Fundraising Through Commercial Social Networks by NonProfit Organizations

Following the path set by Facebook, the other industry participants including Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace are managing to catch attention of people having shares of around 57%, 30% and 7% respectively in the year 2011. All these CSNs except Facebook have shown a sluggish negative growth as compared to the previous year. In terms of community membership, Facebook is well above from Twitter having an average of 6,376 members. Twitter is hardly chasing Facebook in this regard and having an average of 1,822 members in the year 2011. The effort of fund raising through Facebook has been growing but not as enormously as it can be. Groups that are generating funds from Facebook have a range of $1 to $10,000 per year. This statistics has risen from 38% to 46% from 2009 to 2011. The number of organizations which raises funds through Facebook and other commercial social networking operations has doubled from 0.2% to 0.4%. These organizations raise about $10,000 or more annually. But the amount and the number of fundraising organization is still a very thin slice of the entire sector. Non profits organizations believe that they see the efforts of commercial social networking as valuable enough. … The average number of Facebook followers for a fundraising organization named as Master Social Fundraiser has approximately 100,000 members. This number of members is 15 times higher than the average number of members of fundraising organization. It testifies that the raising of large amount of dollars from social networks can have a huge community. Getting appropriate staff is another concern. 30% of the staff of Master Fundraiser dedicates 3+ staff to fundraising and managing for the presence at other social networks. It proves that resourcing is the major criterion to be considered while raising funds through a social network operation like Facebook. In fact, it really does not matter if the size of non-profits is large or small. If the management and staffing is done adequately and in proper manner, then even a small fundraising can generate $100,000 or more through Facebook. Why Nonprofits are not on Commercial Social Networks The late adopters who have establish presence on Facebook (10% of nonprofits) has revealed that it is due to lack of strategic goals and it is the only reason they stay off which is true for almost 60% of such organizations. Lack of good planning of budget and staff is another contributing factor towards this failure of such strategies which is about 36% and 57% respectively (lack of expertise). Controls and Privacy concerns also generate issues for fundraising for about 21 and 24% respectively. Hard – ROI Approach In order to get a better idea, regarding the effectiveness of fundraising through CSN, around 869 non-profit organizations are taken into considerations. These non-profit organizations use a hard-ROI approach in assessing the effectiveness of CNSs for their fundraising activity.

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