UPDATE :: After you verify your business/nonprofit, you are asked to merge your Official Page with your Places Page. I have sneaking suspicion that the merged example in this blog post is a glimpse of the new Pages that are launching this week. Hold off on #6 below until further notice.

Many nonprofit communicators are now aware that Facebook Places launched for iPhone users on August 18, but less known is that Facebook users can also use Facebook Places on touch.facebook.com. At this point, most nonprofits will only be able to “Add” themselves to Facebook Places. Some will be able to “Claim” their Facebook Places Page (see #6 below). Beyond that, we’ll have to wait to see how the new functionality evolves for more best practices.


Adding your nonprofit on an iPhone is pretty straight-forward and very easy. For those of you who do not have an iPhone, here’s how to add your nonprofit to Facebook Places from your laptop, desktop or any smartphone browser:

1) Go to touch.facebook.com and login.

This site was built primarily for tablets and touch-screen computers, but it also works great on desktops, laptops, and in any smartphone browser. Once logged in, go to the Status Update “What’s on your mind?” box and click the Places icon on the right:

2) Allow Facebook to use your current location.

After you click on the Places icon, you will then be prompted at the top of the Page to “Allow” Facebook to use your current location to. If you want to add your nonprofit to Facebook Places, you have to Allow. If you are concerned about privacy, then read A Closer Look at the Privacy Features of Facebook Places. I chose to Allow (obviously), but I also went into my Facebook Privacy Settings and made it so only I could post my location on Facebook, and that friends could not tag me in their Facebook Places “Check-ins”.

3) Search for your organization from your organization’s location.

Whether it is on your desktop at work or a laptop on location, Facebook will generate your organization’s exact location and plot it on a map, so you need to make sure you search for your organization while on location. If your organization already has a Places Page, it will show up in the list:

If not, you will be prompted to “Add” your organization:

Please Note: The search/location functionality is a little glitchy. If you get an error message, keep trying. It does work.

4) “Add” your nonprofit.

Spell out the name as you would exactly like to appear, insert a brief description, and then “Add” your nonprofit. This will then create a Facebook Place Page for your nonprofit.

Please Note: I did not Add the James River Basin Partnership to Facebook Places. I was testing Facebook Places at home and did not want to create their Places Page with an incorrect address. I did however Add College Station Hollywood  Theatres while on location using my iPhone. I intentionally mispelled “theaters” in the Places Page title to monitor if an Admin can update the page title later.

5) “Like” your new Facebook Places Page.

That’s right, in addition to Official Pages and Community Pages, your nonprofit now also has a Places Page:

6) Claim your new Places Page.

Look for the link at the bottom of your new Places Page that says “Is this your business?”. Click it. You will then see a pop-up that reads:

  • Claiming this Place will turn it into a Facebook Page, allowing you to post updates to people who like the Page, update your business information, and more.
  • Places can only be claimed by official representatives.

After you click  “Proceed with Verification”, you will need to enter an address and phone number, and provide one of the following by selecting and uploading your 1) Articles of Incorporation, 2) business license, or 3) BBB Accreditation. Obviously Facebook hasn’t considered the needs of nonprofits in this verification process. Although nonprofits do have Articles of Incorporatio, most probably don’t have easy access to them. If your nonprofit goes through the verification process and gets approved, please let me know and I’ll blog about it. Thanks.

Related Links:
Webinar :: How Nonprofits Can Successfully Use Facebook and Facebook Apps
Foursquare Experiences Record Signups After Launch of Facebook Places
HOW TO: Add Your Nonprofit to Foursquare
VIDEO: Checking-in With Facebook Places

Facebook Adds to Location Check-In Services With Hot Potato Acquisition