By Lauren Van Horn, Strategics Partnerships, Nonprofits, Causes 

Today, we introduced a new Facebook Groups app that helps people share faster and more easily with all the groups in their life.

Groups are private spaces where you can share updates, photos or documents with other group members, and we’ve seen how Facebook Groups can be especially useful for nonprofits and other organizations to coordinate with staff members, mobilize volunteers and plan events.

A great example is Donda’s House, Inc., 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.

“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,” Donda’s House Executive Director Donnie Smith says.

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.

Watch a video about Donda’s House below and learn more about the Facebook Groups app available for iOS and Android here.