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How Charities Are Using Social Media

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
June 13, 2014
  |  2,920 views

Almost all (98%) of the biggest charities in the United States are using social media, and 97% are using some type of video to help inspire their audience, according to recent research conducted by Nora Ganim Barnes, PhD, at The Center for Marketing Research, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

The study included the charities on the 2013 Philanthropy 400 list, but not including colleges/universities, and was based on both an analysis of the social media presence of the organizations and on interviews with 129 social media administrators.

Below, key findings from the report.

Social Media Use and Trends

  • 72% of the organizations examined have a written social media policy for employees.
  • 81% cite awareness as their main objective online.
  • 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.
  • YouTube/video platforms are the most widely used social media tool (97%), followed by Facebook (92%), Twitter (86%), and Pinterest (72%).


Facebook Fans and Engagement

  • National Public Radio has over 3.6 million fans on Facebook, the most of any organization examined, and over a million more than the second place US Olympic Committee.

  • National Public Radio also has the highest engagement on Facebook, with over 500,000 unique users posting to their news feeds about the organization in a seven-day period.


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by E Marketing Mantra Mon Jun 16, 2014 via web

    good and usefull knowledge for me ...................

  • by Kimmy Burgess Mon Jun 16, 2014 via web

    Hi Ayaz,

    This was very informative. A brief idea of charities connected with social areas and media is present. Good statistics.

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