Fri, April 06 2012

What are nonprofits doing with social media?  Six interesting stats

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Social Media •

It’s the week of studies!  First we had the eBenchmarks study, then the Convio benchmarks study, and now the Blackbaud social media benchmark study.  It’s an opportunity to see how you stack up in all different ways online.

The Blackbaud study shows despite limited budgets and staffing, nonprofits continue to find value in their growing social networks.

Here are six key findings:

• 98% have a Facebook page with an average community size of over 8k fans.
• Average Facebook and Twitter communities grew by 30% and 81%, respectively.
• Average value of a Facebook Like is $214.81 over 12 months following acquisition.
• 73% allocate half of a full time employee to managing social networking activities.
• 43% budget $0 for their social networking activities.
• The top 3 factors for success are: strategy, prioritization, dedicated staff

It’s interesting to view this data against the backdrop of discussion about so-called slacktivism.  I’m quite weary of that term as I feel it undervalues low-effort actions as a first step toward a conversation with potential supporters.  This Sortable graphic pulls from data from the Georgetown Center for Social Impact Communication to make that point.  (View the original here if it’s hard to see.)

  • Comment: (14)   


Here’s another crazy stat based off that information above. 

If the average value of a “like” on facebook is $214.81 in the 12 mos following acquisition. And the organization has an average fan base of 8,000 people…

That means that “dedicated staff person” who runs their social campaign initiated a value of $1,718,480 ?!?!?!?!

That’s crazy! Maybe my math’s wrong, but if this is true…wow!

Posted by Brian  on  04/06  at  03:52 PM

Actually, sorry, that math is unfortunately not true or our work would be a lot easier.  What that number references is the people who were fans who went on to donate—it’s their average value over the 12 months following acquisition. Not every fan donates…  Make sense?

Posted by Katya  on  04/06  at  04:16 PM

I thought that sounded a bit crazy. I’ve never seen that kind of return personally. grin

Thanks for the follow-up!

Posted by Brian  on  04/06  at  04:29 PM

Thanks for spreading the word about the nonprofit social networking report Katya! smile ... Interesting to look at the info there against the slacktivism graphic for sure.

ps. you can check out the full nonprofit social networking benchmark report infographic here (in case you haven’t see it)


Posted by Frank Barry  on  04/09  at  04:47 PM

I was just about to ask for a raise…bummer…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  04/09  at  05:23 PM

Fascinated to see how poor the take-up of LinkedIn is for nonprofits. For me and my work it is an invaulable tool for putting my charity and I in front of regional businesses. A trick being miossed by far too many charities.

Then again, the more that do it the more my presence will be weakened… errmmm… maybe I don’t want any charities to read what I just posted. smile

Posted by David J Israel  on  04/12  at  09:25 AM

1> thanks for sharing (as always)

2> Would love to see in the next cycle of data.

Posted by Paul Jacob Roberts  on  04/17  at  10:03 PM

I just love these illustrations, I found them really fun to read. It’s interesting to see how facebook kept growing in the past years while others actually lost their market. Looking forward to see what happens in the future.

Posted by Frank Bell  on  04/25  at  02:55 PM

This blog really gives a clear idea about different stat of social media which can be very helpful for all readers. According to the blackbaud illustrations, if social media improvement is this within a week then in the coming years it will surely cross 100% and fans number will also increase more than our imagination.

Posted by John Smith  on  05/03  at  07:24 AM

My ballet company surely needs to take a look at this. The arts should certainly depend on social media. Enjoyed the graphics. Will continue to check out the rest of the blog. how do you build a following for the arts when you are just starting out? Non-profit needs help. Using a car sign does attract young children, but parents are a different story.

Sylvia Williams

Posted by Sylvia Williams  on  06/28  at  11:20 PM

Crazy stats to analyse the impact of social media platform. Its good to see how non profit organisations are leveraging the power of social media platform.

Posted by Prabir Mandal  on  07/24  at  01:18 AM

But this data might put to question because of the latest information regarding facebook’s 83 million or 8.7 percent fake users.

Posted by Tony Penman  on  08/06  at  08:43 AM

I love the use of the term “slactivist”, but I’m not sure this really applies. Using updated technology to do things quicker/faster/better is not really being a slacker.

Marie Glancy

Posted by Marie Glancy  on  03/30  at  08:54 PM


All the networks have fake users.  Twitter actually has far more fake accounts.  Early on, unfortunately, marketers figured out that they could fake their Twitter stats just to inflate their numbers.  Sadly, politicians followed the trend.

I’ve found in my field engagement with the followers was key.  I imagine non-profits engagement makes a huge difference as well.

Posted by Michael S Brown  on  08/01  at  08:06 PM

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