UNCF-NY: Managing a nonprofit’s Facebook presence

At the beginning of the semester this year’s Social Journalism cohort was split into 4 teams to manage 4 different nonprofits’ Facebook pages. Each nonprofit has a small Facebook presence and our task is to increase both their likes and engagement over the course of the semester.

The nonprofit that my group was given is UNCF NY which had 530 likes and almost no engagement. If you are wondering who is UNCF New York they are the United Negro College Fund’s New York chapter. But they lose a lot of recognition because United Negro College Fund is something people have heard of and the acronym isn’t as well known but they use it exclusively because their scholarships are geared towards all minority students.

The goal that was given to us it that heir page should become a resource for the minority students who can benefit from their scholarships. Since the goal given to us by UNCF NY isn’t really measurable my team is trying to achieve their goal by increasing the likes and engagement on their page. For the last 5 weeks my team has been experimenting with content and posting times trying to find content that our current following will engage with and share. We’ve had some success with historical posts about Black History and interesting articles related to minority community but we’ve also had a lot of content that just reached a few people and had absolutely no engagement.

We’ve been lucky to have a lot of freedom to post the content we think fits the brand. So far in the last 5 weeks their likes have increased to 565 and we’ve had no unlikes which is at least means no one completely dislikes the content we’re posting and its frequency. Each week I struggle to find content that I think will resonate with our followers. Every member of our team has been reflecting on successes and failure of our personal posts on Storify which has helped me see patterns in the posts that do well and try to find more content that similar to that.It seems like when we get into a groove with timing and scheduling our post things change and times that we thought were successful are not anymore. When we post resources like scholarships or some other resourceful content they have fallen pretty flat.

We also learned that two-thirds of our page likes are from women and despite a majority of the page likes being 45+ the followers who have been the most active are the younger followers. We’ve been trying to gear some of our content towards women of color and we’ve gotten a few likes and shares on that type of content.

One thing that has been a bit frustrating is that the UNCF NY staff still posts on the page without letting us know or even checking to see if we had anything scheduled around that time. One example of that is leading up to their gala we scheduled a post but the staff also posted about the gala so we had several posts in a row all about the gala.

Overall I’m really worried about creating a social strategy for UNCF NY to use after we leave because at the moment we haven’t even gotten a sense of the best way to run the page. But I am excited to see what we all have done by the end of the semester.