News and analysis
October 30, 2015

Nonprofits Come Up Short With Donors on Social Media, Study Says

Title: Nonprofit Social Media Scorecard

Organization: Dunham and Company and Marketing Support Network

Summary: Nonprofits are using social-media platforms like billboards rather than as tools for reciprocal communication, according to the study, which examined 161 nonprofits’ use of social media to interact with donors. Researchers analyzed how well integrated the charities’ websites were with their social-media accounts and tested how long it took charities to respond to inquiries and posts about making donations.

While all of the nonprofits used Facebook and most used Twitter, only slightly more than half linked to those social-media platforms on their home pages. About half of the charities didn’t respond to questions via Facebook or Twitter, and when they did, it often took several days.

Among other findings:

  • All of the nonprofits had Facebook accounts, but only 58 percent linked to their Facebook pages from their home pages; 85 percent had Twitter accounts, but only 55 percent linked to them from their home pages.
  • About 76 percent of nonprofits didn’t have text or links on their gift acknowledgments that suggested donors share news about their contributions using own social-media accounts.
  • Roughly 55 percent of nonprofits didn’t respond to questions on Twitter; 49 percent of nonprofits didn’t respond to questions on Facebook.
  • When researchers wrote questions or comments directed at the nonprofits’ social-media accounts, 55 percent of nonprofits took at least three days to respond on Twitter, and 48 percent took at least three days to respond on Facebook.
  • When researchers made $10 donations to the nonprofits and posted about them using social media, 72 percent of nonprofits took at least three days to respond to tweets; 92 percent took at least five days or never responded at all to Facebook posts.

Send an email to Rebecca Koenig.