The 3rd Annual Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report (NSNB) was showcased at this year’s Nonprofit Tech Conference in DC. After mulling it over I came up with a couple of points I think are most helpful, interesting, and intriguing. Some are things that surprised me, others Causes has been discussing since a hashtag was just a pound sign.
Any Size Nonprofit Can Raise Serious Money Through Social Networks
The Report found that a nonprofit didn’t have to be large to be able to effectively and efficiently scale its fundraising efforts on social networks. In the Master Fundraisers category, organizations that have raised over $100,000 through social media, a full 30% were small NPOs ($1 to $5MM annual budget) and 8% were medium-sized ($6MM to $50MM).
The Causes platform and tools are built to help bring activism and online organizing to everybody, from the large international nonprofit to the small all-volunteer neighborhood organization and everything in between. Causes operates on the belief that social media empowers good ideas and good work regardless of their existing size and influence and the numbers are backing it up.
Regular Content Creation Is Key
For me this means that 70% of Master Fundraisers dedicated less than 2 full time staff to social media! What this means is that effective content creation and sharing is more important than committed staff time. Posting content through your social media channels and engaging your supporters in discussion can be worked into the schedule of an existing staffer, and they don’t have to be a seasoned social media vet, they just need to be the individual who tells the story of your organization best. Every nonprofit has this person and tapping them to do your social media fundraising is often more effective than if it is done by a rotating set of interns or once a month by an executive director.
Social Networks – Not Just For Socializing Anymore
Social networks are no longer the exclusive domain of college students, everyone from elected officials to multi-national corporations to leading nonprofits are staking a foothold and beginning to define best practices. The NSNB report found that “92% of nonprofits [have] a presence on one or more of the major commercial social networks.”
A nonprofit that might not have any near term designs of doing social fundraising online will still do well to consider joining a social network. This is important for three reasons:
- building a community takes time, the sooner you start the easier it’ll be to scale up when you decide the time has come
- developing the best practices of social media is something that is being figured out now, and getting to the party first matters
- the organizations leading the way are already there and taking note of what they’re doing is not a bad way to get started