Now that most nonprofits have a Community Page on Facebook in addition to their Official Page, it is crucial that nonprofits create a Wikipedia account to edit, maintain, and “Watch” their organization’s Wikipedia Page. Why? Because Facebook Community Pages have Wikipedia Tabs that pull in your organization’s information directly from Wikipedia.

For example, I used to work for a nonprofit called Global Exchange. Here is their Community Page on Facebook:

Notice how the Community Page has a Wikipedia Tab? It is worth noting that I personally “Like” Global Exchange’s Official Page on Facebook, so the Community Page did not come up in searches on Facebook. I had to login to my husband’s Facebook account (who does not “Like” their Official Page) to find Global Exchange’s Community Page. Facebook Community Pages do seem to trump Official Pages in searches on Facebook.

Given that most nonprofits now have a Community Page that supersedes their Official Page in Facebook searches, and those Community Pages pull in information from Wikipedia, can you see why it is now very important to edit, maintain, and watch your organization’s Wikipedia Page?

Here’s how to get started on Wikipedia:

1. Create a Wikipedia account. It’s free, takes only a few seconds, and has many benefits.

2. Search for your organization on Wikipedia. If your organization does not have a Wikipedia Page [also known as articles], then your new Wikipedia account allows you to create one. If your organization does have a Wikipedia Page, then you may want to edit the content (with caution). Please note that edits made on Wikipedia take 24 hours to appear on your organization’s Facebook Community Page.

3. Edit your page. The Wikipedia Page for Global Exchange looks to have been edited recently, so I am not going edit that Page. But another organization I used to work for called International Development Exchange has a Wikipedia Page that does need a little sprucing up:

Click “Edit” in the upper right

Editing backend

Formatting text, inserting links and headlines

When I first came across IDEX’s Wikipedia Page, it had one sentence and a link to their website. I added a few paragraphs and links to their blog and social media sites. I wanted to keep it short enough to look good on a Facebook Community Page Wikipedia Tab. BUT International Development Exchange does not have a Community Page. Rather, its acronym does:!/pages/IDEX/121216267890213

Notice the ability to suggest a relevant Wikipedia Page? I did that for “IDEX”, but if International Development Exchange had named their Official Page “International Development Exchange” instead of “International Development Exchange (IDEX)” then they would have a Community Page named “International Development Exchange” with a Wikipedia Tab from the “International Development Exchange” Wikipedia Page. The IDEX acronym altered the way Facebook created a Community Page for IDEX. Confused? You’re not alone. Community Pages are confusing… and at the current time I think rather useless. Hopefully as time goes by Facebook will explain better why they created them in the first place and enhance their usefulness.

All that said and Facebook confusion aside, odds are your nonprofit has a Facebook Community Page. Find it and then sign up to edit your Wikipedia Page. Wikipedia has unique editing code and guidelines. Depending on your skill set, it could take a couple of hours to figure it out. You can do basic edits or get really advanced with your Wikipedia Page – like the Humane Society of the United States. Here’s how it looks on the HSUS Facebook Community Page.

4. “Watch” your page. I was able to edit IDEX’s Page because anyone can edit a Wikipedia Page. Opt-in to watch your Page to be alerted when someone else makes edits to your Page:

Related Webinar:
How Nonprofits Can Successfully Use Facebook and Facebook Apps :: Advanced

HOW TO: Update Your Nonprofit’s Wikipedia Page (and Why You Should) via @nonprofitorgs