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Table of Contents
Research Methodology Executive Summary Detailed Findings Moving Forward Respondent Profile 3 4 5 16 17
Dates of interviews: Survey mode: Sample: July 29th – August 17th, 2009 Telephone 200 Nonprofit and Foundation Executive Directors and Senior Communications Officials +/- 6.9 percentage points at the 95% confidence level Numbers may not total 100% due to rounding.
Margin of error: Notes:
• • • • There is extensive experimentation with social media in the nonprofit sector, but only half (51%) surveyed are active users Most nonprofits (67%) say social media is changing how they communicate with broad external audiences, but not narrower categories of stakeholders Most nonprofits (52%) do not currently have the infrastructure, staff and expertise necessary to take full advantage of social media’s potential Nonprofit executives (83%) understand that social media makes it easier for supporters to organize independently – underscoring how critical it is for nonprofits to demonstrate their value and relevance to advocates Ultimately, for most nonprofit executives (79%), the true value of social media has yet to be determined for their organizations
• The findings of this research offer insights into how nonprofits and foundations can optimize their use of social media in the future. Successful nonprofit organizations will: – Move from experimentation to implementation of strategic programs that drive digital engagement – Focus on two-way conversations that build meaningful and sustainable connections with a range of priority audiences – Invest in social media capacity as a means of achieving brand building, advocacy and fundraising goals – Demonstrate their unique impact to underscore relevance to advocates – Measure social media with key metrics for visibility, engagement and advocacy
Nonprofits are experimenting with social media
Almost all nonprofits – especially larger ones – are at least experimenting with social media, but only 51% are active users
We continue to pursue traditional media exclusively We continue to pursue traditional media, and are experimenting a little with social media We use traditional media and social media equally We continue to pursue traditional media, and are experimenting a lot with social media We are changing focus, relying less on traditional media and more on social media
Organizations with an operating budget of $25 million or more are even more likely to be experimenting heavily – 51%
51% are active users of social media
Social media is worth the investment
Less than one-quarter of nonprofit executives believe social media isn’t yet worth the investment, while three-quarters say it is more cost effective
AGREE OR DISAGREE?
Social media is a priority for the future
Nonprofit executives overwhelmingly assert that they plan to use social media more moving forward
In the next two years does your organization plan to use social media more, less or the same amount you do now?
Social media will be demanding a bigger piece of nonprofit’s spending dollars in 2010 – 69% believe their communications budget next year will stay the same or decrease
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External audiences are the current target
Social media is primarily changing the way nonprofits communicate with broad external audiences, but not narrower categories of stakeholders
In general, is social media changing the way your organization communicates with…
External impact is positive
Two-thirds of nonprofit executives believe social media has had a positive impact on their external audiences, but are less certain about other stakeholders
And would you say that social media has had a positive impact, a negative impact or no impact at all on the quality of your communications with…
Total Positive Impact
For now, focus is on building awareness
Nonprofit executives view social media as effective in raising visibility and building awareness of their organizations – more so than for fundraising
AGREE OR DISAGREE?
My organization's website and participation in social media builds awareness of our organization My organization's website and participation in social media keeps our external audiences more engaged in our activities My organization believes our current social media strategy gives us a competitive advantage in comparison to our peers My organization's website and participation in social media helps raise more money
Orgs with an operating budget of $10 million or more are more likely to say social media engages external audiences – 93%
Social media seen as less effective for fundraising
Many have an uncertain relationship with social media
More than six in ten (61%) say they like or are intrigued by social media, but struggle with implementation
Which best describes your organizations’ relationship with social media?
Organizations with an operating budget of $25 million or more are even more likely to love it and be good at it – 44%
We love it and are good at it
We like it but are struggling with how to implement it We are intrigued but haven't really used it yet
Nonprofit's policies are still catching up – 64% say their organization does not have policies in place for how employees and board members can post information on social media sites
We reluctantly use social media as it becomes necessary We are not sure how to do it or why we should
Social media reigns in organizing
Nonprofit executives see social media as more effective than traditional media to mobilize advocates; more so than for awareness building or fundraising For:
Mobilizing people as advocates on your organization’s behalf Building awareness of your organization Supporting fundraising efforts
Traditional media… Much more effective Somewhat more effective
Which is more effective… Traditional Media Social Media
Social media seen as more effective for organizing, but not other types of outreach
Social media… Much more effective Somewhat more effective
Yet it’s a double-edged sword in organizing
Most believe social media makes it easier to organize advocates on behalf of their organization – but also for people to organize independently – underscoring how critical it is for groups to demonstrate their value to advocates
AGREE OR DISAGREE?
Depth and expertise create barriers
Many nonprofit organizations of all sizes acknowledge they do not have the necessary staff and expertise to execute their social media programs
AGREE OR DISAGREE?
65% say they do not have enough overall communications staff
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Ultimately the jury is still out on value
While a majority of nonprofit executives believe the rewards outweigh the risks, most also acknowledge they haven’t yet determined the value of social media for their organizations
AGREE OR DISAGREE?
Appendix: Respondent Profile
Job Title CEO/President Executive or Managing Director EVP/SVP/VP/Director of Communications EVP/SVP/VP/Director of Development Other Role in Organization’s Communications Efforts Directly manage or oversee all communications Part of a senior team that directly manages or oversees all communications Directly manage or oversee certain kinds of communications Type of Organization Nonprofit organization Grant-making foundation Both 1-2 people 3-4 people 5 or more people Don’t know
Primary Focus of Organization 7% 16% 53% 19% 6% Multiple issue-focused Healthcare Children and family issues Education Humanitarian relief Human rights 38% 40% 22% Economic development Environment Global development Arts and culture Other 96% 1% 4% 32% 32% 34% 3% Annual Operating Budget
$25 million or more $10 million to less than $25 million $5 million to less than $10 million $1 million to less than $5 million 20% 23% 17% 42%
36% 20% 13% 10% 8% 5% 3% 3% 3% 1% 2%
Organization’s Communications Department Size
Male Female 40% 60%
FOR MORE INFORMATION: PAUL MASSEY, 202.585.2799 email@example.com STEPHANIE BLUMA, 202.585.2755 firstname.lastname@example.org JULIE HURBANIS, 952.346.6277 email@example.com COLIN MOFFETT, 202.585.2045 firstname.lastname@example.org VICTORIA SNEED, 202.585.2814 email@example.com TANYA FEINSTEIN, 202.585.2138 firstname.lastname@example.org
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