Social networking questions and frustrations come into ONEplace often. “Should we be on Facebook?” or “Is social media really worth all the time and effort?” are a couple of the questions we hear. An April, 2010 report by NTen, Common Knowledge, and the Port titled The 2010 Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report offers some insight.
The report includes benchmarks for nonprofits to learn how others in the sector are using commercial social network tools such as Facebook or Twitter, or house social networks, and the value they attach to each. Some of the percentages may surprise you.
- 90% Answered yes to having a commercial social network
- 92% Said the purpose of their commercial social network community is marketing
- 60% Have not used commercial social networks to fundraise
Facebook and Twitter are the preferred social network sites, each witnessing large growth in users and community sizes (Facebook 16%, Twitter 38%). Linked In and You Tube have remained steady. My Space is declining in users and community sizes. (45%)
- 40% Received donations from Facebook
- 78% Of these organizations raised $1,000 or less in the last 12 months
- Only 3.5% of the 40% fell into the successful fundraiser category by raising $10,000 or more in the last 12 months
Due to the economy and the large upfront investment for software and build-out required to start a house network, nonprofits are taking a serious look at ROI concerning for this form of social networking.
- 22% Reported operating one or more house networks in 2010 (28% decrease from 2009)
- 75% Valued their house networks
- 74% Reported that they are very or somewhat satisfied with their investment
- 57% Used their house social network primarily for marketing
Although many nonprofits see social media as a free way to market their organizations, is it really ‘free.’ Time is money and quality takes time.
- Nonprofits that committed two or more full-time employees to the management of their commercial social networking communities experienced the highest level of satisfaction.
- 50% Indicated they will increase staffing related to commercial social networks in the coming 12 months
- 67% Allocated less than half of a full-time employee’s time to commercial social networks
- 57% Allocated less than half of a full-time employee’s time to house social networks
For more information on this report, visit Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report, Allison Fine’s Blog, or The Networked Nonprofit by Allison Fine and Beth Kanter.
Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report