How Digital and Social Media have Transformed Nonprofits


Nonprofit organizations are seeing huge growth online, both on established digital channels and emerging ones such as peer-to-peer social campaigns.

Nonprofits have fully embraced digital

Nonprofits say three of their top four engagements channels are now digital (websites, email campaigns and social media); the lone non-digital channel in the top four is in-person events.

Most important engagement channels for nonprofits:

  • Nonprofits website: 32%
  • In-person events: 19%
  • Email campaigns: 15%
  • Social media: 11%

Online giving is up, especially via social

Since 2013, online giving has risen across the board, with the biggest increase in donations coming from social channels.

Increase in Fundraising Contributions between 2013 and 2014:

  • +13% for all online channels
  • +70% increase in social fundraising

Facebook is seen as essential for social success

Some 81% of nonprofits say Facebook is the most important social network for their organization. Twitter is a distant second, with 11% of nonprofits ranking it as most important.

Top 5 social networks categorized as necessary by nonprofits:

  • Facebook: 96%
  • Twitter: 76%
  • YouTube: 46%
  • LinkedIn: 32%
  • Instagram: 20%

Peer-to-peer fundraising is on the rise

P2P fundraising campaigns, in which individual / teams rally support to make donations to a cause, has become an important, and fast-growing, digital tactic for nonprofits.

  • The average P2P fundraiser raises $568 from 7 donors
  • 33% of all online donations are now made through P2P campaigns

Websites have become engagement hubs

Websites have become essential hubs for nonprofits, providing information about the organizations, serving as a main channel for receiving donations and aggregating social posts.

  • Year-over-year increase in visitors to nonprofits websites since 2013: +11%
  • Amount raised, on average, for each nonprofits website visitor: 61 cent
  • 0.76% of websites visitors, on average, end up making a donation

Email remains extremely effective

While new digital channels get all the buzz, email remains a steady and effective workhorse for most nonprofits; email campaigns account for one-third of all revenue raised, on average.

  • $40 for every $1 spent, email has the best return on investment of any marketing tactic
  • 29 actions for every 1000 messages sent
  • 62% of nonprofits send a newsletter at least monthly
  • 45% of nonprofits say they send appeals for donations at least monthly

#Givingthesday is big and growing

Giving Tuesday, which started in 2012 as a way to encourage donations after Cyber Monday, has been growing rapidly; last year donations spiked by more than a third compared with 2013.

  • +26.1M raised by 4,300 organizations on Giving Tuesday 2014
  • +36% more money raised compared with 2013
  • +50% more transaction volume compared with 2013
  • +28% more organizations receiving donations compared with 2012

Source from MDG Advertising

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