Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Making Facebook Work for a Nonprofit - But Which Tool in the Toolbox Is It?

Today I saw the most amazing statistics about Facebook and Idealware just published a great report with lots of hard data about facebook and nonprofits so I said to myself: “It’s Kismet – Write about Facebook!” reported on the results of a study which finds that 56% of content shared online happens via facebook. Wow! Now that’s a big number!  Facebook accounts for 38% of all sharing referral traffic (That’s fancy for a shared link that was actually clicked on) - more than email and twitter combined. The study looked at the sharing and clicking habits of the more than 300 million people a month who pass links with a ShareThis button on over a million websites, producing 7 billion pageviews a month. This data certainly confirms that facebook cannot be discounted - it should be in your toolbox.  But what kind of a tool is it?
Idealware has just published Using Facebook to Meet Your Mission: Results of a Survey. Idealware surveyed 505 nonprofits and interviewed 8 people who said they were having some success with facebook.  Thanks idealware for this thorough and insightful report that all nonprofits can use on their journey with facebook.
You can download the whole report here  and there even is a free online seminar on June 16th to discuss the results.

Facebook is more likely to succeed in attracting constituents that require a lower level of commitment was the overriding finding. Some specific results with nonprofit facebook pages are:

• More than 70% attracted new attendees to events and generated increased traffic to their website.

• 40% had success converting some fans into donors or volunteers

• 66% of respondents from advocacy organizations saw an increase in people taking action like signing a petition.

• 29% saw an increase in donations

• Over 80% said facebook increased awareness and relationships with constituents

Making Facebook Work for a Nonprofit
The study clearly found that putting in a reasonable amount of time and setting goals contributed to having success with facebook:
The average time spent per week reported by organizations who saw
positive impact from facebook was 2.6 hours.

Only 36 percent of respondents reported having defined goals. Almost 40 percent of those reported a generally positive impact from the site, compared to less than 25 percent of those that did not set goals.

So are you ready to get serious about facebook? Organizations who reported success with donors say that it takes a long time to develop donors. Do not get discouraged easily, grow and learn, intereact and follow other nonprofits. It takes some commitment to be successful with facebook so be prepared to make a reasonable commitment.
There are many resources specifically for nonprofits online to help and here are a couple of good basic ones.
John Haydon at  John does these great simple walk you through videos that I can even follow.  I have figured out more than one facebook mystery from John Haydon.
Facebook’s Nonprofit guide  Facebook has a nonprofit guide and a fan page that can help you get off to a good start.  Check them out.
I'd love to hear your experience and questions about nonprofits and facebook.  Please leave your comments here.  And my facebook page to see my blog posts in your news feed:

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