Here is more great work by Nora Ganim Barnes at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research. This study is on the usage of social media by US charities. The new study compares organizational adoption of social media in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 by the 200 largest charities in the United States based on a list compiled annually by Forbes Magazine.
To gather this data, the Center for Marketing Research conducted nationwide telephone surveys of the nonprofits on the Forbes list. Their findings are based on detailed interviews with executives of the 78 charities that responded. Those that participated had a wide range in mission, average gifts, and total revenue. They include the Salvation Army, Easter Seals, Habitat for Humanity, Shriners Hospital for Children and the American Heart Association.
In 2007, the first study on the use of social media by large charities showed that these large non-profits were leading large and small businesses as well as universities in their familiarity with, usage of, monitoring of, and attitude towards social media. One year later, in 2008, the second study showed that the lead in knowledge, adoption and positive attitude was still intact.
By 2009 the research found that 97 percent of charitable organizations were using some form of social media. Now the latest iteration of their research finds that all of the top charities in the US are using at least one form of social media, either blogs, podcasts, message boards, social networking (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Foursquare), texting or video blogging. Usage of LinkedIn has jumped from 36% to 58% in one year, while the use of MySpace as a platform has declined from 30% to 22%. Both Foursquare and texting were new in the 2010 study and made respectable showings at 28% and 44% respectively.
At present sixty-four percent of the organizations are blogging, showing no significant change from last year. Facebook (97%), Twitter (96%), and YouTube (92%) are now the most common tools used Ninety percent of those studied in 2010 report social media is very important to increasing awareness of their mission. The researchers concluded that while these organizations are best known for their non-profit status and their fundraising campaigns, they demonstrate an acute awareness of the importance of Web 2.0 strategies in meeting their objectives.
This is great work by the non-profits. Now business has to catch up.