In addition to Facebook fan pages, another useful Facebook tool is the “Causes” application, which is geared specifically toward nonprofits. Unlike fan pages, Causes allows Facebook users to become public supporters of the charity, recruit individuals and donate money to the charity with a few simple clicks of a button. The application also tracks the top recruiters, donors and fundraisers for each charity and allows members to sign petitions as related to the cause. As an example, look at the NJSPCA’s Cause page on Facebook. As charities continue efforts to reduce fundraising costs, Causes proves to be an ideal tool since it’s free and there are over 23 million monthly active users. Here are some guidelines to setup your own Causes page:
2. Go to the Causes homepage and add the Causes application. Once subscribing to the application, you can go to “Find Cause” on the toolbar at the top, and then select “Start Cause” from the drop down menu.
3. Enter in all the information about your charity.
4. After writing in the basics, you’ll be given the option to add a beneficiary. In order to accept donations through Causes, a nonprofit must be a 501(c)(3) that is also registered with GuideStar.
5. Invite people to join your cause, interact and recruit.
6. Update your page frequently to keep members engaged.
Many charities have successfully raised thousands of dollars using this application. One of the most successful is Save Darfur, whose presence on Facebook has helped to raise $79,297, with over 1 million members. The benefits aren’t just in the donations or awareness, but victims, survivors, relatives and activists all have an open platform to share and help one another since they all have a connection to the cause.
Of Note for Members of Causes: The creator of Causes, Project Agape, uses the reputable GuideStar to help screen charities and ensure that each cause is justified in receiving donations. To work directly with Causes, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally Posted: February 26,2009 on NJ.com