YOU can turn your email capture device into a Facebook app

chfUsing our step-by-step instructions, you can turn the email capture device you’re already using on your organization’s website into a Facebook app. This will allow you to gather email signups where your prospective constituents already are—and even target them with an inexpensive Facebook ad campaign.

We’ll use the example of our client Children’s Health Fund, and their Speak Up For Kids Facebook app. CHF uses Blackbaud Luminate, and Donordigital created their original email capture petition using the Luminate Survey module. These instructions will work for any email capture tool with both a secure and non-secure URL. Here we go!

Step One: Prepare your email capture device

  1. Prepare your email capture tool/Luminate survey in whichever system your organization uses.
  2. You’ll need both a secure and non-secure URL version of the Luminate Survey (or whatever email capture device you’ve created).

Here are step-by-step instructions for Blackbaud Luminate users:

  • Edit the survey you would like to turn into a Facebook app
  • Ensure that the “Yes, make this a secure survey” box is checked under “Survey Security.”
  • Click “Publish Survey” in the left-hand navigation. On this screen, you should see the “Survey URL.” Copy this to include in your new FB App Settings. This will be the non-secure url, which looks like this for our CHF example: ID=2700
  • Visit the non-secure survey in a web browser. The Convio system will redirect to the secure version. Copy the secure version of the url to use in the new FB App settings. It looks like this for CHF: ID=2700

Step Two: Register for a Facebook Developer Account and Create a New App

  1. Have a Facebook account. (You know you already do.) Log in.
  2. Become an admin for your nonprofit’s FB page, if you aren’t already.
  3. Go here:
  4. Register for the Developer App
  5. Upon confirmation, etc., go to Apps > Create a New App
  6. Fill out the pop-up and click Create App.
    Display name: The app’s title
    Namespace: This will become the vanity URL
    Select “Apps for Pages” as the Category (this means the app will live on your org’s Facebook page).
  7. You should now be on the “Dashboard” view of your new app. The remaining setup for your new FB app will happen in the Settings menu.

Step Three: Configure Your App In Facebook

  1. Go to “Settings” in the left-hand navigation
  2. You have two app domains. Enter your org’s website URL without the http://www (for example, Hit return. In the same field, add the first portion of your secure website URL (for many of you, it will be Hit return.
  3. Click “Add Platform,” and choose “App on Facebook”
  4. Paste the non-secure URL to the “Canvas URL” field
  5. Paste the secure URL to the “Secure Canvas URL” field
  6. Click the “Add Platform” button again, and this time, add “Page Tab”
  7. Configure the page tab info. In the case of CHF, our Page Tab Name is “Speak Up For Kids,” the Page Tab URL is the non-secure version URL of the Luminate survey, and the Secure Page Tab URL is the secure version URL of the Luminate survey. Add an image that will display for the page tab on your org’s Facebook page.

Step Four: Add the new Facebook App as a Tab on Your Org’s Facebook page

  1. Ensure you are logged in as an admin to your org’s FB.
  2. In order to add the new app to your org’s Facebook page, you’ll need to replace a couple of URL parameters and visit an amended version of this URL: APP_ID&next=YOUR_URL
  3. Replace “YOUR_APP_ID” with the App ID of your new FB App, which can be found in the “Settings” section of your new FB App. Replace “YOUR_URL” with the Canvas URL of your new FB App, which can be found in the “Settings” section of your new FB App, under App on Facebook — Canvas Page.
  4. Choose your org’s Facebook page in the drop-down on the “Add Page Tab” pop-up box that will appear.
  5. Your app is now magically connected to your org’s FB page.
  6. As a page admin, you can now re-order your org’s tabs.

For more documentation on developing Facebook Apps, visit:

Walking through these steps will enable you to DIY your app. And if you’d like to do something more involved, or if you’d like some strategy consulting help, you’re always free to contact us at Donordigital.

Wendy Marinaccio Husman is a Senior Account Executive with Donordigital. Jesse Kelsey is Senior Developer with Donordigital. Call us if you need help or advice! Donordigital helps nonprofit organizations, campaigns, and socially responsible businesses use the Internet for fundraising, advocacy, advertising, and marketing. We provide strategy and implementation to enable organizations to use e-mail, the Web, Facebook, mobile, and other communications to build their constituencies and change the world. 

Optimizing Facebook display advertising results through audience testing

With social media a growing component of major nonprofit campaigns, organizations need to be prepared to jumpstart the conversation online and drive engagement for their cause.  This Case Study of our work with the National Parkinson Foundation showcases how we spoke to those they most wanted to engage by targeting the right Facebook groups with the right message, while maximizing a limited budget.  This hands-on Case Study examines how nonprofits can use Facebook Advertising to drive potential supporters to you, giving them opportunities to engage in your mission.

About the Client: For over half a century, the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) has focused on meeting the needs in the care and treatment of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). NPF has funded more than $172 million in care, research and support services. Unique among other Parkinson’s organizations, NPF has a singular focus — their mission is to improve the quality of care through research, education and outreach.

About the Campaign: The Aware in Care: 10,000 Kits for 10,000 likes Facebook campaign was part of the larger Aware in Care program launch. Aware in Care is an amazing NPF program that aims to help people with Parkinson’s disease get the best care possible during a hospital stay. The Aware in Care kit contains tools and information to protect, prepare and empower people with Parkinson’s before, during and after a hospital visit. The 10,000 Kits for 10,000 likes Facebook campaign gave users a chance to have a free kit delivered to a patient in need just by liking NPF. And by driving Facebook likes, NPF also drove larger awareness of the campaign, which allowed those who needed a kit for themselves or a family member to also order online.

About the Results: By finding the best responding audience, NPF drove engagement with a 92% conversion rate, while optimizing budget by lowering the cost per like by up to 30%, giving them almost 30% more voice to start the conversation with!

Download the free Case Study

National Parkinson Foundation celebrates 10,000th Facebook fan

Donordigital joins in celebrating with its client National Parkinson Foundation in reaching its 10,000th Facebook fan.

Donordigital worked with National Parkinson Foundation to run a Facebook Ad campaign with the goal of recruiting 10,000 new Facebook fans. Each new fan helps NPF give away an Aware in Care kit to people living with Parkinson’s. The kit features tools and information to share with hospital staff during a planned or emergency hospital stay.

Through a combination of organic and paid efforts on Facebook, National Parkinson Foundation reached a social media milestone – 10,000 Facebook supporters! To optimize the paid efforts, Donordigital tested ad creative and audiences to identify the strongest messages and most receptive audiences.

NPF is passionate about expanding their work on social media, and this celebratory picture proves it. Kudos to NPF for sharing this celebration picture with their 12,278 (and counting) Facebook fans. To support NPF’s great work and help them give away an Aware in Care kit, click here.

Causes announces new Tab feature for Facebook

Causes has announced the launch of its improved Facebook fanpage integration. With this development, nonprofits can now easily add a Causes tab to their Facebook Page.

This is good news for nonprofits that are still trying to make the most out of Causes as part of their social media strategy.

Causes is important to how nonprofits use social media, particularly Facebook, because it offers a way to collect payments from supporters and donors via Facebook, and it offers some good viral marketing tools like the popular Birthday Fundraising Appeals.

According to Causes, more than 700 nonprofits adopted the new tab in the first week after it launched. You’re next.

The Causes blog has step-by-step instructions for adding the tab and customizing it.

Michael Stein is a Senior Account Executive at Donordigital, the online fundraising, marketing, and advertising company. Contact: or phone (510) 473-0364.

My daughter doesn’t talk on the phone

My 15-year-old daughter doesn’t talk on the phone.  She only checks her email when her school uses it for homework assignments.   She only responds to text messages and Facebook – and she can spend all evening on her phone, texting and Facebooking.  She helps keep me focused on social media even though I still send hundreds of emails a day and even pick up the phone for old-fashioned voice calls.

Convio’s Going Social: Tapping into Social Media for Nonprofit Success white paper published in 2010 is an excellent handbook for reviewing what your organization is doing with social media and determining how to do it better.  While we all know that Facebook and other social media is not producing much revenue – remember my daughter – it’s wher a lot of people spend a lot of their time and it’s essential to building relationships with donors who will give through email, your Web site, or – increasingly – their smart phones.  Here are some of Convio’s “ten key benefits” of social media:

  1. Learn what your supporters are saying (and increase trust and loyalty by allowing them to give you feedback).
  2. Drive traffic. (Some of our clients are getting 10% to 20% of their Web traffic from social media.)
  3. Improve results on search engines with keyword-rich content.
  4. Drive visitors to online donation pages.  (Some of our clients saw this after the Haiti earthquake.  You can also create a donation tab which enables people to enter their credit cards within Facebook and send the info via an API into Convio or another tool.)
  5. Enable supporters – especially your most passionate “influencers” — to distribute messages about your organization to their friends.
  6. Acquire new contacts and build your email housefile.  (While many Facebook fans figure they can get all the info they want about your org via Facebook, some will sign up if you provide the sign-up form.)
  7. Show your supporters that you are where they are (my idea, not Convio’s).

Network for Good’s Online Giving Study: A Call to Reinvent Donor Relationships from January 2011 is also filled with useful information as you plan 2011 and beyond. This study reviews what NFG learned from $381 million in online donations made through the Network for Good system, which powers charity Web pages; portals where donors can find charities, such as,, or; and for social media sites such as Facebook Causes and

  1. Donors who gave on organization-branded Web pages gave larger gifts, and more money over time, than donors who gave through portals or social media.
  2. “Cumulative giving over time is a key metric to measuring donor relationships.”  We all know this, but often just look at individual gifts, not “lifetime value.”
  3. Donors who made their first gift on a charity’s Web site (on a charity-branded page actually sitting on a secure Network for Good site) gave larger gifts and more money over time, portals were next, and Facebook givers gave the smallest initial gift and the least amount over time.  Again, this makes sense, but I never thought of it.
  4. 22% of all online giving in the Network for Good universe took place on the last two days of the year (2003-2009).  Does that fit with what you saw this year?
  5. Average gifts online are dropping because (a) online giving is more mainstream, not just affluent early adopters, and (b) at least in the Network for Good example, there are a lot of gifts from Facebook Causes, where donors are younger and give less.

Nick Allen is co-founder and chief strategy officer of Donordigital, the online fundraising, marketing, and advertising company.  Contact: or phone (510) 473-0366.