Tuesday, August 7, 2012

NonProfit Pulse Survey

Thought you might be interested in the results of a survey ConstantContact did recently on nonprofits Here's the text:


Constant Contact Nonprofit Pulse Survey:
Attracting New Supporters Keeps Nonprofits Up at Night
Majority of nonprofits see potential of social media marketing to help with engaging supporters

WALTHAM, Mass. – August 7, 2012 – According to new survey data from Constant Contact®, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTCT), the challenge of attracting new supporters is keeping 64% of nonprofits up at night.  While the Constant Contact 2012 Nonprofit Pulse Survey revealed nonprofit concerns related to cash flow and staff levels, it also revealed that 58 percent find social media marketing an effective marketing tool that can be deployed to address these concerns. 

What’s Keeping Nonprofits Up at Night
When it comes to running their organizations effectively, nonprofits are concerned about attracting new supporters and connecting more effectively with existing supporters. When asked what keeps them up at night:
 
·        64 percent said how to attract new supporters.
·        59 percent said how to connect and better engage with existing supporters.
·        57 percent said getting funding.
 
Management and measurement of marketing activities were also addressed:
·        34 percent said having a more integrated communication strategy.
·        22 percent said how to make marketing dollars go further.
·        20 percent said how to measure the impact of marketing campaigns.

Marketing “Go Tos”
Nonprofits still rely largely on email marketing, with 86 percent finding it to be an effective marketing tool for their organization.  Other marketing activities found to be effective are: website (80 percent), in-person interactions (73 percent), and events (70 percent). 

Facebook is Preferred Social Media Marketing Activity – Hands Down
Social media marketing is also an important tool for nonprofits, with 58 percent naming social media marketing as an effective marketing tool.  However, Facebook is clearly king of all social media within the nonprofit sector.  Of those nonprofits that find social media marketing to be effective, when asked which tools they find to be most effective:
 
·        88 percent said Facebook.
·        5 percent said Twitter.
·        3 percent said LinkedIn.
·        1 percent said Google+; 1 percent said YouTube.

Social Media Learning Curve
While social media marketing is valued by a majority of nonprofits, it is also an area where they want guidance.  When asked which marketing activities they need help with:

·        57 percent said social media marketing.
·        36 percent said email marketing.
·        35 percent said website.

Of note, nonprofits think 73 percent of their supporters are likely to recommend their organization to a friend or colleague, a dynamic that could be greatly amplified with the use of social media marketing.

“While more nonprofits understand that social media can help them attract and engage supporters, it’s still a bit of a mystery to them in terms of how to actually use it themselves,” said Alec Stern, vice president, strategic market development, Constant Contact.  “I think there’s a real opportunity here to educate nonprofits on not only the basic ‘how-tos’ of social media but also the longer view benefits of social media sharing.  The ability to share real-time first-person stories and images from charitable recipients, volunteers, and donors, and get a dialog started among all constituents, is a truly compelling way to build an engaged community.”

Nonprofit Outlook
Generally speaking, the health of nonprofits appears stable or growing:
 
·        67 percent expect membership/funding for the year to be more than last
     year, while 7 percent expect it to be less.   

·        49 percent have seen an increase in membership/funding so far this year,
     while 12 percent have seen a decrease.

·        55 percent have adequate cash flow.

This optimism is leveled by some operational challenges they face:
 
·        46 percent of nonprofits are experiencing increased operating costs.
·        35 percent need additional staff but are unable to hire.
·        51 percent have increased the number of service offerings.


About the Survey
This Constant Contact-sponsored survey was administered in May 2012 to 1000 participants in the Constant Contact Small Biz Council – a research panel of US small businesses and nonprofits recruited from the Constant Contact customer base. This is the first installment of an ongoing study about the state of nonprofits and the ways they connect with, and grow, their audiences.  Results include responses from 307 nonprofit organizations.  Of note, 65 percent of respondents have annual operating budgets below $500,000. 

How does this information jibe with what you've been seeing in your own small nonprofit? Are you with the majority or the minority? Are there other issues that weren't addressed by the study? Let me know in the comments.

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