News and analysis
May 05, 2015

Half of Colleges and Private Schools Use Social Media to Raise Money

More than half of the colleges and private schools that participated in a new survey are using social media to raise money. Fifty-seven percent of the 551 survey participants who answered a question regarding online donations said they knew their institutions were using social media for this purpose.

But those efforts don’t seem to contribute a significant proportion of institutions’ total fundraising dollars. Very few of the participants in the 2015 Best Practices in Social Media survey by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Huron Education, and mStoner reported dollar figures, but of the 117 that did, more than four-fifths said that social media contributes 5 percent or less of their institution’s total donations.

Colleges say they are experimenting with ways to better use social media, including crowdfunding campaigns and giving days that recruit alumni and others to meet a certain goal over 24 hours, usually by spreading the word on Facebook, Twitter, and other networks, according to Michael Stoner, president of mStoner. Forty-two percent of the 649 schools that answered a question about innovative practices reported running such giving days. (Read more about colleges that are promoting giving days.) Many colleges are also enlisting social-media ambassadors, typically alumni, to help promote social-media campaigns. Twenty-two percent of fundraisers said their institutions recruit them.

Send an e-mail to Rebecca Koenig.