While nonprofits may be behind the curve in some matters, we’ve done a swift job of adopting social media. As I’ve noted here before based on past surveys, the vast majority of nonprofits are actively using Facebook and Twitter.
Some new research featured in eMarketer bolsters that view:
Interestingly, these numbers put nonprofits ahead of their for-profit counterparts in the small business world: “Ninety-six percent of nonprofits said they were on Facebook vs. 90% of small businesses. And 80% of nonprofits on Facebook reported posting on the site multiple times per week, vs. 66% of small businesses,” says eMarketer. Nonprofits said they were increasing their marketing spend on social media by 10% this year. Though to put matters in perspective, that may not be a lot in real dollars. Studies last year found 43% budget $0 for their social networking activities (aside from staff time).
I think that the embrace of social media is wise for nonprofits for several reasons. While it may not drive big return on investment in fundraising dollars, it’s a relatively inexpensive and effective way of raising visibility, generating social proof around a cause and inspiring future actions in support of a cause.
At the end of the day, most people come to learn and love a cause via friends and family. Through social media, nonprofits can facilitate and amplify that natural word of mouth. No wonder droves of nonprofits are doing just that.