Nonprofit social media benchmarks

Up to date stats to benchmark your nonprofit's social media

Want to know how you stack up to your peers in terms of growing your social media audiences? Is anyone actually raising money on Facebook? What are the top three factors for success on social media for nonprofits?

Two new reports will answer these questions for you and a few more. We’ve gleaned some highlights below and encourage you to check the full reports out too. Knowing how your organization compares to your peers can indicate opportunities for growth & help you make strategic decisions for spending your time and money on social media.

Details on these these reports and links to them can be found at the end of this post. Let’s jump into the numbers!

Fan growth and interaction

The larger of the two studies (Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report) found the average growth of Facebook communities in 2011 to be 30% and Twitter at 81%. Interestingly you’ll see on the chart that LinkedIn is down.


On average, Facebook grew by 30% & Twitter by 81% for non profits in 2011


Another way to estimate a healthy size of a social media community is to compare it to the size of your email list, as per the 2012 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study. Although from a smaller sample, 44 nonprofits mostly larger in size, they found that for every 1,000 email subscribers a nonprofit can expect 103 Facebook fans and 29 Twitter followers.


What happens once you get that fan growth? The eNonprofit study found the average daily action rate on Facebook to be 2.5 actions per 1,000 users. This means that for every 1,000 Facebook fans you have you can expect 2.5 likes or comments a day.

Social media & fundraising

The Social Benchmarks Study asked respondents if there were using Facebook to raise money and 54% answered that no, they were not. What we assume is that they mean that they are not asking for contributions via social media. We have a strong bias that all the cultivation & stewardship done via social media is in fact contributing to your organization’s fundraising, whether you can pinpoint donations from it or not.  The remaining 46% of respondents shared how they are asking for funds on Facebook, with individual giving leading and peer to peer fundraising coming in last.

Individual asking is the primary source of fundraising on Facebook


What leads to success on social media?

We love that the Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report added a new question this year to find out what is helping non profits to be successful on social media. Having a social media strategy led as the factor most likely to influence your success. As you know, being on Twitter and having a ton of followers is not a strategy. But identifying thought leaders on your nonprofit’s issue area & cultivating a relationship with them on Twitter is a strategy.

Get the reports:

Big thanks to M + R Strategic Services, NTEN, Common Knowledge and Blackbaud for creating and sharing these benchmark reports! Without this data we’d all be swimming in the dark. Now we have some beacons and buoys to help us navigate and stay on course.

Download the 2012 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study by M + R Strategic Services & NTEN

Download the Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report by NTEN, Common Knowledge & Blackbaud

Image thanks to Flickr:AussieGall