The Amplification Project Crowdsources Expertise Using Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are a great tool to have an ongoing conversation with your core supporters and advisors.

Nonprofit organizations are increasingly learning the hard lesson that information, expertise and talent cost large sums of money. Companies spend billions of dollars every year on hiring consultants, but you, as a nonprofit, most likely do not have that luxury. Through the strategic use of Facebook groups, however, you can create a virtual meeting place to convene experts and receive valuable advice.

Choose people who possess expertise and are accessible to you

A Facebook group comprised of carefully selected colleagues will allow you to crowdsource information and leverage sparse resources. The key is to identify what kind of expertise you need, and who you can trust to provide the information. This requires identifying who has the relevant knowledge, and also who is most likely to give you their time and support through strong participation in the group. Many non-profits are dealing with complex issues that require intricate knowledge of data and laws, so identifying key experts to whom you have access is key. The Amplification Project has included our Advisory Board members in our Facebook group, each of which was carefully selected because of our relationships with them and their ability to advise our digital advocacy campaigns.

Let your group members know how much you need and appreciate their time

The point of forming a Facebook group is to get great advice for free, but group members also establish a connection with your endeavor. When you reach out to people to ask them to be in your group, let them know how excited you are about what you are doing. Emphasize to them how important your work is, and let them know they have the opportunity to play a formative role in your organization. Last, but certainly not least, let them know how valuable their input is, and that you sincerely appreciate any time they can give you to help your efforts. Once you establish a connection with your Facebook group and they contribute to your organization’s achievement, these people will become loyal, active, even hands-on supporters and help spread the word about what you are doing.

How to keep your Facebook group engaged and productive

  • Identify key points of information you need from the group, then craft questions to get this information from your group.
  • Post one question per week to start. This helps to steer the conversation effectively by only covering the questions you want answered.
  • Whenever you get comments in response to your questions, be sure to reply to them directly and encourage further dialogue.
  • Never discourage or shut down a suggestion; encourage your members and praise their participation to keep the conversation open and flowing.
  • You can visit the Amplification Project’s Facebook Group and join us in the conversation to get a sense of how the process works, and to give us your feedback!

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