Nonprofit Social Network Survey Released
Posted by Allison Fine on April 28, 2009
NTEN, Common Knowledge, and ThePort released the Nonprofit Social Network Survey Report. The surveyw as conducted in March, 2009, and 929 nonprofits responded representing a really good cross section of the sector by size and issue area.
A few highlights of the findings:
- Among commercial social networks, Facebook is the most popular with 74.1% of non-profit survey respondents maintaining a presence on this commercial site. Community sizes are still small, however, with an average size of just 5,391members. Tenure on Facebook is relatively short, with most nonprofit survey respondents (94.4%) present for 2 years or less. For Twitter, 93.9% of organizations report using this channel for one year or less.
- Good news on the staffing front: 80% of survey respondents are committing at least one-quarter of a full-time staff person to social networking efforts. More than half of nonprofit surveThe communications and marketing departments are most likely to own the social network efforts, with fundraising and executive management the next most common shepherds of nonprofit’s social network projects.
- Very few nonprofit survey respondents are generating real revenue on commercial
or house social networks via fundraising. On Facebook, about 39.9% of respondents
have raised money via fundraising, but 29.1% have raised $500 or less over the past 12
- On house social networks (meaning social networking sites started by nonprofits themselves as opposed to commercial sites like Facebook) , 25.2% of nonprofit survey respondents are fundraising, and 1/3 of these fundraisers accumulated $10,000 or more over the last year.
- Among nonprofit survey respondents 30.6% have built one or more house social networks, but here again the community size is relatively small, with 86.6% of house social network-owning nonprofit survey respondents hosting communities of 10,000
members or less.
These survey results are terrifically helpful as a snapshot of where we are as a sector in using social networking sites. I’d love to see a companion qualitative data collection effort to explore the following questions:
- I’d like to know more about what it means that these sites are thought of as “marketing” opportunities for the groups. Is it a chance to “sell” your org to people (I hope not!) or an opportunity to build a community of people who are interested in your cause (I hope so!)
- In that same vein, connecting social networks to programs doesn’t seem to be happening; is that true or simply a limitation of the survey?
- I wonder why groups would choose to set up a house social network rather than use a commercial site? What are the benefits and drawbacks of doing so?
- It’s very interesting and surprising that when asked which metrics they include in their definition of success for their house social networks,
the number of members, and the amount of user-generated content were the leaders, with 68.5% and 68.5%, respectively of respondents including these two variables. Fundraising was the lowest ranked metric with just 16.1% of survey respondents indicating that this
variable was important in measuring the success of their house community. Do the respondents think that fundraising will never be a significant part of the equation for social networking sites?
- One of the barriers to using these sites was expertise. I wonder what expertise these groups think that teens on Facebook have that they don’t have?
This entry was posted on April 28, 2009 at 12:38 pm and is filed under Social Media. Tagged: Common Knowledge, Nonprofit Social Network Survey Report, NTEN, ThePort. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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