Nonprofits Embrace Social Networking for Marketing and Fundraising

April 28, 2009 ( - A new survey co-sponsored by ThePort Network, Inc., NTEN, and Common Knowledge indicates the nonprofit industry is catching on to the use of social networking as a marketing and fundraising channel.

According to a news release, the survey found that among commercial social networking sites, Facebook is the most popular, with 74% of nonprofits maintaining a presence. However, nonprofit communities on Facebook are still relatively small, with an average size of 5,454 members.

Approximately one-third of nonprofits have built one or more house social networks, and 86.3% of those host communities of 10,000 members or less. The survey also indicated that nonprofits prefer more traditional marketing tactics to promote their social networks — prioritizing Web site, email lists and events. Lower in popularity but still prevalent were the use of Twitter and other social networks as marketing tools, the news release said.

Four-fifths of respondents are committing at least one-quarter of a full-time staff position to their social networking efforts, and more than half intend to increase social networking project staffing over the next 12 months.

The survey polled 978 nonprofit professionals about their organizations use of commercial social networking sites, as well as their own hosted social networking communities. The complete social networking survey report can be downloaded without charge from .