Social Media Marketing for Non-Profits

tearamcginn    March 19, 2013

In December 2012 VerticalResponse surveyed more than 100 of their non-profit customers to find out how they utilize social media. Their infographic (shown below, left) displays the findings nicely. Another infographic from MDGAdvertising demonstrates the results of non-profit social media operations – shown below, right.  You can click on the images to enlarge them.


In my mind, it comes as no surprise that many nonprofits use social media extensively. Many social media tools are free and are easily within reach of even a modest marketing budget. But as Joanne Fritz (12 Social Media Tips for Nonprofits) states – Likes, Friends, and Followers do not generally necessarily equate to donors and supporters. Her page lists many ideas and resources to help non-profits make the connection between social media and the bottom line they’re looking for.

I decided to do some sleuthing to find a few examples of campaigns that seem to have succeeded for non-profits. Here’s a few that I found:

New Cities Foundation: a nonprofit institution dedicated to improving living conditions in the cities of emerging nations.  The goal of their DeusM Social Media campaign was to drive registrations for its summit last May.  A dedicated editor and social media agent utilized Facebook for questions and polls, uploaded documents to SlideShare and Scribd, and built a Twitter following for the Foundation.  Specific blogs were targeted for discussions and posts.  During the one month campaign, Facebook Likes tripled, Twitter mentions rose almost fivefold, and conference registrations increased 20%.

The International Rescue Committee: New Cities Foundation utilized social media professionals to help their campaign along. The International Rescue Committee chose to instead utilize the storytelling abilities of Ruth Fertig, an award-winning documentarian. Through various campaigns, utilizing Facebook and Pintrest, the IRC has appreciated four times more Facebook donations in 2012 as in 2010, as well as 2.5 times more individual donors.  As Fertig puts it, “What works best for a nonprofit that’s active in social media is expressing passion.  By dong that, and being authentic about it, they can connect with their supporters.”

Web References


Submitted By: Teara McGinn. To contact the author of this entry please email at:


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