How Can Nonprofits Benefit from the New Facebook Groups App?

By David Cohen 

DondasHouse650How can nonprofits take advantage of the new application released by Facebook Tuesday, Facebook Groups? Lauren Van Horn, who works on strategic partnerships for nonprofits and causes for the social network, offered some tips in a post on the Facebook Media blog.

She wrote:

There are so many ways to use Facebook Groups within your organization, from coordinating relief efforts during natural disasters, to engaging volunteers for meal deliveries to those in need, to creating a space where people can come for support. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when setting up a Facebook group:

  1. Vary the group size to allow for a range of needs to be met. A group with 100 members will take on a different voice than a group of 10 members.
  2. Monitor conversations to make sure they remain focused and engaging.
  3. Cross-promote page posts and events in relevant groups to ensure that you reach and engage with a targeted audience as needed.
  4. Promote your groups on all social channels so that your audience can discover them. Let them know about the new app, which will allow everyone to keep up with groups more easily.
  5. Choose a privacy setting carefully (public, closed, secret). For large groups with more than 250 members, you can only change the privacy setting to a more restricted setting (e.g., public to closed or secret) after it has been set.

Van Horn also used Chicago-based arts-education nonprofit Donda’s House (pictured above, video embedded below) as an example, writing:

A great example is Donda’s House, an arts-education nonprofit in Chicago founded by Grammy Award-winning artists Kanye West and Rhymefest. Donda’s House started the Got Bars program, a 12-week course to develop young music artists’ skills by focusing on creative writing, studio recording and health and wellness.

Students and staff use a Facebook group to share updates, schedule events and keep in touch.

Donda’s House executive director Donnie Smith added in the blog post:

Facebook is another outlet for students to share stories, swap lyrics and collaborate outside of the program. Phone numbers change, e-mail addresses stop working, but we can always find our participants whenever we need to on Facebook.

Readers: Can you think of other ways for nonprofits to use the new Facebook Groups app?