Facebook pages: Do you want an office, a clubhouse, or a library?

Facebook pages are a great tool for both spreading the mission of your nonprofit and engaging supporters. But with a seemingly endless selection of page types to choose from, it’s easy to get confused.

If you’re struggling with the options available, don’t worry – we’re here to help clear the fog and point you in the right direction! Here are our insights into the various Facebook page types.

(Keep in mind that you need to create a personal profile page before you can get started with any of these!)

Fan Page

"The Office"

Facebook infographic

Facebook infographic

Think of a Fan Page as your organization’s office – the most appropriate place to do business. Fan Pages can help you gather potential supporters, donors – even employees – and get them engaged in your cause.

This type of page allows you to add pictures, post videos, send updates that will appear in your fans’ newsfeeds, host applications, etc.

And while an “admin” is needed to create the page, the page isn’t linked to him or her personally, so there’s no need to worry about mixing business with pleasure.

Finally, Fan Pages are indexed by search engines and are even visible to non-Facebook users. They’re designed with businesses and nonprofits in mind, so take advantage of them!

Group Page

"The Clubhouse"

A Group Page can be compared to a clubhouse – a great place to organize on a personal level, but not as useful for large-scale interaction around a cause or organization.

These pages usually serve as a forum for discussion about specific issues, and are often temporary. Inconveniently, the pages are directly connected to those who administer them, so unlike Fan Pages, they don't provide anonymity.

Group Pages also have a member limit of 5,000 (fewer than it sounds), so if your primary goal is to expand your league of supporters, this isn’t the best outlet for you to do so.

Another major limitation? Your updates won't be sent to the news feeds of your followers. Since the vast majority of visibility and interaction comes from news feeds, this is a big drawback.

In sum, we don't feel the Group Page is the best choice for organizations.

Community Page

"The Library"

Community Pages are kind of like public libraries of Facebook, referred to as the “best collection of shared knowledge” on popular topics.

Community Pages are not maintained by a single admin but are instead owned collectively by the people associated with them. And once they reach a certain fan threshold, Facebook takes control.

Rather than advertising businesses, these pages are designed to build “communities” around common interests, from Disneyland to kayaking.

The rules of community pages are complicated (and constantly updated by Facebook), but all you need to know is that they’re not designed with nonprofit marketing needs in mind, so you don’t need to worry about them!

Ultimately, while Group and Community Pages have their perks, we think Fan Pages are the most appropriate for nonprofit needs. And now that you know all about them, there’s only one thing left to do...set one up!

Carrie is a summer intern at Small Act. She wrote this post and created the illustration.