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Allyson Kapin 7 min read

Useful Stats Every Nonprofit Should Know Moving into 2010

The Rise of Politicians Using Social Media

Are politicians finally understanding the value of being social via social networks? Chris McCroskey, founder of TweetCongress says that in 2009, the number of Members of Congress using Twitter has gone from two dozen to more than 160. However, about 90% of them still view Twitter as a one-way communication tool rather than having conversations with constituents, said McCroskey. #Fail

 Why it’s Important to Nonprofits?

  • Twitter is another great way to reach Members of Congress. As Congressional staff becomes more comfortable using Twitter and understanding the value of truly engaging their followers, constituents should see more two-way conversations.
  • In addition to paid marketing, leverage online outreach opportunities and use Act.ly or “tweet bombs” to petition Members of Congress.

Internet Usage by Latino’s Grows by 10%

According to Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, Internet use among Latino adults rose by 10 percentage points, from 54% to 64% between 2006-2008. In comparison, the rates for whites rose four percentage points, and the rates for blacks rose only two percentage points during that time period. 

“The rapid increase in cell-only populations, particularly for Latinos and African Americans, coupled with the fact that people in cell-only households tend to be slightly more likely to use other forms of technology than people who are reachable via landline telephone, suggests that if anything, the results shown here may underestimate increases in internet use, especially for Latinos and African Americans,” said the Pew study.

Why it’s Important to Nonprofits?

Do you know how diverse your online list is? If not, consider finding out the next time you survey your list. Your nonprofit may be missing big opportunities in online organizing and online fundraising by not reaching diverse groups of people.

The Mobile Market is Growing Fast

56% of adult Americans have accessed the Internet by wireless such as using a laptop, mobile device, game console, or MP3 player, said Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. The report also finds rising levels of Americans using the Internet via their mobile phone. 32% have used a mobile phone or Smartphone to access the internet for emailing, instant-messaging, or research. This is an increase of 33% since December 2007, when 24% of Americans had ever used the Internet on a mobile device. “On a typical day, nearly one-fifth (19%) of Americans use the internet on a mobile device, up substantially from the 11% level recorded in December 2007. That’s a growth of 73% in the 16 month interval between surveys.”

Why it’s Important to Nonprofits?
Is your nonprofit collecting cell phone numbers as part of your sign up forms? If your campaign requires just-in-time action, mobiles is worth considering as part of your overall strategy, said Katrin Verclas of MobileActive. “As with all campaigns, clear goals and a well-thought-out strategy and knowledge about the target constituency are key.”

Verclas says Mobile Campaigns are most useful when:

  • When you want to reach people when they are away from their computers -- on their commute, at an event, on short notice.
  • When you want to reinforce your brand or campaign issue across multiple channels.
  • When you want to involve individuals high up on the activist 'ladder of engagement' - your super acivists that you know will do what you ask them to do.
  • When you want to engage a high-mobile-literate constituency -- younger people, Latinos, African Americans, professional women. 
  • When you want your activists to make a phone call - which, arguably, is easiest from a number sent to a person's phone.

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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.