Posts in the Facebook Category at Socialbrite Social media for nonprofits Mon, 30 Jul 2018 21:35:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Facebook News Feed Overhaul – How Your Nonprofit Can Prepare Wed, 31 Jan 2018 14:03:53 +0000 Continue reading ]]>


Well, we all knew this day was coming.

Facebook has finally decided to pull the plug on almost all types of public content from pages.


Because Mark Zuckerberg wants to make a better Facebook. One with less clickbaitengagement bait, and hopefully less fake news.

The News Feed’s goal is shifting from “helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.”

How is the News Feed changing?

To inspire meaningful conversations, the News Feed ranking will now prioritize:

  1. Posts from friends that spark back-and-forth conversations.
  2. Videos and news articles that spark back-and-forth discussion.
  3. Posts from friends and family over posts from Pages.
  4. Posts with longer comments over posts with shorter comments.

Facebook will continue to reduce click bait, engagement bait, and other types of passive content.

Less Buzzfeed quizzes and more posts from mom needing help with Facebook.

Why did Facebook make this change?

First of all, this change shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Pages that don’t engage have had diminished exposure in the News Feed for years.

And I’ve been writing about it for years:

The bottom line is that without happy users, Facebook can’t sell ads. If your posts don’t inspire, Facebook won’t put them in the NewsFeed.

What does this Facebook News Feed change mean for your nonprofit?

First of all, don’t freak out.

Nonprofits have a clear advantage over consumer brands and businesses. People talk more about the causes they care about more than the clothes they wear.

All these changes to the News Feed require a shift in your nonprofit’s Facebook strategy.

Here are just a few recommendations:

  1. Stop posting passive content: Stop posting content that doesn’t engage. For example, links to your latest blog post, event announcements, or pics from your board retreat (yawn).
  2. Inspire meaningful conversations: Posts that ask followers to share their advice and recommendations will naturally spark more meaningful conversations than that link to your latest blog post. Keep in mind, your followers are waiting to share their own stories, their journey. For example, diabetes organizations should publish more posts that encourage followers to share their own diabetes experiences and tips.
  3. Focus more on Facebook Groups: Be helpful, put the members first, and create meaningful conversations between members. And if your Group is public, make sure it’s connected to your Facebook Page.
  4. Put your Page first: Make sure supporters who want to see your posts see them first in the News Feed. Especially core supporters who might worry about missing posts from your Page.
  5. Mix email and Facebook: If you have an email newsletter, you’re ahead of the game. On a regular basic, feature your most engaging post from the previous week. Invite subscribers to join the conversation by commenting on that specific post. Also a great way to grow your fanbase.
  6. Use Facebook Live to generate massive engagement: Facebook Live video is the #1 type of content on Facebook, getting 6X more reach and engagement than videos and pictures. During your live broadcast, get people commenting by asking for their tips, stories, advice. Read this post for more on getting started with Facebook Live.
  7. Invest in Facebook ads: If you don’t have a Facebook ad budget, you’re really not serious about Facebook. Start investing more in Facebook ads to give your most conversational posts more exposure.
  8. Create content designed to make your fans look awesome: People share content on Facebook, whether it’s a video from your Page or a blog post from your website, because they want to appear entertaining, informed, connected, etc. to their friends. Creating content that helps your supporters achieve this goal leads to more engagement and organic reach.
  9. Share news your people are already talking about. Create meaningful conversations around trending news your community might already be talking about. It’s much easier to join a conversation than it is to start one.

Facebook will always put friends and family first when it comes to the News Feed. The more you adopt the same mindset with your strategy, the more successful you’ll be with Facebook.


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How to Use Facebook Live to Raise Money For Your Nonprofit Tue, 02 Jan 2018 21:10:46 +0000 Continue reading ]]>


You already know that Facebook Live lets any nonprofit live-stream fundraising events, breaking news, impact stories, and more, directly from their Facebook Page.

But did you know that Facebook lets nonprofits add a donate button to their Facebook Live broadcast?

How to Use Facebook Live to Raise Money

If your nonprofit is based in the US, and your Facebook Page is verified, you can fundraise within a Facebook Live broadcast.

For example, in this screenshot from Facebook, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals adds the donate button feature to their Live broadcast.

Two things to remember about fundraising with Facebook Live:

  1. Your Page needs to be verified. This feature is still gradually rolling out on iOS to admins of verified Pages in the US.
  2. Your nonprofit must be approved to accept Facebook payments. You can apply here.

To add the donate button, click on more options at the bottom of the screen (“…”). Next, select your nonprofit from the options (as shown above).

Viewers can donate to your cause during the live broadcast, and supporters who missed the live broadcast can always donate from the broadcast recording.

But is just having a donate button enough? Of course not! Fundraising is about building trust, sharing stories of impact, and growing a community of supporters.

Here are a few pointers as you fold Facebook Live into your fundraising plans.

Use Facebook Live to tell donors about the impact THEY made

More often than not, donors hear about impact second-hand (through your newsletter, website, etc). Rarely do they get to witness, first-hand, the impact of their support.

Facebook Live is a super effective way to bring the impact to your supporters.

For example, Best Friends Animal Society introduces their cutest residents to supporters from all over the world. Without Facebook live (and other live broadcasting tools), supporters would have to travel all the way to Utah to witness, first-hand, BFAS’s impact.

How to Use Facebook Live to Raise Money For Your Nonprofit

Make donors the heroes

If you want your donors to give over and over again, you need to tell them the truth: that for your nonprofit, they are the true heroes.

Feature donor stories in your broadcast. Tell your viewers the impact that one donor made. Recognize and praise this donor sincerely. Viewers will no doubt want the same praise and recognition.

For example, Stand Up To Cancer broadcasted news about a high school raised money during a “Sports Day For Charity”.

How to Use Facebook Live to Raise Money For Your Nonprofit

Don’t ask people to “Donate”

This one sounds a bit unintuitive, but let’s face it, asking people to donate money to your nonprofit is a buzzkill.

The reason why is that the word “donate” doesn’t place the donor in the role of the hero.

Instead, ask viewers to make an impact that’s meaningful. For example, ask them to “Give clean water”, “Feed hungry children”, “Stop human trafficking, etc. Each of these asks is associated with a problem that donors ultimately want to solve.

Tell donors when you’re going live

Facebook live isn’t that exciting if no one shows up. Make sure your core supporters show up when you go live.

  • Post an update on your page the week before and the day before
  • Send an email to your email list
  • Share your broadcast date / time in your email newsletter
  • Tweet about it immediately before you go live
  • Facebook Live Tip #6: Make an outline for your broadcast

Call out commenters by name

The cool thing about Facebook live is that you can see comments as they’re posted real time during your broadcast. Engaging commenters real-time increases engagement even further, creating massive reach for your broadcast.

  • Call out commenters by name
  • Read their comment
  • Reply to their comment
  • Say thank you

Ask for action

As your broadcast reaches more users, your viewer count will increase. This is your captured audience. Seize the moment to ask for action!

  • Ask participants to follow
  • Ask supporters to support an issue
  • Ask supporters to sign a petition

Share the recording with your supporters

You’ve put a lot of time and effort into your first Facebook a live broadcast. Congratulations! Make sure this investment goes further by sharing it with your supporters.

  • Send a follow-up email to subscribers
  • Link to your recent broadcast in your newsletter
  • Reshare the broadcast on other social channels
  • Embed the broadcast in a blog post

Remember, if you have added the donate button to your broadcast, it will exist in the broadcast recording. As you continue to broadcast stories of impact, you’ll accumulate a whole series of fundraising videos on your Facebook Page.

Repurpose the recording

When you finish a live broadcast, save it to your mobile device. Then open the file in your favorite video editing software and create several videos to be used on other social networks.

Select key moments that are less than 60 seconds but still convey a powerful story. These short videos can be used on Instagram (which requires videos to be less than 1 minute), YouTube, Facebook, etc.

Get inspired by these creative ideas for Facebook Live

If you’re not sure what topics or events you should broadcast, check out this list of 35 Facebook Live ideas for museums, animal shelters, youth organizations, and more.


3 Tips To Get the Most Out Of Conferences Thu, 01 Sep 2016 18:02:23 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Photo courtesy of Mashable Social Good Summit

Post by Caroline Avakian

Fall conference season is getting underway, so I wanted to share a few helpful tips to help manage and maximize your time spent at a conference(s). You’ll be glad you set these in motion when you get back from your next event.

Start with the end in mind

1What are the top three things you want to get out of this conference? Is it meeting a particular attendee or speaker? Is it networking or gaining a better understanding of how to create a social media strategy for your nonprofit? The more specific you are, the more likely you are to walk out of that conference feeling satisfied and accomplished.

Use your business cards to their fullest potential

2In the flurry of meet and greets, it is likely you’ll get home and won’t remember half of who those cards are from. To remedy this, think of one actionable item for each person you meet. Then write it on their business card before you walk out of the room.

Lessons learned

3Take a minute and write down the three things you learned after each conference session attended. It will all seem like less of a blur once you get back home and you’ll be able to take action on the items that really stood out. A plus, is that you can also share these lessons with colleagues who are interested.


If you’re on Twitter, following the conference hashtag and live tweeting are great ways to stay up-to-date and participate in conference learnings and conversations. This is also a great way to make new connections and even network with other tweeting attendees.

Happy September!

What are some of your favorite conference-going tips?

Is Giving Tuesday a Waste of Time? Tue, 14 Jun 2016 18:17:04 +0000 Continue reading ]]>


By Edgar Rodriguez

Is Giving Tuesday a waste of time? Good question, right?

First of all, the data says it’s been hugely successful in the past. Over 15,000 nonprofits participated last year, raising over $45 million.

Yes, some nonprofits probably raised very little money. But Giving Tuesday is NOT just a 24-hour fundraising campaign. It’s a movement that your supporters are embracing, more and more each year.

How did your nonprofit do last year?

If you participated in Giving Tuesday before, you can look at several metrics to judge your past success.

Depending on your goals, you can look at:

  • Total donations ($)
  • Number of new donors acquired
  • Number of current donors who gave
  • Number of new emails acquired
  • Number of people who engaged with campaign (clicks, conversions, shares)
  • Engagement with follow up messages (email, social, etc)
  • You get the idea

So should you participate? I asked a few peers this exact question:

why give tuesday is not a waste of your time

The comments I received are valuable recommendations and pearls of wisdom about Giving Tuesday, broken out into: CONS, PROS, PEARLS OF WISDOM.


Giving Tuesday CONS (WARNINGS)

Mary Cahalane

The one-off, or even one day a year, habit is bad for developing relationships between donors and organizations. If you can’t keep donors’ attention with good communications, a giving day isn’t likely to successfully fill that void, anyway.

I suspect strong organizations, with good fundraising programs already in place, could do well with Giving Tuesday as an addition. They’re ready with a strong message. They’ve got the staff to devote to that one day. And they’ve got systems in place to build on the relationships started with the one day.

Smaller organizations? Unless there’s a strong community-wide awareness of and participation in Giving Tuesday, I wouldn’t recommend putting a year-long program aside in order to participate. It’s a tool, and not every tool is right for every organization.

I’d ask:

  • Do you have time for a bootcamp? What will get put aside while you’re doing it?
  • What will the results of making that time be? Will they be lasting results?

Dennis Fischman

I wrote about ten reasons a nonprofit should not be on Facebook, and it all boiled down to what your nonprofit can and should do first. (

I feel the same way about Giving Tuesday. IF you already take care of your donors as if they were your best friends, and you want to invite them to a party that you and other nonprofits are throwing, then great! But how many nonprofits are really showing the #donorlove that way?



Caroline Avakian

I think one of the best parts of GivingTuesday are the collaborations and partnerships that are forged because of it. I was working at Trickle Up, a global poverty alleviation organization, when GivingTuesday started and we got to publish a few pieces in the Huffington Post based on HuffPo’s partnership with the GivingTuesday campaign and the NGO alliance group, InterAction. It gives smaller NGOs a chance to be a part of something bigger than them. We also forged partnerships with other orgs we were on GivingTuesday coordination calls with. It’s a win-win all around. @CarolineAvakian

Rob Wu

At CauseVox, we have seen the sheer growth of GivingTuesday as the motivating factor to nonprofits trying online fundraising for the first time. By taking part in GivingTuesday, nonprofits learn, in a very short amount of time, how to set impact-based fundraising goals, tell a compelling story, and use social media.

A few case studies from CauseXox:

Kivi Leroux Miller

I was hired last year by a handful of community foundations to teach nonprofits basic communications planning and donor stewardship using both Giving Tuesday and Give Local America as hook. It’s a totally new concepts to at least 75% of orgs in training.

From the Nonprofit Marketing Guide: 5 Ways to Harness the Awesome Fundraising Potential of #GivingTuesday

Joe Waters

I think it’s great at getting nonprofits focused on building a real audience – an army! – and communicating with them via social media.

Pamela Grow

If they’re already focused on the right things, especially building a solid email list, go for it. I love what one of my subscribers did last year for Giving Tuesday.

Julia Campbell

GivingTuesday is a national day of giving and it gets a TON of media coverage. People search on the hashtag all day long. People that may never have made a donation online give for the first time on that day.

It is not something your org should overlook, or sneeze at! You may not raise millions, but you may get new eyeballs on your cause, new ambassadors to spread the word and best of all – new donors!

Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz

GivingTuesday has grown such that nonprofits have an opportunity to embrace it, and leverage the day as part of a well-planned, overall yearly communications, outreach and development strategy.

Giving Tuesday: PEARLS OF WISDOM


Noland Hoshino

Giving Tuesday and other giving days force a nonprofit organization to sharpen and fine tune their message while competing with other organizations.

Most nonprofit organizations have campaigns that last days or months. Keeping donors attention for that long can be tiresome. A giving day campaign condenses your tactics to just 24-hours with immediate results.

Farra Trompeter

Giving Tuesday has grown in popularity, recognition, and success to a point where I don’t think nonprofits can afford to ignore it.

The challenge lies in figuring out how to plug it into the rest of your communications, especially if you are implementing a year-end appeal or annual fund campaign at the same time.

Rather than create a separate Giving Tuesday campaign, I think most orgs should integrate it into their overall calendar. If you are worried that it might take away from other efforts, consider testing a single channel ask–such as a 24-hour match promoted on Facebook or a selfie sharing campaign (giving voice over money) on Instagram.

If you are worried that asking for money on this day can hurt other efforts, ask for something else. Use Giving Tuesday to ask for time, passion, activism, and other efforts that might engage your donors beyond giving money.

Ehren Foss

A successful Giving Tuesday campaign depends on:

  • How much the nonprofit has already adopted these kinds of tactics and technologies (how valuable is learning/training?)
  • How well it aligns with their existing strategies and programs.
  • How well they can segment and steward their constituents to make sure to ask the right constituents to join them in GivingTuesday in the right ways.

Practice working together as online communications, online fundraising, and major gifts teams. What happens if a major prospect gives to Giving Tuesday or comments on a post? Does your team know how to work together?

Mickey Gomez

Taking part in a broader effort can bring new attention to your nonprofit, whether through donations, education or simple awareness. The messaging around national, state or regional giving is also quite inspiring, and confirms the power of philanthropy by amplifying giving on a single day to maximize quantifiable impact.

Where the sector needs to focus, in my opinion, is on maintaining the momentum AND further developing ongoing communication strategies that respect how donors would like to receive information after taking part in such an initiative.

The Takeaway


Giving Tuesday, like any campaign, is much more successful if you do your homework.

If you’re community isn’t as engaged as you like, maybe Giving Tuesday can be a catalyst to build a stronger community. Success largely depends on how well you plan, your definition of successful participation, and what investment (and sacrifices) you’ll need to make.

Check out these related articles:

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A Simple Facebook Checklist for Better Page Posts Tue, 16 Feb 2016 14:25:04 +0000 Continue reading ]]>


john-haydonIn a perfect world, all of your fans would see all of your posts in the news feed. But this is not a perfect world, and your Facebook posts are rarely seen by the people who’ve liked your Page.

Yes, it might seem unfair, but when you get right down to it, Facebook users are the ones telling the news feed algorithm what they want in their news feeds, not Facebook.

The bottom line is that posts that are relevant, useful, and / or entertaining get more Newsfeed exposure.

A Simple Facebook Checklist for Writing Better Page Posts

Here’s a simple Facebook checklist you can follow for improving your organization’s engagement and reach on Facebook:


1. Don’t ask for money, just yet

As with belly-to-belly fundraising, it’s never a good idea to have to ask for money the first time you meet someone. The same is true on Facebook.

Before you post anything on Facebook,  remember that it’s a friend network. People are there to connect with their friends, not brands or charities. In fact,“supporting my favorite nonprofit” isn’t even on the list:


2. Answer the WIFM question

Make sure your content focuses on WIFM – “What’s in it for me?”

Supporters are more likely to engage with your content if it benefits them. Your content must be valuable, useful, and hopefully entertaining to your supporters.


Be like American Rivers, and remember – it’s really NOT about you.

Learn more: 5 Content Marketing Ideas that Inspire Action (With Examples)


3. Make your post about your community

Remember, the reason why people support your nonprofit is because they view you as a partner, an agent of the change they seek. But they want to be the hero!


Take the focus off your organization and put it on the heroes in your community.

Learn more: 10 Tips for Turning Photos Into Powerful Stories


4. Tell powerful stories

Your supporters are hard-wired to act when emotions are triggered.

The New York Times did a study on the top emotions that encourage sharing. What they found was that the top three emotions are anger, awe, and anxiety.



Before you publish your next post, ask yourself: How does this update make me feel?

Learn more: 10 Tips for Turning Photos Into Powerful Stories


5. Make your appeal conditional (IF)

It’s better to ask people to “share if”, then simply commanding them to share.

Adding a condition “if” puts ownership on the Facebook user. This turns the the call to action into an opportunity for people to share an important part of their lives, and feel included in the group.



For example,’s update above says “share if you think it’s time we declared our independence from fossil fuels.”


6. Optimize it for the news feed

Use Insights to understand what type of content performs best with your fan base.

After you log into Insights, click on the posts report and note the characteristics of your tops posts.

top ten posts

Pay particular attention to the post type that gets the most engagement, as well as the topic of the post. You can also get clues from the comments on your top posts.

Learn more: Three Most Useful Reports In Facebook Insights


7. Recycle past top-performing posts

Another way that you can find engaging content is to recycle top-performing posts from your page.  This strategy is almost guaranteed to get your fans liking, commenting and sharing. After all, they loved this content before.

Learn more: Recycling Facebook Page Content Works – And Here’s Proof


8. Be obsessive about replying

When you reply to comments on your updates, or tag users who have commented, notifications are sent to these users. This brings them back to the update to continue the discussion.

Make sure that you’re getting notifications for your page. You can get notifications on Facebook or by email, by visiting the notifications area in the settings area of your page (as shown below).


Learn more: 13 Super Creative Ways to Boost Facebook Page Reach – Without Facebook Ads


9. Enhance your best posts with ads

Use targeted boosted posts to create even more engagement on your top performing posts. Using Insights, select the most relevant post as it pertains to your upcoming fundraiser, and target that post wisely.

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Facebook Live Video for Nonprofits Mon, 01 Feb 2016 17:04:16 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
Facebook Image

By Caroline Avakian

Facebook recently added the ability to livestream (live video) on Facebook, catching up to the explosive popularity of livestreaming apps like Periscope. While Facebook Live was recently only available for celebrities and then some early livestreaming adopters, it has now rolled out this feature to everyone with an iPhone in the US, and plans are that Facebook will roll this out to the rest of the world in the coming weeks. We can only predict that a version for Android will be coming soon as well. Now, the thing is that Facebook Live Video is available only for individual profiles and for verified pages. Verified pages receive those little round, blue checkmarks right next to their names.

So what does all this mean for nonprofits who rely on Facebook to communicate with their Facebook fan communities? Here’s a quick breakdown:

The How-To:

  • The most important thing to know is that even if your nonprofit has a Facebook page, it doesn’t mean you can start broadcasting. Your nonprofit’s Facebook page needs to be a verified page (at least for now), in order to use this new feature. Here’s how you can start the verification process for your organization’s page.
  • You can only broadcast from your iPhone, not your PC or desktop. As you’ll see the live video icon will only appear on your Facebook status update bar on your mobile phone.
  • As of this publishing date, Facebook Live Video is available only for US-based iPhone, but a little experimenting with the app over the weekend helped me figure out that your Android-user fans/friends, also get a Facebook notification when you go live and can watch, as do iOS users.
  •  Here’s a photo of where to find it on your status update bar


  • Once you’re in, Facebook will ask you permission to access your camera and microphone. You can then select which of your Facebook audiences can join your live video, and they can comment/like your live videos while the video is in progress. You can flip the camera angle to face you or right in front of you, via a little arrow icon provided on the top right corner of your phone screen. The comments and likes from your community will appear directly below your video as you’re broadcasting. When you’ve completed your broadcast, you have the option to save the video to your phone’s camera roll, and the live video recording will automatically save to your Facebook timeline.
  • The downside right now is that Facebook Live doesn’t yet integrate with Facebook Pages – a mobile app that helps you manage your Facebook accounts –  which is the most logical way a nonprofit would start trying to stream video. Hopefully, that is coming to us soon.


I wrote an article not too long ago, about how nonprofits can use Periscope/livestreaming for social good and many of the points are as equally applicable to Facebook Live as they are to Periscope. I have included and modified those points here.


5 Ways Nonprofits Can Maximize Facebook Live Video


1) Facebook Live Video from “the field”

If the bandwidth is there, we’ve just opened up a great way for communications and program officers to broadcast field visits abroad and beneficiary interviews (when appropriate). The same goes for local nonprofits who really have the capacity to live stream important “mission moments” that might otherwise go unshared.

2) Q and A’s

Facebook Live Video offers a great new way to connect with your Facebook supporters by having the ability to conduct livestream Q and A’s with your program participants, executive director, program director, celebrity ambassadors, and others. The comment function allows your Facebook fans to ask questions or post commentary as you’re livestreaming, so it’s exceptionally interactive and relatively fast. Think about a Facebook Live series – doing a series of light ‘Meet the Staff’ Q & A’s, or designating a portion of your weekly staff meeting to a Facebook Live Video Program Update and short Q and A afterwards. That’s a great way to let your supporters know ahead of time what you’ll be doing and what to expect.

3) Events Broadcasting

Facebook Live Video is a great way to let your supporters in on events that they’re interested in but can’t attend. That $500 per plate gala dinner can now be accessible via Facebook Live Video. How great would it be to have a staff or volunteer correspondent at your next benefit, fundraiser or conference, in charge of showing viewers around and chatting with honorees and guests? It’s a fantastic way to share these exclusive events with your Facebook community.

Attending a rally, friend-raiser, or other on site event for your nonprofit – bring your supporters along with a livestream on Facebook.

Another way to break the fourth wall, is to do an office tour led by your staff and interns. Showing the inner workings of your organization and the people behind the status updates, has been shown to increase engagement and trust for nonprofits.

4) Crowdsourcing

If you’re looking to get some quick feedback on a new project, logo, initiative or maybe just some input on what your supporters like and would like to see more of, Facebook Live is a great tool to survey a clearly social media savvy focus group.

5) Announcements

Have an announcement to make? Did you just receive a big grant from USAID or added an awesome new hire or volunteer to your team? Expanding your work to a new country? Added a new program? Did you host a contest and want to announce the winner? You can use Facebook Live Video to go live with your big news and involve your community more directly.


Nonprofit Best Practices for using Facebook Live:

  • Be prepared BEFORE you click the “GO LIVE” button. Given it’s an amateur live broadcast you do get some leeway, but try to be as steady with the shots and as well-prepared as possible. You don’t want to necessarily script the broadcast but remember that you’re telling a story. So what is the story you want to tell? Why have you asked people to come and watch this broadcast? What value does it have? What’s in it for them? Make sure you can answer those questions. Also, provide some guidance to your viewers as to what type of questions or feedback you’re looking for. Engage them. Remember live video is still social, so it’s a two-way conversation. Viewers may be hesitant to use the comments section of the video, so make it ok by prompting them to do so. Any good story has a beginning, middle and end to it, so it’s a really good idea to create a bullet list of what you want to happen during each stage of the broadcast, to ensure everyone on your team is on the same page. Above all, remember, all good media production rules still apply.
  • Title your Facebook Live Video broadcast well. Tell us what it’s about in a concise way.

Final Thoughts:

I think Facebook Live Video has great potential for nonprofits. Live video can take engagement to a whole new level and if the bandwidth is there, give nonprofits and global NGO’s the ability to share the on-the-ground work that is being done. Many nonprofits have been reluctant to try Periscope and other livestreaming apps because they are hesitant to add a new tool and they’re unsure how to use it effectively and appropriately. Having live video available right from your organization’s existing Facebook page is a way to introduce broadcasting to an audience that knows you well without having to download, learn and keep up with an entirely new tool.

From another perspective, I wonder how many nonprofits will be comfortable with the risk inherent in live video? While we’re seeing so many nonprofits using social media wisely and experimenting, most nonprofits still like to have tight control and management over any content they produce. As we have seen in the past, nonprofit teams that are more comfortable with risk and social sharing will help pave the way for other organizations who will wait until this tool is less new and seemingly less risky. Ultimately, lack of complete content control and the inability to quickly seed out inappropriate comments will present the biggest barriers for a nonprofit’s use of Facebook Live. As of today, you can’t block people right from their comment on the live video, like you can on Periscope. Hopefully, that will change soon.

Lastly, for organizations already comfortable with video, being an early adopter of Facebook Live may present a wonderful opportunity to produce more live video and offer your Facebook audience a chance to see and hear more than traditional social media updates allow for. Live Video is dynamic, fast, and unedited visual storytelling. Definitely a new frontier for nonprofits wanting to explore storytelling, organizational transparency, and community building.

I will be featuring nonprofits and NGOs using Facebook Live in creative ways, so let me know in the comments below of any nonprofits you know that are using it to engage their supporters.








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A Facebook Donate Button for the News Feed that Might Actually Work! Fri, 11 Dec 2015 14:01:34 +0000 Continue reading ]]>



Facebook is testing a new fundraising app that just might make giving as “social” as liking, commenting, and sharing.

Called “Fundraisers”, the app will include a set of fundraising features for charities and nonprofits:


  • Share fundraising campaigns with Page followers
  • Use photos and video to tell fundraising stories
  • Track progress toward a campaign or project
  • Update supporters when fundraising goals are achieved
  • Customize donation amounts
  • Get donations via credit card or PayPal

But this isn’t the first time Facebook has dabbled with fundraising features:

Facebook Donate Button for Ebola

A Donate Button for the News Feed

Fundraisers puts the donate buttons where it matters – in the News Feed! This lets people donate directly from their news feeds instead of having to visit the Page (which rarely happens).

Below is a fundraiser for the Syrian Refugee Crisis that allows users to choose a specific donation amount. According to Facebook, users will be able to donate and share fundraisers in just a few taps.


And here’s a video demo of the donor experience:

Fundraiser is being tested with Mercy Corps, World Wildlife Fund, and 35 other nonprofits in the U.S. and will expand that list soon. You can sign up to get news about the rollout.


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How social media platforms are responding to the Nepal earthquake, and how you can help Tue, 28 Apr 2015 16:26:23 +0000 Continue reading ]]>


FBNepal-798x310 2Caroline-120x80

By Caroline Avakian / Photo above courtesy of Facebook

It was just a few hours after I found out about the devastating Nepal earthquake that I noticed an alert on my Facebook feed that I hadn’t seen before. My colleague who works in Nepal had been marked “Safe” in Facebook’s new “Safety Check” feature, that instantly let me know how many of my Facebook friends were in the “affected area”, how many had been “marked safe”, and also allowed me to mark myself safe in the event I was in the “affected area”.


The Safety Check feature was quickly followed up by a “Donate” feature, so if you log into Facebook today, you’ll notice a message at the top of your news feed that lets you donate to International Medical Corpsa humanitarian organization Facebook has partnered with to provide emergency aid. Facebook is also providing matching funds of up to two million to provide immediate and ongoing relief. The IMCs emergency response teams are operating mobile medical units in Nepal, India and Bangladesh, to deliver critically needed medical care and medicines to the regions hardest-hit by the earthquake. They’re distributing hygiene kits, water purification tablets and other supplies to the most devastated areas.


Additionally,Twitter is helping to raise funds through UNICEF and Apple is asking iTunes users to donate money to the American Red Cross via its iTunes store. The appeal from Apple allows donations from $5 to $200, with 100% of the funds donated being passed anonymously to the Red Cross.

Similarly to Facebook, Google is now providing satellite imagery to aid in the recovery, and has launched a Person Finder to help people know whether or not people are safe who might have been in the earthquake affected areas.

The Person Finder tool is an online database that collates information from emergency responders, and allows individuals to post details about people who have been missing or are found. Additionally, is donating one million to the emergency response efforts and a gift-matching option will soon be available.


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The organizations linked above are all doing excellent work in the affected regions, and for those of you who are interested in donating to locally-based organizations, Global Giving (seen in photo above), has compiled a vetted list of community-based organizations that are in the best position to provide long-term support for disaster victims. By funding the relief efforts of local organizations, donations to the Global Giving fund have the potential to build stronger disaster-response capacity, so that these organizations are better equipped to face future disasters. GlobalGiving promises to post reports about how funds have been used and will email these reports to donors and subscribers. A wonderful giving choice if you haven’t made a donation yet. Just click the photo above to go straight to that donate page.


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Three simple ways to dramatically increase website traffic from Facebook Mon, 09 Mar 2015 13:38:19 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Three Simple Ways to Dramatically Increase Website Traffic From Facebook


Although Facebook has decreased newsfeed exposure (reach) for Facebook Pages, they have increased newsfeed exposure for links people share with their Facebook friends.


Right now, take a look at your own News Feed and look at the number of links from friends versus links from Pages. My News Feed has 1 link (or less) from a Page for every 10 links from friends. Clearly, Facebook puts my friends first in the News Feed.

All this link-sharing has made Facebook the number one source of social referral traffic. In fact, a recent study from Shareaholic shows that Facebook now drives more than 25% of all website traffic (see below).

shareaholic social media traffic referrals

An excellent example of a nonprofit using a blog for content marketing is To Write Love on Her Arms, an organization that gives hope and help to people struggling with depression, addiction and suicide. They publish posts every day that are bothinspiring and useful. Check out the most recent posts:


How Does Blogging Increase Website Traffic?

When people read TWLOHA’s posts, quite naturally some click “like” if they like what they’re reading.

Each time this happens, an update is posted in Facebook’s news feed, driving Facebook visitors back to the website (as shown below).

twloha - fb post

But these are not just any website visitor. They are friends that your community invited to your website when they clicked a like button!  They are birds of a similar feather, which you want.

Three Ways to Increase Website Traffic From Facebook

So where do you start? After you’re confident that your website has content worth sharing, begin by adding like buttons, sharing prompts, and Facebook comments.

1. Add Like Buttons to Your Website Content

Putting a like button on all of your website content is probably the number one way to drive website traffic from Facebook, in the long run.

You can add Facebook like buttons to your content by generating code on Facebook’s developer site (shown below). If you use WordPress, you can choose from a variety of plugins that automatically add like buttons to your content (I like JetPack).

facebook like button app

2. Add Facebook Sharing Popups to Your Website Content

Let’s say you have a big event coming up, and you want to drive your community (and their friends) to a landing page about the campaign. You have many ways that you’ll be doing this, including making it easy for people to share that landing page with their friends.

You can do this easily and strategically by embedding sharing links in various webpages and blog post on your website.

To create Facebook sharing links, follow these instructions:

  1. Type the following link in a plain text document:
  2. Enter your landing page URL after “?u=“. For example, creates a news feed post (as shown below).
  3. Embed URL into text or image
  4. Test sharing

best friends facebook sharer

3. Add Facebook Commenting to your Website Content

Another way you can drive more traffic to your website is by adding Facebook commenting two webpages on your website. Like the like button, each time someone leaves a comment using the Facebook comment plug-in, a link to your website is shared on Facebook.

You can create code using Facebook’s comments plugin, or if you use WordPress, you can use a WordPress plugin.

What do you think?

Comment below with your brilliant idea, question, or cool example of a nonprofit website.

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Photos no longer get more reach on Facebook Mon, 23 Feb 2015 15:38:46 +0000 Continue reading ]]>



You’ve no doubt heard the advice that posting photos will help you get more reach on Facebook. That advice has been tried and true for years, until now.

According to a study by SocialBakers, photos now get less organic reach than videos, links, and even text updates. In fact, videos are now the king of the News Feed!

Socialbakers analyzed 4,445 Facebook Pages and 670,000 posts between October 2014 and February 2015. They discovered that videos now get more than twice as much reach as photos (shown below).
organic reach photos
There’s no clear reason for this recent Facebook algorithm change, but Socialbakers offers two explanations:

  1. Facebook is responding to Pages looking to game the newsfeed with photos.
  2. Facebook is taking on YouTube as the king of video content.

Jan Rezab, Socialbakers CEO, told Business Insider: “Video is proving to be a very engaging format and gaining in popularity, consumers really like them. Therefore we’d advise marketers to include video as part of their content strategies.”

How should your nonprofit respond?

  • First of all, check your reach report in your Facebook Page Insights. Specifically, analyze post reach by type between October 2014 and February 2015, the period of time Socialbakers analyzed.
  • Second, consider stepping up video content.
  • Third, consider publishing blog posts on your website. This way, you’ll be armed with a Facebook Page AND your website, in your Facebook marketing action plan.

What do you think?

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