Non-profit use of Social Media and its Impact: Social Media Study

This is the fourth post of a four part series devoted to social media’s use within nonprofit organizations, Social Media Study.  The first post of the series is Engagement & Empowerment, the second is Increasing Presence & Transparency, and the third is Funding.

Social Media Study

Courtesy of pmtips.com

A 2008 study conducted by Mashable.com of 426 donors responding to 30 questions revealed interesting results that are directly related to the impact of social software on donations to non-profit organizations.  The questions dealt with the age distribution of social software donors, desired conversation topics, and social media use.

For those donors under the age of 30, only four percent donated $5,000 or more.  For donors between the ages of 30-49, 20 percent gave more than $5,000 and for those respondents age 50 and over, 47 percent donated more than $5,000.  When asked about their desired conversation topics, respondents in the 30-49 age bracket and those over of the age of 50 indicated they had used social media to discuss philanthropy in the past, 84 percent and 55 percent, respectively.  The study concluded that the higher age groups’ past participation in these conversations indicated an area of growth for donations.  Also, when asked about their use of social media, 91 percent of respondents between the ages of 30-49 and 94 percent of respondents over the age of 50 indicated they participated in social networks.

The information from this survey has potentially positive implications for non-profit organizations using social media.  Non-profit organizations have the chance to effectively connect with prospective donors using social software for the above specified age groups.  From the survey, the implications for non-profit organizations are clear, the impact of social media on donations and fundraising efforts is of paramount importance to the survival of non-profit organizations.

Summary

The impact of social software on non-profit organizations is highly significant.  This is mainly due to this technology’s underpinning focus to promote ideas, share information, and collaborate with other like-minded individuals and groups through the creation and growth of online communities.  These communities provide non-profit organizations the opportunity to empower and engage their supporters by allowing discussions on topics of mutual interest.  In doing so, these organizations are able to grow their online presence and generate more support, while lengthening the reach of their message and ideals.  As these organizations grow so does their ability to develop dynamic content and use crowd sourcing techniques to understand their constituency at a deeper level.  All of this contributes to non-profit organizations’ abilities to fundraise, which is critical to their long-term survival.

… the experiment does not stop here …

This post is the fourth post in a four part series.

Thanks for reading and please leave a comment with your thoughts.

References:

Livingston, G. (2010, August 4). Five Social Fundraising Alternatives to Facebook Causes. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2010/08/04/social-fundraising-alternatives-facebook-causes/

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