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Digital IQ Index for NFPs

25 November 2010 at 9:53 am
Staff Reporter
A unique index measuring the digital IQ of Public Sector organisations in the US has placed just one Not for Profit organisation in its category of 'genius'.

Staff Reporter | 25 November 2010 at 9:53 am


Digital IQ Index for NFPs
25 November 2010 at 9:53 am

A unique index measuring the digital IQ of Public Sector organisations in the US has placed just one Not for Profit organisation in its category of 'genius'.

The L2 Digital IQ Index for the Public Sector was prepared by the George Washington University's School of Business and looks at the opportunities, challenges, and underpinnings of Social Media Programs in the Public Sector rating them in categories from 1-100.

PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – rated third on the list in the 'genius' category with researchers describing the advocacy organisation as having best in class social media platforms that galvanize online action and set the bar for virtual advocacy. No other Not for Profit made it into the 'genius' category.

The Index gave PETA a digital IQ of 149.

Leading the list was NASA which researchers say skyrocketed above the rest of the pack with participation in everything from geo-local to apps and 3D. The White House followed in second with open source contests and YouTube chats.

The study says PETA sets the bar for online advocacy with virtual sit-ins and other exemplary digitally savvy strategies.

Ten other Not for Profits made it into the top 20 section of Index under the category of 'gifted', including the World Wildlife Fund (USA) at number 6 with an IQ of 136.

The researchers say WWF launched the first Not for Profit gift centre on Facebook, allowing fans to adopt a species; and its “Texting for Tigers” employs mobiles to generate fundraising dollars.

The study found that more than 50 percent of the organisations indexed registered Digital IQs in the Feeble and Challenged ranks, suggesting that most public sector organisations have yet to unlock the power of digital platforms. The study says this is a stark contrast to the Digital IQ rankings of more digitally-mature private sector industries, including Automobile (32 percent Challenged & Feeble) and Specialty Retail (42 percent Challenged & Feeble).

It says the good news for organisations classified as Challenged and Feeble is that a modest investment can move the needle dramatically.

It says most of these organisations still have to reap low-hanging fruit: purchasing search terms, establishing a presence on social media platforms, and investing in mobile.

The Researchers say that while the digital age empowers democracy, many of the organisations tasked with tackling the world's toughest challenges are still in the early stages of unlocking the potential of these new platforms.

The Dean of George Washington University's School of Business (GWSB) Doug Guthrie says the researchers uncovered other benefits of digital investment, from mobile proliferation to social media’s effect on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

In other words, he says, digital investment is crucial to the future fate of organisations in the public sector with the likely transfer in power and influence from organisations that are digitally inept to those who are digitally deft.

More than 80 percent of the organisations in the study are present on at least one social media platform, 63 percent host a blog and 20 percent have some presence on mobile platforms.

The study says digital is more than another platform to garner support and solicit donations and organisations are only beginning to see hints of the real power of these platforms.

Download the L2 Digital IQ Index here [PDF].


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