Stats on Stats


Statistics are an excellent way to gauge what and how the rest of the nonprofit world is doing. I have sifted through many statistics for you all and have come up with a list of what I feel could be most beneficial to know so your nonprofit organization can make the most of its social media presence. I have specifically gathered facts based on one of the  most essential roles social media plays for nonprofits- money making.

First, lets talk money as it affects you as a business entity.

As I hope most of you know by now, a NPO’s social media following is not dependent on budget size! You can do a lot with a little money and much creativity. This being said, according to Kivi Miller (2012), “73% of nonprofits organizations allocate half of a full time employee to managing social networking activities.” She also informs us that, “Nonprofits say they spend an average of $3.50 to acquire a Facebook fan, and $2.05 per new Twitter follower.” (2012, Miller). If you are a smaller organization, you may be a tad worried that this is slowly going to eat away at your budget (because let’s face it, it is probably not that big). Fear not friends! Steve MacLaughlin (2014) has informed the public that in 2014 there was a 2.1% increase in overall fundraising, which may not seem like that much, but there are no signs this increase should become a decrease in the future. (2014, MacLaughlin).

money            holding-money

Now, let’s talk about getting your stakeholders to make donations.

According to MacLaughlin (2014), “84% of nonprofit donation landing pages are not optimized for mobile [and] 73% of nonprofits did not offer a ‘share’ option after an online donation .” I hope to see these numbers decrease significantly, and soon, because as MacLaughlin (2014) goes on to inform us, “9.5% of online donations are made on mobile devices.” (2014, MacLaughlin). And this number will most likely increase due to an ever-growing shift to mobile devices. Important still are the share buttons because they are an amazing opportunity for your stakeholders to inspire potential stakeholders on all their social media accounts. Another surprising statistic is that only 22% of nonprofits have an RSS feed on their website. (2011, Lacy). This is shocking considering how important conversation and storytelling is for nonprofits. If you are not talking with your stakeholders, despite an average retention rate of 58.4% for multi-year donors, they might choose to donate their money elsewhere if you are not answering their questions or inspiring them. (2014, MacLaughlin). To get to that point where you have multi-year donors you need to convince them that your cause is the cause they should donate to and you cannot convince them of this if you do not talk to them. And no better place to communicate than social media!

If you are looking for a good example to follow, check out PBS. They have the largest following on Twitter which may or not have everything to do the fact that they are the most talkative on Twitter. (2011, Lacy). Here is a link to PBS’s twitter account:  


-Ali Robert

Lacy, K. (2011, October 25). 15 stats on how the top nonprofits use social media. Retrieved from:

 MacLaughlin, S. (2014, February 17). 50 Fascinating Nonprofit Statistics. Retrieved from:

 Miller, K. (2012, April 18). Social Media Stats and Trends for Nonprofits. Message posted to:


One thought on “Stats on Stats

  1. I found this article very interesting considering both of my parents work for non-profits so I am already familiar with this industry. In an industry that relies primarily on getting money, it is interesting to me that they have to spend money to get followers. Most people think of social media as a free way to get promotion, but obviously using social media still comes with a price. I was surprised that with social media, non-profits weren’t going out of their way to make it easier for people to donate. The statistic about donating on their phones, doesn’t surprise me and I think that can go up even more with making it an easier way for people to donate. I looked at the PBS site and they are definitely a good example of how a non-profit’s site should look. It does a good job of being interesting and making me want to spend even more time on their page, which will cause me to be more likely to donate.

    Emily Faraone


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