How nonprofits are using social media data

Photo by Annie Lynsen

Photo by Annie Lynsen

At the 2013 Nonprofit Technology Conference, our CEO, Casey Golden, served on a panel with Mark Davis of Blackbaud, Danielle Brigida of the National Wildlife Federation, and Ken Bess of CARE. Brigida and Bess spoke about how their organizations were using social data.

Last year, NWF finally embraced social and had its data analyzed on its donors and its social-media followers. Here's what NWF found:
  • 60 percent of its members were on social networks.
  • Donors on social were bigger givers, especially donors on LinkedIn.
  • Donors on social tended to respond better to mail solicitations, particularly those on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Major-gift prospects were fairly social.
So Brigida started using the data when interacting with individuals — knowing whether they were donors, what level, advocates, etc. — and communicating appropriately. Then she was able to drill down into the data to figure out statistics like how many members these people have talked to and was able to drill down into different high-value groups like lapsed subscribers. Then she shares that data with the other departments so they can use it as needed.
"I look at my job as an air-traffic controller," she said. "The data doesn't stop with me. I pass it on to my staff so they can use it."


CARE is using this data to enhance its fundraising programs. Bess found that its donors on LinkedIn were the highest level of donors, with a higher lifetime value and higher average gift.
With that information, CARE has decided to take a look at major gifts through social media, changing the mind-set that major-giving prospects must be cultivated through traditional direct-response channels only.
CARE has also started to integrate social media into its e-mails. E-mail is the lifeblood of CARE’s fundraising, sending 2 million e-mails a month, and, “If a campaign doesn’t have e-mail for us, it fails,” Bess said.
So it has been undergoing e-mail A/B tests, sending different versions or comparing results between e-mail donors vs. [social media] key influencers and [social media] engagers.
(Read more on Fundraising Success: part 1, part 2)

Additionally, during the NTC we launched this slide deck of how our various clients are using social media data. Take a look!

P.S. Have you signed up for the SocialVision beta yet? You'll get 1,000 free profile matches if you more if you refer your friends!