The results of two new surveys paint a bleak picture of the effectiveness of social media for fundraising and volunteer recruitment. The first from Philanthropy Action, has the depressing title, “Social Networking and Mid-Size Nonprofits: What’s the Use?” The survey is based on responses from about 200 mid-sized nonprofits (defined as having revenues between $1 and $5 million annually) between July 2008 and March 2009. It concludes that:
Social technologies are not delivering much in terms of fundraising or attracting volunteers. While the majority (of respondents) began using social networking with an expectation that it would help the organization attract donors and volunteers, results have been particularly disappointing in those categories. More than 70 percent of respondents indicated that they had raised less than $100 or did not know whether they had raised any money.
However, despite poor results to date, “the overwhelming majority of respondents… say they are going to increase their investment in the use of social networking.”
A second survey, from the Cone communications agency, reached similar conclusions.