In general Facebook Pages are a more formal way to share information about their organization with a larger public audience. More than 22,000 non-profits currently have a presence using Facebook Pages. For example, the Susan G Komen for the Cure Foundation uses their page as a more engaging mini-website within Facebook. They have over 500,000 fans sharing videos, providing feedback, taking polls, and donating to their cause through their page.
Causes is an application that enables users to organize themselves into communities of action that support specific issues, campaigns, or non-profit organizations. For example, just over a year ago, a Harvard medical student created the “Campaign for Cancer Prevention” cause, which has grown to more than 4.2 million members. In addition to raising $75,000 for a cancer study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the cause features an active discussion board where members share stories and resources.
Groups tend to best serve communities of individuals wishing to engage around a particular issue and organize themselves around actions or discussions. They can be user-generated or set up by an organization. For example, “Un Millon de Voces Contra Las Farc” (1 million voices against Farc) was organized by a user seeking to drive awareness for the Colombian government to take action against the FARC.
Social networks are ubiquitous, inexpensive (when compared to other media), and available 24/7/365. This allows a non-profit to leverage every hour of the day to share content, build their community or fund raise. Finally, Facebook offers greater value to brands and consumers through tools like Facebook Credits Pages.
Bio: Virginia Cunningham is a freelance tech writer based in Los Angeles California. She currently blogs about biometrics, identity security and ID card technology AlphaCard