The use and management of data stands at the core of the work undertaken by the Center for Effective Philanthropy. The set of survey tools CEP has developed as well as field-wide research builds comparative data drawn from key constituent groups—grantees, donors, staff members and others—providing insights that enable funders to better define, assess and improve their effectiveness.
This data point comes from the Donor Perception Report (DPR), which helps community foundations identify actionable strategies for more effectively engaging their donors. The DPR covers topics such as donor preferences, future giving plans, perceptions of impact on the community, and foundation communications.
The data point shown above results from responses to the following question:
“Please think about your use of online social networks (e.g., Facebook, Twitter). How important to you are these online networks?”
Donors taking this survey were asked to rate on a scale of 1 (Not at all important) to 7 (Extremely important) the importance of online networks. With over 1,500 respondents answering this question, the majority of donors (64%) gave the lowest possible rating to the importance of social networks, with an average rating of 1.9. Only a tiny sliver (2%) felt these networks were extremely important.
Perhaps even more striking, an overwhelming 91% of respondents indicate that they would NOT like to receive information about a foundation’s work over social networks.
Because this question is an optional addition to the standard DPR, results reflect respondents from only thirteen funders.
Readers of this blog post are invited to respond. Do donors really not want to be engaged through online networks or could their minds be changed with more effective social media outreach?
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CEP’s work is rooted in the conviction that feedback can play a role promoting change in foundation practice. For a broader look at the role of feedback in philanthropy, see the report, Can Feedback Fuel Change at Foundations? written by Phil Buchanan, Ellie Buteau, Ph.D., and Shahryar Minhas and published by the Center for Effective Philanthropy.
Kevin Bolduc is Vice President – Assessment Tools at the Center for Effective Philanthropy