How Nonprofits Use Social Media to Engage with Their Communities

By Ritu Sharma
Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ)


To better understand how nonprofit practitioners integrate social media and online communications into their strategies, the Case Foundation in collaboration with Social Media for Nonprofits, created an informal survey to help advance the conversation around how nonprofits use social media to engage their communities. Close to 500 nonprofit professionals, who are involved with running their organization’s social media and online communications efforts, responded to the survey detailing their own methodologies and practices.

The answers proved to be insightful and revealing. From these responses, we’ve aggregated key takeaways, tips and tools that have proven most effective for them and shared them below. (See full results here, n=480.)

Email & Websites Still Rule: Nonprofits overwhelmingly (88%) said their most important communication tools were email and their websites, even though fully 97% of them are on Facebook. This may have to do with the fact that in their mind, the pinnacle of engagement is a donation (47%). Clearly, simply getting folks to retweet or comment (18% each) is helpful only to the extent it culminates in financial support, which still typically happens through a donate page.

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