Facebook hashtags used to annoy us to no end. Simply put, they didn’t work. It was the wrong medium. And yet, people continued to use them.

And don’t think that the people at Facebook didn’t notice their lack of functioning hashtags, because low and behold—they finally rolled out hashtags much like Twitter and (no surprise) the Facebook-owned app Instagram.

So just what do these hashtags mean for your nonprofit? One thing we do know is that this doesn’t make Facebook and Twitter the same. So use the two wisely. Here’s how.

1. Longevity on Facebook is Finally Here

Alas, we’ve been waiting for a more sustainable way to make sure our nonprofit’s mission is heard… for more than a day. In the past, we could post a status and it would continue to get ‘likes’ or ‘shares’ for a few days (at most). But now, when users search a hashtag that you’ve used, your post could show up for days and days.

That means your content gets a second wind. And that second wind could give a second wind to your fundraising campaign. See where we’re going with this? Let’s just say that the longevity on Facebook is a sight for sore nonprofit eyes.

2. Find People You Didn’t Know Existed

Potential donors are just waiting to be found. And Facebook’s hashtag can take you to a whole new place you’ve never been—or even knew existed.

Before, we were limited to the people that we know and their friends. But nonprofits can now be connected to a larger audience. And the best part? We already know that those people care about what we care about because they’re using the same hashtags.

So simply put a “#” in front of a word or phrase that directly relates to your organization.

For example, we searched “#nonprofit” as a starting point. Then, results are shown along with suggested hashtags and a prompt for you to say something using the hashtag.

You should be more specific in your hashtag usage, but also make sure to use some more general hashtags that will help you reach a broader audience.

3. Streamline Your Fundraising Campaign

Now it’s easy to get your fundraising campaign trending (sort of). On Twitter, hashtags can “trend” meaning they’re the most talked about. However, there isn’t a section for that on Facebook. But the hashtags do make it easy for people to search for your fundraising campaign, special event or just your nonprofit in general.

Having a fall fundraiser? Create your own hashtag. Use the same hashtag for all social media and make sure to include it on your promotional materials. From direct mail to email campaigns and flyers, make sure your constituents know how to connect on social media. Then when your constituents use the hashtags, their friends will see them using it and become curious. They’ll end up checking your organization out too.

We want to know—how has your nonprofit been using hashtags on Facebook (if at all)?