Questions regarding Facebook for Non Profits from a friend

I’ve gotten some variation of the questions a friend recently asked me several times so I figured I’d throw my thoughts up here so I can share it in the future. Anything you would add to these answers?

1. if an org. can’t afford a web developer, could facebook serve as a website?

Yes, but I don’t recommend it. A better solution would be to use or another service like that to put together a website quickly and for just a few dollars (or EVEN better, to ask a donor to invest in putting together a professional website in the first place so they are maximizing their reach and efficiency from day one).

2. in your opinion, what are the pros and cons of having a website vs. just a facebook page acting as a website?


  • free or cheap depending on design for branding elements and strategy
  • social reach maximized right away
  • most folks already know how to use it, low learning curve


  • You don’t own it.
  • Ads served against your only connection to potential donors may be for other orgs or even something your org is fighting
  • you can’t control the layout to ensure your donors and prospects see what YOU want them to see
  • Facebook changes (be they in layout, app compatibility, algorithm, etc) can destroy your funding model overnight (just ask any of the bands who thought they didn’t need a web presence back at the height of the Myspace days)

3. can a facebook page have a donation button, that’s connected to paypal or another type of cart?

yes, there are several ecommerce and donation platforms that make facebook page apps

4. if the facebook page is set up separate from a person’s individual fb page, can people without a facebook account still access it?

only in a very limited sense. they cannot interact with it without an account.

My recommendation would be that unless they have a huge reach and are already very well connected on facebook to invest their limited resources in a simple low cost website (like and using that to get the word out.

Medical update

So last week I had a doctor appointment with my Orthopedic Specialist to review the results of my latest xray. He said everything looked good and that between the results plus my reduced pain and increased mobility that it confirms my diagnosis (for those who don’t remember there had previously been a window of doubt). So that is all good news.

After checking everything out he decided that I needed to have a bone scan in 4 months to check surgery readiness. After the scan, I will meet with him to discuss results and hopefully get surgery scheduled. So with any luck, I should be recovering from surgery and low dose radiation at right around the one year mark (November 2014) from the beginning of this whole ordeal.

I’ve lost an estimated 5-10% of the muscle in my thigh and will likely lose another 5-10% in surgery. After recovery I will be able to get back on a bike though (which is what I am REALLY looking forward to). In the meantime I have to drive most places. Walking is not super practical if I have the kids or a lot of stuff to carry plus it is much more time consuming.

Still sore and uncomfortable but that is far better than being in constant extreme pain. Still more tired than I used to be, but not exhausted and falling asleep by 5p anymore. Slow progress but progress nonetheless. A little cranky at times (my family might say a lot at times too). While things are certainly better than they were, most areas of concern are still there.

I will continue keeping folks updated here. I’ve created a new blog category for health updates so if you are interested or want to share this info with someone simply point them to and previous posts and any future posts will pop up.

We would sure appreciate your prayers in a few specific areas:

  • Finances: we have great insurance through Shannon’s work and we a little bit left in our flexible health spending account that we can draw from, but still lots of doctors visits and lots of medications (fortunately I have been reducing my meds significantly the last month or so) and lots of tests mean lots of copays. Additionally, the pain and stress and time involved has limited my ability to win new business. So we have more money than normal going out and far less than normal coming in. I have picked up a few small projects recently, but also lost one major one. If you know anyone who needs creative or marketing/communications work done please send them my way. Ideally, they would be in the social enterprise or non profit space, but I am being pretty flexible right now.
  • Kids: obviously, dad being stressed out and irritable is hard on kids. pray that I remain patient and fair with them, they get the time and attention they need.
  • Me: Me being stressed out and irritable is hard on Shannon. Pray that I deal with things in emotionally healthy and responsible ways (not my strong suit).


Doctor Visit

Doctor visit today with the specialist at UCLA Santa Monica. He will be looking at the xrays I took last week. Depending on what he sees we will either start talking about surgery options or schedule the next set of xrays for a couple months out. Over the last few weeks my inflammation and swelling has subsided which has decreased my pain levels substantially. Still get pretty tired and sore if I am too active but getting up in the morning doesn’t wipe me out for the day anymore. No muscle spasms in at least a month. Only two nights since my last appointment that I was too uncomfortable to sleep. All in all doing a lot better. Hopeful that we can get surgery scheduled and over and done with so that I can start riding a bike again. Walking is just not enough exercise to keep my energy level up and the increase in driving is expensive!

No new concerns really. Happy to report that there has been some modest improvement across all the previously listed issues. Appreciate you all.

I’m off to sit in bumper to bumper traffic for the next couple hours. Hope your day is better than mine!


Spoke at my church on Sunday. Not sure what you call what it was I did. It was sort of a mini talk within the pastor’s sermon. As our church is fairly traditional, no audio visual aids we used (hard for me since I used lots of visual language and I love creating slide decks) nor is there any audio visual to share. But I figured I’d post my notes if anyone is interested. Apologies for the awkward formating. It helps me to pace myself, pause for impact and take breathes at the appropriate places…

God created an earth that is constantly in flux. A river is always new. Every single day and night coastlines are recreated. The wildfire clears space for new growth and gives life to the forest. Decaying plant matter feeds the living.

We live in a world of creative destruction.

I refuse to believe that the God who created the duck billed platypus doesn’t long for His bride (the Church) to strive for creativity in her work.

The Psalms tell us to “Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things” and asks God to create in me a clean heart and renew in me a right spirit.

Isaiah tells us that the former things have passed, and new things are coming and even declares that new heavens and a new earth are coming.

Jeremiah tells us that “the Lord will create a new thing on earth.”

Throughout Paul’s letters we learn that “if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

Over 300 times the Bible calls us to the new.
We live under a new covenant,
we strive to bring a new kingdom,
Christ’s Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

We are called to sing new songs,
look forward to new things,
a new heaven
a new earth
and we are called a new creation.

Our worship songs, our hymns, contemporary Christian music — they all affirm this and yet in the Church (capital C) the Church, we often spend all our time and all our resources and all our energy doing the

And yet we desire to fulfill the great commission, to go out and create new disciples
in new places
from new generations
and we desire see our community transformed in new and exciting ways and
we long for God to do a new thing here.
In this nation.
In this city.
In this neighborhood.
In this church.

New is often unknown.
New is sometimes scary.
New always involves change.
The birth of a butterfly first comes from the death of the caterpillar and the struggle of fighting from the cocoon.
And yet the end result is beautiful.
The butterfly then goes on to bring life to plants all around the country.

Similarly, when God does new things in our lives we often experience loss.
We should mourn the good,
but we must anticipate the great.

Adapting and responding creatively to the new doesn’t mean accepting everything that other people try to make you do. When you’re adapting and responding creatively to new things, you’re saying, “I understand that God is at work here,” and you’re stepping forward to add your own contribution, that flows from what’s most important to you and where you see God working.

Perhaps the most important thing to realize about new things is that it takes at least as much energy to adapt and respond creatively to the new as it does to resist the new. Often we think that resisting the new is the easiest option, and that’s why we so often do it, but letting go, committing to the what God is doing and being willing to adapt and respond creatively is much, much easier, and much more in line with the heart of God.


The funny thing about biopsy results…

So the big thing everyone wants to know…

[quote style=”boxed”]No. I don’t have cancer. In fact, I don’t have a tumor at all. [/quote]

It looks a lot like, but not quite enough to be 100% certain, myositis ossificans. Because of some irregularities they do want to keep a very close eye on it to make sure nothing changes.

So in terms of prognosis, when someone gets a cancer diagnosis it ranges from you have a few days to live up to you’ll make a full recovery. Obviously the former is terrible and I am so so grateful that I will not have to have that conversation with my wife and kids. Unfortunately, the latter is not an option for me.

My muscle is irreparably damaged. The best that I can hope for is that over time my limp might go away. I will always get tired when walking and my strength will always be less than it was 4 months ago.

For now I will continue with my pain management regimen and continue to have xrays every few months to check on it and see if it has stopped growing. Once it does they will run tests and prepare for the next step. Eventually, I will have to have surgery to remove the lump and 1-2 doses of radiation to ensure that it doesn’t come back.

Hopefully by the end of the year I will be done with the whole process and see what my “new normal” is.

So there you have it. It is a bit anti climatic. I thought I would be a lot more excited to get these results. But I am VERY excited to know how much everybody cares. Your calls, texts, tweets, FB posts, Instagram comments, etc have been so appreciated. Most of the concerns mentioned in my original post are the same for the foreseeable future except now we have some certainty (which is a huge relief).

My Uncle’s words of encouragement to my mom

1. he had an incarcerated hernia at 5 weeks old and surgery he survived.
2. he had a lost testicle and it was found so surgery put it in the right place
3. at 4 he fell in the pool, almost died and you were told if he survived he would be a vegetable.
4. he at 2 years old fell down a flight of stairs and then went to ER and they said he didn’t break anything.

He been through a lot so far so this ain’t shit! Even if it is cancer, it can be operated on and heal right up.