publication date: Nov 21, 2012
author/source: Julie Fiorini
Earlier this week at Congress 2012
, organized by the Greater Toronto Area Chapter, Association of Fundraising Professionals
I presented An Inside Look at How Canadian Charities are Using Social Media
I emphasized the importance of social media as part of an effective marketing
and communications strategy for charities big and small.
To discover how Canadian charities use social media, Stephen Thomas
with Montréal-based firm Ajah
to identify the
charities that use social media proactively and effectively, and test our
hypothesis that those with a social media presence would be more likely to have
higher overall revenue.
Over 85,000 charities are registered with
the Canada Revenue Agency. Of these,
roughly 22,000 include their website with their CRA listing. We examined the home
pages of these 22,000 websites to detect those with an obvious social media
presence, then linked those findings with financial information available
through their T-3010 return.
of followers, revenue not correlated
We did not see a correlation between social
media following and revenue. We did, however, see that organizations with
higher revenue are more likely to have a social media presence.
On the whole, our study supports the
current wisdom that using social media is not a way for charities to make
money. Rather, social media should be used primarily as a way to engage new
donors and to solidify and strengthen relationships with existing donors.
- Only 10% of Canadian registered
charities use social media in some form.
- British Columbia leads the
pack, with 15% of BC charities using social media.
- Not surprisingly, the most
commonly used social media site is Facebook (75%).
- Twitter usage is 48% and
YouTube is 24%.
- Flickr and LinkedIn presence is
relatively low, at 9% and 5% respectively.
- The median number of Facebook
likes is 218 and median number of Twitter followers is 301.
- Hockey Canada Foundation has the most Facebook
- Benny Hinn Ministries has the most Twitter
- Of the 5 charity types (welfare,
health, education, faith-based, community benefits and other) community benefit
charities show the highest social media adoption.
- Faith-based type charities are the
lowest adopters of social media.
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Julie Fiorini is Director, Digital Marketing at Stephen Thomas (ST), a Toronto-based
marketing, communications and fundraising agency exclusively serving
nonprofits. Drawing on more than 10 years of online marketing expertise, Julie
is responsible for engaging online audiences and generating revenue for clients
including Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, Kids Help Phone,
The Salvation Army, and the Canadian Diabetes Association. Before joining ST,
Julie implemented direct and interactive marketing strategies across the nonprofit,
private, and public sectors.