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NFPs & Social Networks : Benchmark Report

7 April 2011 at 11:03 am
Staff Reporter
As the Not for Profit sector jumps on the social media bandwagon, more than half of the Not for Profit organisations in the US don’t have a formal budget for commercial social networks, according to a new Benchmarking report.

Staff Reporter | 7 April 2011 at 11:03 am


NFPs & Social Networks : Benchmark Report
7 April 2011 at 11:03 am

Despite 90% of US Not for Profits having a presence on Facebook and social media usage by NFPs is continuing to grow, more than half of US Not for Profit organisations have no formal budget for commercial social networks, according to the 2011 Nonprofit Social Networking Benchmarking Report .

11,196 Not for Profit professionals representing small, medium and large organisations across all segments of the NFP sector took part in the survey, which is a joint initiative of NTEN, Common Knowledge and Blackbaud.

The survey looks at the way Not for Profit organisations in the United States are using two types of social networks; Commercial Social Networks – online communities operated on a commercial platform such as Facebook or Twitter; and House Social Networks – social network communities that are built on a NFP’s own website.

The major findings of the 2011 Benchmarking Report are that:

1 . Facebook is king and extending its lead – slowly

  • Facebook remains the most popular commercial social network for NFPs and continues to grow, albeit slowly.
  • 89% of NFPs have a presence on Facebook, which is up from 86% in 2010 and 74% in 2009.
  • NFP use of the micro-blogging platform Twitter has gone backwards slightly, with usage levels among NFPs at 57% in 2011, down on 60% in 2010.
  • Use of the professional social networking Linked In remained steady with 30% of NFPs reporting they use it.
  • The number of NFPs on MySpace continues to plunge, with only 7% of NFPs having a presence on the site, a 50% drop from 2010.

2. Commercial Social Networks Keep Getting Bigger
Efforts by NFPs to attract more supporters on social networks are working – the average Facebook member community has grown 161% over the past year, to 6,376 members. The average Twitter follower base is up just 2% in 2011, to 1,822 followers.

3. Low-level Fundraising on Facebook Increased
Fundraising on Facebook is growing, but its still a minority effort, according to the report. The number of organisations successfully generating a small fundraising revenue stream ($1 to $10k annually) has risen each year from 38% in 2009 to 46% in 2011. The number of organisations raising more than $100,00 remains very small, but has doubled from 0.2% to 0.4% over the past year.

4. Not for Profits Still Agree – CSNs are Valuable
NFP sentiment towards commercial social networks (CSN) remains strong, with 82% of respondents indicating that they find their CSN efforts valuable.

5- A Few Newcomers Hit the Scene
New social networks to hit the scene in 2011 include FourSquare, which 4% of NFPs said they have a presence on, and Facebook founder Chris Hughes’ Jumo philanthropy/volunteering focused social network, which had a very slow uptake, with less than 1% of NFPs having a presence.

6 – Master Social Fundraisers Come in All Sizes
Only 0.4% of organisations (27 in total) in the survey raised more than $100,000 a year on Facebook, however out of these organisation, 30% were small organisations ($1 to $5 million annual budget) and 8% were medium-sized ($6m to $50m)

The average Facebook following of these ‘Master Social Fundraisers’ is nearly 100,000 members – more than 15 times the general average. The report says this shows that a prerequisite for raising large amounts of money on social networks is having a large community of followers.

30% of master fundraisers dedicate 2+ staff to managing and fundraising on their social networks, compared with the average of 2%. The report says it doesn’t matter the size of an organisation, if you want to raise money on social networks you need to dedicate staff and budget to it.

7 – Environmental/Animal Welfare and International Services Groups Outperform the Sector
Environmental/Animal Welfare groups have the highest average community size on Facebook, with 8,490 members, compared to the average of 6,376 members.
International Service Organisations have the highest Facebook presence, with 97% of these organisations indicating they have a Facebook presence.

House Social Networks:

8 – Average House Social Network (HSN) Community Size is Up
The average size of a NFP house social network is up 70% in 2011 to 5,967. Organisation size has the most bearing on community size.

9 – Program and Service Delivery Creeps into the #1 Spot
55% of NFPs with an HSN say the role of their community is for Program and Service Delivery, eclipsing marketing for the first time as the primary purpose of HSNs.

Download the full 2011 Nonprofit Social Network Benchmarking Report here : 

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