Non-Profits Love Social Media, But It’s Complicated…

pie charts showing that non-profits don't use social media enough

Notes on above infographic: According to Grantspace, there are currently 10.7 million non-profit employees and 1.5 million registered organizations. These two numbers were used to estimate the average employee size of a non-profit (7). Survey response data used was gathered by Hubspot.

I recently came across an informative blog by Steven Shattuck of Hubspot. He was discussing the perceived importance of social media vs how a non-profit actually delivers on its social media strategy. Informed by a 9000+ person survey, the results he uncovered are pretty startling.

84% of non-profits think social media is moderately-to-very valuable.

bar graph showing non-profits perceived importance of social media

This result makes sense, though I do think more than 48% should consider social media as “very valuable.” In reality, 100% of non-profits should consider social media as super-important. What better way to directly reach your donors and unobtrusively promote your cause than through Facebook or Twitter? But I get it. Non-profit is an old industry and old industries resist change as a general rule.

That being said, at least 84% of non-profits are aware social media is important on some level. So it’s safe to assume they’re pouring time and money into increasing their presence, right?


Non-Profits spend a shockingly small amount of time tending to their social media accounts every week:

time spent on social media by non-profit organizations per week

If 84% of non-profits admit that social media is important to their cause, why are almost 60% of non-profits devoting 2 or less hours a week to their accounts? Divided over 5 days, it seems most non-profits are spending 24 minutes or less a day on social media. When you consider that most organizations likely have multiple accounts, that 24 minute number becomes even more glaring.

If you’re running a non-profit, look inward and ask yourself: “Am I doing enough on social media?” As of this writing, most responses will be, “Not even close.”

So what can I do to improve our social media presence?

We wouldn’t just talk you down without building you back up, would we? Of course not! Here’s a couple quick suggestions:

Start a blog. Look at the wonders it’s done us! No, seriously. We may not be TMZ, but if you’re here reading this, you now know about Wristband Bros. Did you come here from a Facebook boosted ad or a friend’s share? Blogs provide a platform for interesting content. And interesting content can be shared easily and quickly through social media.

Subscribe to Buzzsumo. Well, ok, it doesn’t have to be Buzzsumo. But that’s the company we use to help us find shareable stories about any topic under the sun. We can quickly search the internet and social media for specific key terms (like “wristbands” for instance) and find stories around the web. It collects stats like Facebook and LinkedIn shares, so you can quickly deduce which stories resonate on social media.

Organize your social media accounts. Use a site like HootSuite to monitor all of your social media accounts. It will allow you to manage them all from one dashboard, as well as make posts that will show up across multiple platforms.

Bottom two bar graphics sourced from Hubspot. Infographic created by WristbandBros using data extrapolated from several sources including Grantspace, NonProfitHR and HubSpot.