amplifier accounts based on behavioral analysis that shows signs of inauthenticity.”

In other words, if their systems finds any fake profiles, they will shut them down. No questions asked. And if those profiles were your only way to access your nonprofit’s Facebook page? You’re fresh out of luck. Granted, you could try to work with them to regain access, but that often takes weeks or even months. What if you have events, fundraising efforts, or stories to promote in the meantime? Trust us. You don’t want to find yourself in this situation. We’ve seen it happen to way too many nonprofits, and it’s not pretty.

That’s why we created this article. We’re here to walk you through everything you need to know to help protect your nonprofit from losing access to its Facebook page.

Make the time, make the change, and save yourself the headache.

Facebook Pages and Personal Profiles

According to Facebook’s Terms of Service, you’re only suppose to operate a Facebook nonprofit page via a real Facebook profile. A lot of people think they can (or even should) set up a separate personal profile to avoid a presumed public connection with a page, but Facebook specifically does not want you to do that. If you do, it makes it that much harder for them to determine who’s being sketchy and who’s not.

Your one real, personal profile is suppose to be your key to all of your other activity on Facebook. The platform was specifically designed to work this way, with your personal data kept completely safe and separate from any public groups and affiliations you operate. Your profile isn’t publicly tied to those other pages in any way.

As a matter of fact, using real profiles is actually more secure for your organization overall. For instance, let’s look at the six different types of page roles you can assign a teammate:

facebook page roles

As you can see, you can limit access to different portions of your Facebook page depending on how much access that teammate needs. This is especially important for new employees, interns, volunteers, and other helpers..

One of the major problems with fake profiles is that they’re often given full administrative access without regard to these important distinctions. This can quickly become a nightmare if someone leaves the organization, is unhappy for some reason, or would like to otherwise put your Facebook page at risk, from the inside out.

By using your teammates’ real names and assigning them appropriate roles, you can also help keep track of who did what. For example, if something gets deleted that shouldn’t have, and it was done using a fake profile, it’s impossible to know who really performed that activity.

Why put your organization through an internal witch hunt when simply using real profiles could’ve cleared up that confusion in the first place? Again, we’ve heard too many horror stories…

Making the Fix

Fixing this issue will take you less than five minutes. Seriously.

First of all, there is no limit to the number of profiles you can give page access to. That said, only admins on the page may give those permissions to others.

If you’re an admin for the page, simply follow these instructions to start granting access to the appropriate parties:

Click Settings at the top of your Facebook page.

Click Page Roles in the left column.

facebook page roles menu

Type a name or email in the box. a. If the person is your Facebook friend, begin typing their name and select them from the list that appears. b. If the person isn’t your Facebook friend, type the email address associated with their Facebook account.

add a page role

Click Editor to select a role from the dropdown menu.

Click Save and enter your password to confirm.

That’s it!

This teammate will now receive a notification letting them know they have been given permission to access the page. Now, when they log into Facebook using their normal personal profile, they will be able to easily access and navigate to that page, like this:

pages menu

Once you’re finished adding everyone who should have access (with their real personal profiles), make sure to remove any fake profiles that still have access to the page. If you leave those profiles up, they could cause unnecessary risk to your organization. Be safe, not sorry.

And remember, when you need to add someone in the future, use their real profiles and follow the steps above. You can even bookmark this guide to help.

Wrap up

The days of using fake Facebook profiles are quickly coming to an end. While nonprofits often don’t mean any harm by creating them, they are against Facebook’s Terms of Service and how they’ve specifically designed their platform. With the sheer number of pages on Facebook (40-million to be exact!), Facebook simply doesn’t time to sort through which fake profiles are being used for good or ill.

Your best bet is to simply follow the Terms of Service, and it’s too your benefit, too.. Don’t put yourself and your nonprofit at serious risk of losing page access, not mention getting on a Facebook list of people who are truly up to no good.

If you ever have questions or concerns please reach out to us at info@actionsprout.com

Blow Your Fundraising Goals Out of the Water!

4/26 Update: 8,635 backers pledged $353,461 to help bring this project to life.

Reaching 100 percent of your fundraising goal is a pretty good feeling. But how would you feel if your organization reached 25 times that?

Rachael Zoe Miller is the co-founder and Executive Director of The Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean. For the past year, she’s been focusing their communication strategy squarely on Facebook. Now their page has become the primary and most frequent way they connect with supporters, share information about the cause, and inspire action to help protect the world’s oceans.

On March 28, Miller launched the group’s first Kickstarter campaign in support of its new Cora Ball, which captures microfibers shed off our clothing while in the washer.

Fundraising Goals

They primarily advertised the campaign through the project’s active Facebook page. But Miller had no idea just how active it really was.

The initial goal was $10,000. She thought maybe they’d reach in a couple weeks or so. Imagine her surprise when it took only three hours later to reach that amount! At the time of this publication, more than 6,000 people have pledged over $250,000, and counting…

Why was this campaign so successful? Facebook. And we can prove it.

The Perfect Kickstarter Jumpstart

With an already active Facebook community, this Kickstarter not only got off the ground easily—it rocketed off.

“Our awesome and enthusiastic community jumped in right at the launch! Because of their amazing and immediate response, we managed to get on Kickstarter’s popular page on that first day. From there, things started snowballing, mostly via Facebook!”

Nonprofits know that change comes from reaching the right people at the right time and with the right message. Today Facebook gives organizations an incredible opportunity to do just that, and on a huge scale.

The project’s Facebook page accounted for 30 percent of the project Kickstarter traffic and monetary support.

“Facebook has been our single biggest source for pledges. I am sure it is the ease with which people could share our story that made Facebook the fastest vehicle for spreading the word about our Kickstarter.”

The fact that this fast support led to a feature on the Kickstarter page was likely the tipping point into “mainstream” awareness for the cause. As a result, NowThis featured them in a video, Martha Stewart featured the Cora Ball on her sites, and Kickstarter itself choose to feature the Cora Ball under Projects We Love and Project of the Day.

None of this would have been possible without the initial support from their Facebook community.

How Did She Do It?

Fundraising Goals

A year before Cora Ball was launched on Kickstarter, Miller recognized the potential of Facebook. She knew that, to be truly successful online in the way she envisioned, her organization would need a strong Facebook presence and community. That’s why she threw herself into learning as much as she could about Facebook best practices and strategies.

We asked her what helped her the most and what what she’d recommend to others. Here are her top tips:

Post content your audience loves to engage with.

If a post falls flat, learn from it! Ask yourself: Why didn’t this post take off like others?

“Our breakthrough moment came from an ActionSprout webinar when I learned that you can’t force an underperforming post to go big by boosting it,” Miller explained. “Pay attention to the analytics on Facebook and ActionSprout and use any dollars to boost posts proven to be engaging. I am sure that saved us a lot of money and helped me zero in on what our audience likes.”

Post content consistently.

“I think consistent posting really helps build an audience and keep their engagement,” Miller told us.

We agree. Posting at least once a day is a must, and even two to three times per day is ideal. Not everyone will see every post, so this helps ensure your message gets through.

Post when your audience is on Facebook.

Scheduling posts for times when you know a lot of your followers will be on Facebook can lead to greater organic reach and engagement. Miller used both Facebook and ActionSprout to get this information… and you can, too!

Post related content proven to resonate with your audience.

Miller used ActionSprout’s Inspiration feature to find and share trending content about our oceans.

“ActionSprout’s data is so valuable. Being able to easily know when to post, see what’s resonating with our audience and find stories from other sources that are likely to connect with our audience has saved us so much time. It also keeps us from having to guess,” said Miller.

Sharing other’s trending articles, images, or videos can greatly increase the reach of your Facebook page.

clean ocean inspiration

How Can YOU Do It?

Give yourself plenty of time to invest in Facebook and and grow your community before your next big project. You’ll need at least six months or so. Whether you have a Kickstarter coming up or a more traditional fundraising effort, having a solid Facebook community can make all the difference in getting the word out and raising those necessary funds.

As Miller says, Facebook is just so easy to share links with family and friends. And given Facebook’s nature, these links can quickly spread like wildfire to reach a lot of people.

Now is a time to focus on building relationships with your followers. Get to know what interests them, what resonates with them, and what motivates them. This will shape every piece of your Facebook strategy, from what types of content to share (image, videos, or articles), where that content comes from (Pew, Huffington Post, NOAA, etc.), the tone of your content (optimistic, angry, sad, etc.), the length of your content, and more.

It will take some time to figure out, but once you have it, you’ll be pleased with the results.

With two-billion people on Facebook, you can find your tribe of supporters. Just put in the time, research, and effort to figure out what will resonate with them. Once you provide it, they’ll be there ready to chime in and lend their support.

About The Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean

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The Rozalia Project’s mission is straightforward: to fight to protect our oceans and keep them clean. Their ultimate goal is thriving, healthy waters for all of us to enjoy. They accomplish this mission through education, innovation, research, hands-on work, and much more. You can learn all about the project and their good work here.

About the Cora Ball

Fundraising Goals

The Cora Ball is a easy-to-use laundry ball that catches microfibers that shed off our clothes in the washer. It’s inspired by the natural design of ocean coral and its ability to effectively filter water. Cora Balls are reusable, easy to clean, and take no extra time to use. You can learn about about them here.

“Steal” these Spring and Easter Profile Picture Frames

Can you believe Spring is already here and Easter is just around the corner?!

To celebrate, our team created some Profile Picture Frames your organization can “steal” and make your own! To get started just download the images from this blog post. Then when you’re creating your new Profile Picture Frame action, simply upload the overlay image you’d like to share with your followers.

Facebook Profile Picture Frames are a powerful way to spread support while collecting name and email from folks who change their image. If you haven’t given this tool a try yet, check out our getting started guide.

You can download our Spring pack here.

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