Why Facebook's newsfeed changes are actually GOOD for your charity

Although other social networks may be bypassing it in terms of growth, there's no denying that Facebook remains super popular, with millions of people logging on every day (and over two billion registered members). And now, in an effort to curb too many ads from pervasive brands, Facebook has introduced changes to the kinds of posts, videos, and photos that its members will see most often! These changes include prioritizing what friends and family share and comment on while de-emphasizing content from brands.

What does this mean for nonprofits? First, don't panic! Facebook's changes means that users are more likely to see content that really matters to them, which means that when posts about your charity show up in peoples' newsfeeds, it lends legitimacy and credence to your cause. We know that people are more influenced by what a peer says than by what an institution or authority figure says, so positive word-of-mouth is more important than ever for your charity or nonprofit.

Our research here at FrontStream shows that Facebook is the top social network referring donors to charity donation forms and fundraising pages. And that's not because organizations are simply posting "donate now!" to their members - it's because Facebook users are sharing donation links and fundraising appeals. They're helping with the creation of a cause story and demonstrating how it's important to them, which goes a long way towards convincing others to show support.

And it's not only general cause awareness - Facebook's changes are a boost for peer-to-peer event and challenges as well. Here are three reasons why!

1. Your supporters' links will be prioritized in the feed. This is a fantastic way to boost visibility for your event. Don't worry so much about what your organization itself posts - start thinking about how you can encourage your followers to post on your behalf!

2. Let your event participants know about the power of Facebook. Make it easy for them to post their fundraising links and give them short content pieces they can use or customize when asking for donations.

3. Make it visual and shareable. While it's important to have links to the event, it's also a good idea to create images or videos that can be easily shared on Facebook by supporters. A great example of this is how Coldest Night of the Year has a "Shareable Images" section on their website - ensure that your nonprofit's website also has a section for logos, photos, and other shareable multimedia!

So while you may be surprised by Facebook's newsfeed changes, there's no reason to be concerned - it just means that your authentic posts and photos will be given more of the attention they deserve. Be sure to communicate with your supporters and ask them to share your posts, and your message will continue to circulate!

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