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Allyson Kapin 7 min read

Social Media Nonprofit Benchmarks

One of the biggest questions nonprofits have been asking for the past couple of years, is what benchmarks should they be using for social media? The 2010 Nonprofit Benchmarks Report released by NTEN has some great data that nonprofits can use for guidance.

Nonprofit Social Media Benchmark Data You Need to Know

According to 1200 nonprofits surveyed:

  • Facebook is the number one used commercial social network by nonprofits. 86% said that they have a presence on Facebook, a 16% increase from 2009. However, nonprofits experienced a drop in their average community from 5,391 members in 2009 to 2,440 in 2010. 
  • 60% of Nonprofits are on Twitter as compared to 43% in 2009.
  • Twitter’s average community size (i.e. number of followers) grew the fastest and by 627%. In 2009 nonprofits had an average of 286 followers. In 2010 nonprofits average close to 1800 followers.
  • LinkedIn (largely used by education institutions and professional associations) and YouTube usage remained steady over the last year. YouTube moved up slightly from 46.5% in 2009 to 48.1% in 2010, and LinkedIn stayed steady at 32.9% in 2009 and 33.1% this year.
  • Not surprisingly MySpace suffered a 45% drop in popularity. Use dropped from 26.1% in 2009 to 14.4% in 2010.

Biggest Barriers for Nonprofits? Staffing, Fundraising, and ROI

50% of nonprofits said they plan to hire social media staff in the next 12 months. One in five nonprofits said that they will increase funding towards social media projects such as hiring consultants, designers, and programmers to ramp up their social media presence.

The nonprofits that have experienced the most success with social media are the organizations that have 2+ full time social media staff. These staff members spend time listening and engaging communities and are developing metrics to measure their impact. However, even with 2+ social media staff, nonprofits still face significant challenges and are requesting additional staff to increase their capacity for doing even more with social media.

While 46% said that fundraising is an important role for their social networking strategy, nonprofits still aren’t raising much money via social networks. 40% of nonprofits using social media received donations mainly from Facebook. 78% of these organizations raised $1K or less in the last 12 months. Only 3.5% of the organizations fundraising on Facebook, raised $10K or more.

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Allyson Kapin

Allyson has been named one of "Top Tech Titans" by the Washingtonian, one of the Most Influential Women In Tech by Fast Company, and one of the top 30 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter by Forbes for her leadership role in technology and social media. As Founding Partner of Rad Campaign, she leads the firm's client and online strategic services. For over a decade Allyson has helped non-profit organizations and political campaigns create dynamic and award-winning websites and online marketing and recruitment campaigns. She works side-by-side with her clients to meet their web needs and maximize their online effectiveness to create real world impact.