Nearly all US charities and nonprofits are on social networks, according to spring 2014 polling by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research, which found that 98% of charities and nonprofits surveyed were using at least one form of social media.
YouTube was the most common social media tool used, cited by 97% of social media administrators, while 92% of respondents were on Facebook, 86% used Twitter, and 72% had Pinterest accounts.
Charities and nonprofits were using social media to generate awareness—and this was far more important than using the channel to drive donations. Fully 81% of social administrators said awareness was their main objective, compared with 40% who said the same for generating donations.
However, a summary of the results noted that generating donations was still critical to nonprofits and charities, and while this wasn’t the most important reason for social network usage, an overwhelming majority of respondents were seeing success. More than seven in 10 US charity and nonprofit social media administrators found the channel useful for raising money, with one-third saying it was very useful. Just 11% said it wasn’t useful for fundraising.
Though charities and nonprofits reported seeing success with social, a January 2014 study conducted by InkHouse and Global Market Insite found that US internet users were not interested in seeing requests for fundraising from friends on Facebook. When asked about the leading types of Facebook posts they wanted to see more often, just 4% of respondents cited requests for charitable donations, compared with 54% who said they wanted to see more humorous posts. However, only 8.2% said they would unfriend someone who posted too many of these requests.
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