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Five Essential Apps for Your Nonprofit’s Facebook Page

October 14, 2009

There are thousands of Apps in the Facebook App Directory that Nonprofit Admins could experiment with on your organization’s Facebook Page, but below I have highlighted my five favorite Apps to get you started:

1. The Static FBML App

The Static FMBL App is the most important App on Facebook for Nonprofit Admins to master.  It allows you to add new boxes to your page that can include text, links, and images as long as you have a basic working knowledge of HTML (View HTML Tip Sheet for Nonprofit Organizations). It will also allow you to create super, duper fancy Facebook Tabs, such as the “Get Involved!” Tab on the Special Olympics of Northern California Facebook Page, if you have access to and a working knowledge of Dreamweaver and Photoshop.

At the very least, Nonprofit Admins that spend a couple of hours teaching themselves the basics of HTML should be able to use this App to add a “Donate Now” button to their page [Example: Amazon CARES] and/or an e-mail newsletter sign up box, mobile sign up box, and Web 2.0 icons [Example: World Wildlife Fund].

2. Causes App

The Causes App allows nonprofits to fundraise on Facebook. Your organization must be in for you to be able to use Causes. Donations are processed by Network for Good and, and this App only works for nonprofits in the United States and Canada.

Causes had quite a bit of buzz within the nonprofit community when it first came out, but when fundraising results were not all that great compared to “Donate Now” fundraising, some nonprofits moved on. But recently, Causes has been making quite a few upgrades and launching some new tools, so I think they they deserve a second look. If your nonprofit has never used Causes, you can create a Cause and then add it to your organization’s Facebook Page [Example: Latin America Working Group]. Tip: Causes is super difficult to get on your page if you create it as a person from your personal profile on Facebook. Make sure you have clicked on your Facebook Page first, shifting you into Facebook Admin mode, and then go to the App to create your Cause.

3. Involver Apps

Involver is a new start-up that has some pretty amazing Apps that you can very easily add to your organization’s Facebook Page. Your first two Apps are free to install and if you want to later upgrade they do offer nonprofit and multi-account discounts. I recently added the Twitter and YouTube Apps to the Nonprofit Organizations Facebook Page. The Apps allow you to then create Twitter” and “YouTube” Tabs on your Facebook Page that pull in and nicely display all your Tweets and videos from Twitter and YouTube.

4. Social RSS App

This is the absolute only time I advocate for automation between social media sites. The Social RSS App allows you to integrate your Blog posts or news feeds into your organization’s Facebook Page automatically. The App updates on a daily basis and can be featured as both a Tab on your Facebook Page as well as box [Example: Nonprofit Organizations Facebook Page].

5. Links App

The Links App is a native Facebook App, meaning it was created by Facebook and comes already installed on most Facebook Pages, yet many Nonprofit Admins do not utilize this App. Basically it allows you to attach a link to a Status Update by clicking the little Note with a Thumbtack graphic directly underneath the Status Update box. This is where the vast majority of ROI [Return on Investment] comes from on Facebook, so make sure you use it! Link videos, your website, you Twitter profile, etc. Anything you post then shows up on your Page and in the News Feed of your fans.

Related Links:
Five Most Common Mistakes Made by Nonprofit Admins on Facebook
Create a Facebook Page
Webinar: How Nonprofit Organizations Can Successfully Use Facebook and YouTube

19 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2009 6:06 am

    I disagree about the bits regarding RSS -> Facebook. We used to do that and hardly got any traffic from Facebook on our website. Since we add our news manually we get much more traffic. I wrote about this here:

    Admittedly we didn’t use the App you are mentioning. However, I just looked at one Facebook page where it is being used and it seems that my reservations are still valid.

  2. nonprofitorgs permalink
    October 14, 2009 6:14 am

    O yeah… of course. We are actually in agreement. Posting blog posts as Links is much more useful in terms of Web site traffic… i.e, App 5. I just meant that if there is one App that you can use on FB that automates anything, it would be the Social RSS App. I do both… post new blog posts as links so they show up in the News Feed… and then use the Social RSS App just to have them featured on the NPO Page. Thanks.

  3. October 14, 2009 8:38 am

    We would love to know what you think of our FundRazr application and whether you’ve played around with it yet as we think it will be really useful for Non Profits


  4. nonprofitorgs permalink
    October 14, 2009 8:43 am

    Hi Natalie… just been too busy to try it. Someday soon!

  5. October 14, 2009 2:07 pm

    I’m confused by your point about the social RSS app as well. A while back, you were urging folks not to do more than 1-2 status updates a day, which seemed like good advice if you don’t want to flood your fans’ news stream. How does this square with that?

    Bear in mind that I’m new to FB (at least as a Page administrator), so I’m probably missing an important nuance here. Love to hear what you think.

  6. nonprofitorgs permalink
    October 14, 2009 3:48 pm

    Hi Benjamin. The Social RSS App does not publish your blog posts to your Status Updates… just allows you to create a Tab of your blog posts for folks that are browsing your page. Totally different from Status Updates… which yes, should be one no more than two per day. All covered and demonstrated in my Webinar. 🙂

  7. October 14, 2009 4:08 pm

    Thanks for clarifying – I suspected something like that; can’t wait to put that tab to work. And by the way, I’ve registered for your upcoming webinar on mobile tech and nonprofits; but I’ll probably sign up for you FB one as well – I can tell I need it.

  8. October 19, 2009 7:22 am

    Great stuff. Thanks.
    I’ve got a number of NGO clients, most of which aren’t even on any social medium yet. This helps.

    I also like your point about non-automation. I’ve made the mistake of auto-posting from several sites, and am getting push-back. As someone recently reminded me, social media is very much like being at a cocktail party. Some of us hug the wall and watch; some of us wear the lamp shade and dance on the tables; some of us overwhelm with our talk talk talk; some of us find a comfortable middle ground where we’re listening, and contributing in a lively, attractive way. Time for me to pull ALL of my auto-postings! (I’ll continue to use several sites to aggregate ALL posts, but these are more for personal use than public consumption.)


  9. November 13, 2009 10:49 am

    We’ve just launched a subscription service for nonprofits that builds”branded” Facebook apps designed to engage and educate constituents. Since raising funds and awareness are the goals for non-profits, we provide custom viral games, PSAs, polls, welcome tabs, opt-in email, and more to attract supporters.

  10. November 22, 2009 10:15 am

    I’ve been reading lately that polls are a very good way to engage fans and I was wondering if anyone has experimented with the different polling apps or if there is an app you recommend that would be great!

    • November 22, 2009 11:35 am

      Feel free to take a look at our “poll” app. It’s part of a suite of apps designed to engage fans and build relationships for nonprofits. It is completely customizable to reflect the nonprofit’s mission branding…

  11. January 16, 2010 1:29 pm

    Agree with most of what’s been said. I swear by involvers free apps, speciailly the you tube and RSS apps, just brilliant. The static FBML are also wonderful additions that allow you to add your own individualistic touches to your pages. I’ve created an email opt in and landing pages on mine, which is something I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.

  12. March 3, 2010 11:37 am

    Great Post! we just added the Static FBML App to our fb page to realize all the things you could do are endless

  13. October 9, 2010 2:18 pm

    just want to let you know that the Facebook application for associations (facebook4org) is now available for download at
    The code is open source with GPL license, and everybody can use it


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