A recent survey conducted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research found that ALL of the top US charities polled use at least one form of social media (either blogs, podcasts, message boards, social networking (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Foursquare), texting or vlogging.)
This is the Center’s fourth statistically significant study on this topic, and each year since 2007, the data has shown that non-profits in the U.S. tend to outpace both the business world and academia in the use of social media.
As they have done before, the researchers conducted telephone surveys of the nation’s 200 largest charities based on a list compiled annually by Forbes Magazine. This year, 78 charities participated, and the data collected revealed that:
- 90 percent feel social media is very important to increasing awareness of their mission. Far fewer (50 percent) consider social media as very important to generating donations.
- Facebook (97 percent), Twitter (96 percent) and YouTube (92 percent) are now the most common tools used.
- Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of the organizations are blogging, making this group the most prolific bloggers of all sectors studied.
- Use of LinkedIn has jumped from 36 percent in 2009 to 58 percent in 2010, while the use of MySpace declined from 30 percent to 22 percent. Both Foursquare and texting were new in the 2010 study and came in at 28 percent and 44 percent respectively.
- 90 percent of those polled say they monitor online activity, listening to what’s being said about them.
Clearly, non-profit organizations are embracing new ways of communicating with the general public. These survey results show that US charities understand the importance of using Web 2.0 strategies to meet their objectives.
Many more details from the 2010 study are available here.