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Craig Newmark 4 min read

Are Nonprofits Using Social Media Effectively?

Are nonprofits utilizing social media to engage folks? Organizations like the American Red Cross and the Wilderness Society sure are, but many nonprofits need to do a better job. After taking a look at the Nonprofit Times list of 100 top nonprofits based on income, my team over at craigconnects checked out who was proactively and effectively utilizing social media in August and September of 2011.

Check out some of the results from the data we compiled into an infographic:

  • 92% of the top 50 nonprofits have at least 1 social media presence on their homepage.
  • The most followers that an organization has on Twitter is 840,653 (PBS)...but on the other hand, the organization following the most people is following 200,522 (The American Cancer Society)!
  • The American Red Cross was the first organization on the list to create a Twitter account.
  • Food for the Poor is the most talkative organization on Facebook, and has posted 220 posts over the course of 2 months.
  • The organization with the highest net income, the YMCA, only posted 19 times to Facebook in 2 months, but has over 24,000 Fans.

It’s no surprise that some organizations jumped on the social media bandwagon, as early as 2007, while others waited on the sidelines to observe. So does that impact the number of followers they have? Not really. For example, PBS has the most followers on Twitter but is in the bottom quarter bracket on the list of net income.

Another question that is asked a lot - what factors determine how often an organization's Facebook post will generate a like or a comment? Our team took a look at the average amount of responses (combined likes and comments) each organization was getting per post, and St. Jude's Children's Hospital was definitely in the lead, yet ranked 29 on the income list.

What’s the Deal?

Our research showed that income doesn’t necessarily increase a nonprofit's interactions on social media. Some of the most engaged organizations on social media are not the one’s with the highest income on the list, yet they are doing a good job with their social media. Why? Because they are fostering conversations and interactions.

How do you think your nonprofit is doing with your social media?