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BizReport : Social Marketing : June 24, 2014

Savvy nonprofits demonstrate top-class social media best practices

Recent research from the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth reveals that nearly all of the U.S.'s biggest charities are using social media to drive awareness.

by Helen Leggatt

The research, which used charities on the 2013 Philanthropy 400 list, found that use of social media among nonprofits is higher than among businesses in the Fortune 500.

Nearly all (98%) of charities on the list are using social media and 97% are using video.

The most-used social platforms and tools are YouTube and other video sites (97%) followed by Facebook (92%), Twitter (86%) and Pinterest (72%). Eighty-one percent of the charities said their main objective for using social media was to increase awareness, more so than generating donations (40%).

According to a summary of the study findings, "Even though generating donations is not the primary intent of their social media use, it is essential for their organizations to raise money. When asked how useful these new communications tools are specifically for raising money, 7 out of 10 felt they were useful while an additional 18% felt they were of limited use. Eleven percent did not feel that social media was useful for raising money for their organization."

Other findings from the research include:

- 72% of the organizations examined have a written social media policy for employees;

- 89% write their own original content for their platforms;

- 45% use social media tools to recruit and evaluate potential employees/volunteers;

- 83% monitor the Internet for buzz, posts, conversations, and news about their organization.

"These savvy nonprofits are an inspiration to those looking for social media best practices," concludes the report. "For constituents, seeing the cause played out in visual form is powerful, moving and effective."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: charity, nonprofit, research, social media

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