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Foundation Execs Test Social Media - Survey

20 September 2010 at 11:51 am
Staff Reporter
A new report finds that about one-third of Foundation CEOs in the US regularly use Facebook or read blogs, and only six percent use Twitter.

Staff Reporter | 20 September 2010 at 11:51 am


Foundation Execs Test Social Media - Survey
20 September 2010 at 11:51 am

A new report finds that about one-third of Foundation CEOs in the US regularly use Facebook or read blogs, and only six percent use Twitter.

The report by the Foundation Center called Are Foundation Leaders Using Social Media? documents the usage of social media tools by Foundation executives based on survey responses from 73 members of the Center's Grantmaker Leadership Panel.

Lawrence McGill, the Center's vice president for research, says it's clear from the survey that usage of social media is catching on in the Foundation world, but it is far from being part of the regular routine of most chief executives.

The report outlines which social media services are used regularly or occasionally by Foundation leaders, which blogs are read by CEOs and how often, the perceived usefulness of Web 2.0 in philanthropic work, and highlights the social media activity of two "power users" in the field.

Other findings include:

  • More established forms of online communications — e-newsletters and Listservs — are regularly used by FDoundation CEOs at a much higher rate (65 percent and 45 percent, respectively) than the newer social media tools.
  • The most-read blog by far among Foundation chief executives is the Huffington Post (with 53 percent reporting that they have read it at least once in the past six months).
  • Nearly three-quarters of respondents believe social networking services have been at least somewhat useful in furthering the work of philanthropy in general, but only half said it has helped further their own foundation's work.

By documenting Foundations’ online practices and activities, Are Foundation Leaders Using Social Media? supports the Center’s overall efforts to bring transparency to the world of philanthropy.

The Foundation Center's Grantmaker Leadership Panel draws upon the expertise of 228 chief executives at leading U.S. private and public Foundations on critical issues of interest to the sector, providing a regionally representative sample of the largest 400 independent and 200 community foundations in the country.

Panel members hold assets totaling over $100 billion and make grants totaling more than $7 billion annually. The Foundation Center is an umbrella organisation for US Foundations and operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy.

The report can be downloaded here – Are Foundation Leaders Using Social Media? (PDF)

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