As I have written about in my Social Media Series, social media participation is common practice now and nonprofits have embraced the reality that a presence is required to optimize nonprofit fundraising and engagement opportunities. Based on 2012 research results on how nonprofits used (and planned to use) social media, organizations are coming to understand how to better utilize this communication channel to effectively interact and rally support within their target demographics. Data included in an infographic titled 2012: It Was a Very Good Year for Social Giving compiled by MDG Advertising certainly supports the growing trend towards social media and according to the 2013 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, it seems that nonprofits are heading in the right direction. To help keep us on track, let’s look at some highlights from 2012 and suggestions for 2013.
#GivingTuesday – this annual initiative falls on the Tuesday following the American Thanksgiving holiday. This year #GivingTuesday brought in $10 million in online donations for nonprofits globally marking a remarkable 53% increase over the previous year. What is also noteworthy is that the average online donation on #GivingTuesday is 63% higher ($101.60) than any other day of the year ($62).
Most Popular Platforms – Charities are clearly making use of the most popular platforms, with the top three networks they have the strongest presence on being Facebook (98%), Twitter (74%) and YouTube (66%). On Facebook the two most common ways nonprofits attempted to fundraise included individual donations (33%) and event fundraising (20%). If nonprofits have limited resources to dedicate to social media these three are clear front runners.
Generated Donations – The average donation made through social media networks has been growing over the years, from $38 in 2010 to $59 in 2012, a remarkable 55% increase. According to Blackbaud Index results, online donations continue to slowly trend upward so nonprofits must ensure that they are offering their supporters this outlet as an easy way to give. Crowdfunding platforms have also surged in popularity as this type of fundraising has grown to over 530 crowdfunding websites worldwide raising a total of $2.81 billion representing a 91% increase over 2011.
Tips for Success – Organizations that have experienced success shared the 3 main reasons why they felt this was the case: 1) Putting together a detailed strategy (41%); 2) Executive management on board with making it a priority (37%); and 3) Dedicate human resources specifically to social media (28%). This information might prove helpful for nonprofits looking to improve or strengthen their own current social media initiatives.
Platform Focus – According to the results from the 2013 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report the top three social media platforms that nonprofits should focus on in 2013 were Facebook (94%), Twitter (62%) and YouTube (42%). These were considered the most important as communications strategies and this mirrored the MDG Advertising results of the most popular platforms for 2012.
Trying Something New – As nonprofits continue to enhance their social media strategies they may be looking to add to their social media portfolio by experimenting with other platforms. Respondents listed Pinterest (36%), Google+ (26%) and LinkedIn (26%) as networks they will most likely try in 2013. Pinterest has seen an explosion in popularity especially amongst women and given the giving habits of women, this channel needs serious consideration. Google+ is also growing in popularity and its benefits go beyond social engagement to include SEO advantages.
Excitement & Fear – Looking towards 2013 nonprofits are excited about the potential opportunities to using social media more strategically but they are also scared of not being able to keep up with the pace of this ever changing medium. Both are valid outlooks to have when it comes to this effective but ever-evolving channel. What is important to highlight from this research is that nonprofits now have the required awareness to strategize and develop stronger social media plans that will enhance their overall results.