New Survey Is First To Examine Nonprofit Industry's Use of Social Networking
SAN FRANCISCO, April 28, 2009 — Co-sponsors ThePort Network, Inc. (www.theport.com), NTEN (www.nten.org), and Common Knowledge (www.commonknow.com) released today results of the nonprofit industry's first-ever survey examining the use of social networking as a marketing and fundraising channel. Conducted earlier this year, the survey polled 978 nonprofit professionals about their organizations' use of commercial social networking sites, as well as their own hosted social networking communities.
Included in the survey highlights:
* Among commercial social networking sites, Facebook is the most popular, with 74 percent of nonprofits maintaining a presence. Nonprofit communities on Facebook are still relatively small, with an average size of 5,454 members.
* Four-fifths of nonprofits are committing at least one-quarter of a full-time staff person to their social networking efforts. More than half of nonprofits intend to increase social networking project staffing over the next 12 months.
* Approximately one-third of nonprofits have built one or more "house" social networks. Of those with their own social networks, 86.3 percent host communities of 10,000 members or less.
The survey also indicated that nonprofits prefer more traditional marketing tactics to promote their social networks -- prioritizing website, email lists and events. Lower in popularity but still prevalent were the use of Twitter and other social networks as marketing tools.
Survey results are being presented at the NTEN 2009 National Technology Conference (2009 NTC), held in San Francisco on April 26-28. More than 1,000 nonprofit professionals are anticipated to attend the event.
"The question for nonprofits is not if they should be hosting an online community, but how," said Holly Ross, Executive Director of NTEN, a membership organization of nonprofit professionals. "We're excited to work with our co-sponsors to present survey data that will help nonprofits answer that question while also illuminating the current rate of adoption and relevant trends."