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Table of Contents
Executive Summary........................................................................................
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Background: United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG) has utilized social media networks such as
Faceboo...
4
INTRODUCTION
Today, people are able to connect with long lost friends, friends of friends, and new people
because of a p...
5
Like the majority of nonprofits, United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG) does not know the
dollar value of its social ne...
6
charities. Additionally, Americans are engaging with nonprofits by viewing organization’s websites and
newsletters, shar...
7
• Donates $61.9 billion per year
Generation X
• Age 33-48 as of 2013
• Born 1965 – 1980
• Represent 20% of total giving
...
8
generations- 7% of Generation X and 6% of Generation Y have responded in the same manner. Giving
via social media is not...
9
email, and 6% look to Facebook. Fifty percent of donors received information about a charity through
the website, direct...
10
the real value of social media is advocacy, brand enhancement, and development of younger donors
(Brewer 2011, 3).
Many...
11
organization’s main objective, it is still important to establish metrics to measure outcomes, particularly
those that ...
12
education, and income. For 91 years United Way of Greater Greensboro has been able to stay to true its
mission and “Imp...
13
RESEARCH QUESTIONS
With this research, I seek to answer the following questions:
1. Is there a relationship between a “...
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to other networks such as Twitter that have character limits.
As of July 30, 2013, the “like” count of UWGG’s Facebook ...
15
LIMITATIONS
Before discussing the results, the limitations of this study must be noted. First, the survey is
constricte...
16
for United Way of Greater Greensboro by offering a first attempt at identifying the reasons why people
engage with UWGG...
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58% of respondents said that UWGG’s Facebook posts did not influence them to donate or volunteer.
(Figure 2)
The prefer...
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The reasons why respondents “liked” UWGG’s Facebook pages were determined by looking at
the responses to “Have you clic...
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DISCUSSION
The findings of this research revealed some information that could be useful to United Way of
Greater Greens...
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Facebook page is generally nonfinancial. While nonfinancial outcomes like increased volunteerism have
no current moneta...
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often people don’t donate unless they are asked. The only time that someone may be asked to donate
to United Way, may b...
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Works Cited
Achieve. "2013 Millennial Impact Report." 2013. http://www.themillennialimpact.com/2013research
(accessed S...
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Hrywna, Mark. "No stamps needed: email, social media pumping up nonprofit volume." The Non-profit
Times, April 2012: 13...
The Value of a Facebook Like- DFR
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The Value of a Facebook Like- DFR

  1. 1. 2 Table of Contents Executive Summary...................................................................................................................................3 Introduction................................................................................................................................................4 Literature Review ......................................................................................................................................5 Agency Background.................................................................................................................................11 Problem Statement...................................................................................................................................12 Research Questions..................................................................................................................................13 Research Methods....................................................................................................................................13 Results.......................................................................................................................................................16 Discussion..................................................................................................................................................19 Recommendations....................................................................................................................................20 Conclusion ................................................................................................................................................21 Works Cited..............................................................................................................................................22 Appendix A- Online Survey Questions Appendix B- Facebook Messages and Posts
  2. 2. 3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Background: United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG) has utilized social media networks such as Facebook to communicate with its current and prospective donors and volunteers. While UWGG assumes that the utilization of Facebook is beneficial for the organization, no research has been conducted to determine the actual benefits and/or value of its social networking efforts. Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to answer the following questions: 1. Is there a relationship between a “Like” on United Way of Greater Greensboro’s Facebook Page and UWGG’s donor and volunteer engagement? 2. Does UWGG’s Facebook page affect donor giving or volunteering? 3. Is there a target audience for United Way of Greater Greensboro’s Facebook page? 4. Why do people click the “Like” button on UWGG Facebook’s Page? 5. Does the “Like” button for UWGG’s Facebook Page have any value? If so, what type of value? (i.e. financial, increase in volunteerism, increase of awareness) 6. Is there a certain donation method that donors on Facebook prefer? 7. Is UWGG’s Facebook Page utilized as a primary source for finding out information about UWGG’s events, campaigns, and/or volunteer opportunities? Methods: Methods of analysis include a literature review and an online survey. The review of literature established the theoretical framework for this study, defined key terms and concepts, identified relevant case studies, and assisted in determining the method for primary research. The survey was conducted online through Qualtrics survey system and included 12 questions distributed to followers on UWGG’s Facebook page (Appendix A). Limitations: The results of this survey are not generalizable because of the limited number of respondents. The survey had 78 respondents and a response rate of 7.3%. Key Findings: • United Way of Greater Greensboro’s target audience is ages 25-34. • A “Like” does not have financial value at UWGG, but instead, has positive nonfinancial value, which is increased volunteerism for UWGG. • 17% of respondents said that a UWGG Facebook post has caused them to both donate and volunteer, 20% agreed that a post influenced them to volunteer and 5% said a post made them want to donate. • 50% of UWGG’s Facebook fans prefer to donate online and 31% prefer to mail their donations. • 50% of UWGG’s followers “liked” United Way’s page because they were interested in UWGG, 36% liked the page because they volunteered with UWGG, and 23% liked UWGG’s page because someone suggested the page. • 50% of surveyees utilized UWGG’s website as a primary source for information. Recommendations: • Create a “Donate” widget/button on UWGG’s Facebook pages • Post content that encourages or invite followers to donate • Conduct research on Millenials to determine which type(s) of content is most effective with that demographic • Upload more photos of Generation X and Y on all of UWGG’s Facebook pages • Continue to post content about volunteer opportunities and calls to action
  3. 3. 4 INTRODUCTION Today, people are able to connect with long lost friends, friends of friends, and new people because of a phenomenon that started less than twenty years ago: social media. Social media is a term used to collectively describe a set of tools that foster interaction, discussion and community, allowing people to build relationships and share information. The first modern social network, Sixdegrees, started in 1997. Other social media networks started later (Avalaunch Media 2013): 2001-Wikipedia 2003-Myspace and LinkedIn 2004-flickr, Harvard Facebook 2005-Youtube 2006-Facebook for everyone, Twitter 2007- Tumblr 2010-Instagram and Pinterest Today, the most popular social media network is Facebook, having reached over 1.11 billion users. With its ability to reach the masses, companies and organizations have utilized Facebook and other social media networks to reach out to their current and potential consumers/clients. Nonprofit organizations have taken advantage of the free advertising and communication of social media networks as well. According to the 2012 Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report, 98% of nonprofits are on Facebook with an average of 8,317 members (Blackbaud, 2012, 13). While many organizations have come onboard with utilizing social media networks to target consumers and donors, most nonprofits do not have data to support the social or financial benefits of social media networking. Only 5% of nonprofits know the dollar value or the hard ROI1,2 of their social networking (Blackbaud, 2012, 13). 1 Return on investment (ROI)- the profit or amount of cost saved realized. A calculation used to determine whether a proposed investment is wise and how well it will repay the investor. 2 Hard ROI- Quantifiable returns that can be demonstrated in financial terms.
  4. 4. 5 Like the majority of nonprofits, United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG) does not know the dollar value of its social networking. Additionally, UWGG does not have empirical data to determine if any of its social media efforts are effective with donor engagement. The objective of this paper is to explore how social media networking affects the engagement of United Way of Greater Greensboro’s donors. To explore the impact of social media networking on UWGG’s donors, primary and secondary research was conducted in the summer of 2013. Primary research was completed through a survey distributed to UWGG’s constituents. Secondary research was gathered through a literature review comprised of information from various professional reports, scholarly articles, and websites to gain insight about the impact of social media on the nonprofit industry. This paper will begin with a review of relevant literature, followed by background information on United Way of Greater Greensboro, statement of the problem/issue, explanation of research methods, discussion of results, and recommendations. LITERATURE REVIEW Despite the dismal economy Americans face today, over $143 billion dollars is donated annually to charities and nonprofits (Rovner 2013, 7). Millions of Americans contribute to their favorite causes for a plethora of reasons. The top five types of charities that Americans choose to donate to include local social service organizations, places of worship, health charities, children charities, and education (Rovner 2013, 9). People donate to various nonprofits like United Way in various ways: payroll deduction, mobile giving, giving on website, by mail, in-person donations, event ticket purchases, by phone and other ways. While donating still remains to be the most popular way of engagement with a charity, many choose to be engaged in other ways. “The characteristics of today’s donors have not only evolved but they are also more involved” (Dorsey 2012, 35). United Way’s motto, “Give. Advocate. Volunteer.” describes some of the popular ways that donors are becoming engaged with their favorite
  5. 5. 6 charities. Additionally, Americans are engaging with nonprofits by viewing organization’s websites and newsletters, sharing posts on social networking sites, attending events, fundraising for a charity’s cause, running in marathons and races, and advocating for causes to local citizens and politicians. Charity Dynamics and NTEN Nonprofit Donor Engagement Benchmark study, donor engagement is rapidly changing; much of this change can be attributed to social media and technology. Those interested in a charity can now use social media to talk about the efforts of a nonprofit organization (the good and the bad), promote an event, raise money, provide feedback, and share posts, right from their fingertips. Organizations now have to connect with social media users “where they are and how they want – in a personalized, relevant way” (Dorsey 2012, 46). Donors can give online, through a mobile application, and via text/SMS. While there are many ways to donate and get involved, the preferences generally vary by generations. Rovner classifies donors into four generational categories: Matures (born 1945 or earlier), Baby Generation X and Generation Y/Millennials (2013,4). Matures • Age 68+ as of 2013 • Born 1945 and earlier • Represent 28% of total giving • 27.1 million donors in the U.S. • 88% give • $1,367 average annual gift • 6.2 charities supported • Donates $37.3 billion per year Baby Boomers • Born 1946 – 1964 • Age 49-67 as of 2013 • Represent 43% of total giving • 51.0 million donors in the U.S. • 72% give • $1,212 average annual gift • 4.5 charities supported
  6. 6. 7 • Donates $61.9 billion per year Generation X • Age 33-48 as of 2013 • Born 1965 – 1980 • Represent 20% of total giving • 39.5 million donors in the U.S. • 59% give • $732 average annual gift • 3.9 charities supported • Donates $28.7 billion per year Generation Y/Millennials • Age 32 and younger as of 2013 • Born 1981 and later • Represent 11% of total giving • 32.8 million donors in the U.S. • 60% give • $481 average annual gift • 3.3 charities supported • Donates $15.8 billion per year While the younger generation doesn’t have that much to give, the older generations do; Baby Boomers donated over $51 billion in America last year. Millennials only represented 11% of total giving last year. More than 80% of donors under age thirty give $100 or less to their favorite charity each year, which explains why Generation Y only accounts for 11% of total giving in the U.S. (Charity Dynamics and NTEN 2012, 6). Generation Y/Millennials may not be generous with their pockets, but tend to be more generous with their time. Sixty-three percent of Millennials surveyed in a study said they volunteered for nonprofits (Giving USA 2012, 5). When younger generations like Generation Y do give, they are more likely to give online. Older generations like the Baby Boomers give online as much as they give via direct mail. About 19% of the Mature generation give through telemarketing, but telemarketing is a on a sharp decline for the younger
  7. 7. 8 generations- 7% of Generation X and 6% of Generation Y have responded in the same manner. Giving via social media is not popular- 6% of donors overall have given by Facebook, Twitter, or another social network. 10% of Generation X and 8% of Generation Y have given via social media (Rovner 2013, 15). While giving via social media and telemarketing isn’t popular for our youngest donors, workplace campaigns are very effective for them. United Ways across the country rely heavily on workplace campaigns. In 2011, UWGG’s top 25 workplace campaigns accounted for over $4 million of the $11 million raised in that campaign year. Nearly 60% of Generation Y and 53% of Generation X give in the workplace. While still effective, workplace campaigns are not as popular for the seasoned, 46% of working Baby Boomers and 22% of working Matures gave in the workplace (Rovner 2013, 21). In addition to the way that Generation Y donors prefer to give, they continue to distinguish themselves by their priorities and preferences regarding causes they support. Generation Y is least likely to support local social services and environmental causes. They are more likely to support children’s charities, human rights, and international development causes. Generations X and Y are more likely to demand transparency and accountability from charities. Almost 60% of Generation Y and 50% of Generation Y’s decision to give depends significantly on the ability to see the direct impact of their donation (Rovner 2013, 5-13). Age has a significant impact on the way in which a donor chooses to engage and get information about a charity. Generation X is considered savvy and the Millennials are considered digital natives. Older generations generally prefer more traditional media like direct mail and email whereas younger generations favor social media networks to find out information about a charity (Charity Dynamics and NTEN 2012, 124). While younger donors are more likely to engage in social media, traditional media is still the preferred way of receiving information about a charity across all generations. A large portion of donors (36%) prefer to use a website to familiarize themselves with an organization, while 28% favor
  8. 8. 9 email, and 6% look to Facebook. Fifty percent of donors received information about a charity through the website, direct mail, email and e-newsletters at least once (Blackbaud, 2012, 8-12). Traditional media continues to be the best way that charities reach the vast majority of their donors, but social media still has a distinct purpose in the nonprofit world. According to the 2012 Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report, 98% of nonprofits are on Facebook and 72% are on Twitter (NTEN, 13). The average nonprofits Facebook page had 8,314 followers and Twitter averaged 3,289 followers. Social media networks provide nonprofits a free form of marketing that connect the voice and support of their volunteers, donors and supporters (Ni 2012, 33).Taking time to develop authentic and responsive interaction and engagement with donors via social media can be advantageous for nonprofits. Many nonprofits are utilizing social media to accomplish some of the following objectives (Boucher 2012, 22): • Enhance prospect development through profiling and prospect identification • Increase constituent engagement via community and relationship building • Raise funds through nontraditional methods • Receive feedback about ideas, products, or events • Increase awareness about causes, issues, products and events Some nonprofits make the mistake of creating a social media page but fail to update it, post interesting content, and/or have conversations with followers. Organizations like the Thunderbird School of Global Management successfully utilized social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to raise funds. The school posted questions like “Why wouldn’t you give to Thunderbird? “on LinkedIn, sent emails to Facebook followers, and sent replies to those who retweeted its message on Twitter. In just six weeks, the school realized 664 online gifts in the 2010 fiscal year. Online gifts increased by 444% from the same six-week period in 2009 (Kerber 2011, 33-34). According to the 2012 Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report, 40% of organizations reported getting donations from Facebook (NTEN, 23). While some organizations have been able to utilize social media to fundraise,
  9. 9. 10 the real value of social media is advocacy, brand enhancement, and development of younger donors (Brewer 2011, 3). Many organizations utilize social media because they assume that social media have many benefits. The large majority of nonprofits do not have a clear idea of where to invest time and dollars in social media because they have no reliable metrics of impact and efficacy in place. Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of social networking is a growing concern among marketers. Nonprofit marketers have attempted to find soft ROI, which is primarily based on programmatic impact (Blackbaud, 2012, 12). According to 2012 Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report, only 5% of nonprofits measure hard ROI. While the availability of information explaining the benefits of measuring social media is in abundance, very little information is offered about how to actually measure the ROI of social media. A recent study of marketing leaders mentioned in Marketing Management that 80% of marketers do not use data-driven marketing and 43% do not use metrics to guide future marketing campaigns. Sixty-nine percent of respondents in the study said they use a “gut feel” to decide (Duboff and Wilkerson 2010, 74). The danger that the 69% of the respondents will face is the possibility of targeting the wrong audience, with the wrong content, during the wrong time, on the wrong social media network. Measuring the ROI is important if an organization is seeking financial gain from the utilization of social media. ROI= (gain from investment – cost of investment) / cost of investment. ROI is generally expressed in ratio or percentage; a positive return is good (Blanchard 2011, 215). For most nonprofits, financial gain is not the main objective of using social media. Social media networks are not only used to raise funds; in fact, very few nonprofits enjoy fundraising success on social media. 66% of nonprofits use Facebook advertising for awareness, 55% use for base building, and only 25% use it for fundraising (Blackbaud, 2012, 14,24).Though financial gain may not be an
  10. 10. 11 organization’s main objective, it is still important to establish metrics to measure outcomes, particularly those that are nonfinancial. Focusing solely on financial outcomes generally deemphasizes the impact of marketing. Nonfinancial outcomes “fill the gaps between the investment and the subsequent gain and return. They tell the story by capturing changes in customer behavior. They give us snapshots of what happens between the time a program is assigned its budget and the time it yields a measurable return” (Blanchard 2011, 212). Millennials are a prime example-they may not have money to donate today, but they will advocate for organizations and volunteer. If these young donors remain engaged, they will probably donate in the future when they get older and established (Brewer 2011, 36-37). UNITED WAY OF GREATER GREENSBORO BACKGROUND The first United Way organization was established in 1887 in Denver, Colorado by two ministers, a priest, and a rabbi. It started as an entity that performed the community planning and coordinating function, as well as the united fund raising function. The following year, the first United Way campaign in Denver raised $21,700 for 22 agencies. In 1913, the first modern “Community Chest” was formed in Cleveland, Ohio- the process for allocating campaign funds. In 1918, twelve executives of local United Ways met Chicago and agreed to form a national association in order to promote the exchange of ideas experience; it was called the American Association for Community Organization. Today it is known as United Way of America (United Way of Greater Greensboro 2013). In 1922, the Greensboro Community Chest was established; its initial campaign raised approximately $68,000. In 1957, the Greensboro Community Chest became the United Fund. To conform to the national trend, the name United Way of Greater Greensboro (UWGG) was adopted in 1974. United Way of Greater Greensboro has grown tremendously over the past nine decades. United Way of Greater Greensboro raised $10,222,000 in the 2012-2013 campaign year, funding 29 partner agencies and 89 programs/initiatives that aligned with United Way’s three focus areas: health,
  11. 11. 12 education, and income. For 91 years United Way of Greater Greensboro has been able to stay to true its mission and “Improve lives by mobilizing and uniting the caring power of our community” (United Way of Greater Greensboro 2013). PROBLEM STATEMENT Since 2009, United Way of Greater Greensboro has utilized two social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter), to communicate with its constituents. While it does not incur any direct costs to use social media, United Way has made an investment in its social media efforts by staffing a full-time marketing and communications specialist who’s responsible for updating its social media sites. Social media has become a major part of nonprofits’ communications strategies because it has the ability to reach many people at no cost. Like many nonprofits, UWGG has invested in social media in some way, whether it is time, money, and/or human capital. UWGG does not have any empirical data to substantiate if its social media efforts improve donor or volunteer engagement. UWGG has access to analytics that reveal data that determines basic soft ROI3 such as how many individuals liked a post on Facebook or how many people shared a UWGG post from Facebook. The analytics4 that UWGG uses is not helpful with determining the value of a “like” on Facebook. Without an understanding of the value of a “like”5 on Facebook, UWGG could be using its social media platforms incorrectly or inefficiently. 3 Soft ROI- Quantifiable returns that cannot be de demonstrated in financial terms. 4 Analytics- “The measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purposes of understanding and optimizing Web usage." (Hamel 2011) 5 Like - A feature that allows users to show their support for specific comments, pictures, wall posts, statuses, or fan pages on the Facebook social media site. Added in February 2009, the "like" button allows users to show their appreciation for content without having to make a written comment. (Rouse 2010)
  12. 12. 13 RESEARCH QUESTIONS With this research, I seek to answer the following questions: 1. Is there a relationship between a “Like” on United Way of Greater Greensboro’s Facebook Page and UWGG’s donor and volunteer engagement? 2. Does UWGG’s Facebook page affect donor giving or volunteering? 3. Is there a target audience for United Way of Greater Greensboro’s Facebook page? 4. Why do people click the “Like” button on UWGG Facebook’s Page? 5. Does the “Like” button for UWGG’s Facebook Page have any value? If so, what type of value? (i.e. financial, increase in volunteerism, increase of awareness) 6. Is there a certain donation method that donors on Facebook prefer? 7. Is UWGG’s Facebook Page utilized as a primary source for finding out information about UWGG’s events, campaigns, and/or volunteer opportunities? RESEARCH METHODS A twelve question online survey was distributed to United Way of Greater Greensboro’s Facebook fans via www.qualtrics.com survey tool (See Appendix A). UWGG’s Facebook pages were used to determine the population. The following Facebook pages were used: United Way of Greater Greensboro, United Way of Greater Greensboro’s Women Leadership, and United Way Young Leaders Greensboro. I developed the twelve survey questions based on the information gathered from the literature review and feedback received from the CEO/President after a discussion of her expectations from the research. I decided to use Facebook because it is the most popular social media network for nonprofits (Blackbaud, 2012, 13). Facebook’s content is more static than other social media networks. Facebook mini-feeds do notchange as rapidly as other social networks, so users are more likely to view an organization’s updates. Additionally, Facebook allows users to view more detailed messages compared
  13. 13. 14 to other networks such as Twitter that have character limits. As of July 30, 2013, the “like” count of UWGG’s Facebook pages was as follows: • United Way of Greater Greensboro Facebook page had 642 likes • United Way Young Leaders Greensboro Facebook page had 499 likes • United Way of Greater Greensboro’s Women Leadership page had 86 likes • UWGG’s Facebook Pages likes total= 1227 likes The survey with a request for participation was posted on UWGG’s Facebook pages five times between July 29, 2013 and August 19, 2013 (See Appendix B-1 and B-2). The posts could be viewed by all 1227 individuals that liked one of UWGG’s Facebook pages. In order to increase the response rate, I contacted individuals through a personal message on Facebook, asking for participation in the survey (see Appendix B). Due to restrictions of Facebook, an export of the complete list of persons that have liked the above listed pages could not be obtained. Facebook provided the following: • 240 names of people who liked United Way of Greater Greensboro Facebook page • 44 names of people who liked United Way of Greater Greensboro’s Women Leadership page • 257 names of people who liked United Way of Greater Greensboro Facebook page • A total of 541 names were gathered from all three UWGG Facebook pages After eliminating duplicate Facebook fans (77 duplicates) as well as names that did not represent an individual (Facebook separates fans into two lists-companies/organizations and individuals), there were 450 names available to contact directly. Those 450 Facebook fans received a direct request to participate in the survey in their inbox. Those who did not share a mutual friend with Amanda Wise received the request to participate in the survey in their spam inbox (See Appendix B-3). UWGG’s Facebook pages have a total of 1227 likes. There were 77 duplicates found with the 541 names exported from Facebook. Assuming that there are approximately 77 additional duplicates in the 686 names that could not be exported, the total population is 1073. The population includes all individuals who are able to view the posts requesting participation in the survey. The survey had 78 respondents and a response rate of 7.3%.
  14. 14. 15 LIMITATIONS Before discussing the results, the limitations of this study must be noted. First, the survey is constricted by the limitations of Facebook. An accurate count of the population was not able to be determined because Facebook does not provide a complete list of followers, and it does not provide any historical behavioral data of individual followers (i.e., which posts a follower liked, commented on, or shared or when follower begin following page). Second, the current database system at UWGG- Andar, provided limitations. The system does not have complete contact information for all UWGG donors, particularly those who donate through workplace campaigns. This is due to privacy policies that companies have established that forbids UWGG from receiving contact information of employees. Originally, this survey was to be conducted via phone, email, and Facebook, but because the Andar system does not have personal email and phone numbers for all its donors, the survey was conducted solely utilizing UWGG’s Facebook population. Third, the present study had limitations in the way that possible participants could be contacted because not all of UWGG’s Facebook fans could be contacted directly, due to the inability to export a complete list of followers. In addition, some of the Facebook fans received a message requesting response directly to their inbox, while others who did not share a mutual friend with Amanda Wise, received the request to participate in the survey in their spam inbox. The inability to contact all Facebook followers of UWGG in a direct manner and the limited time that the survey was conducted, reduced the response rate. Due to the small amount of respondents, a chi-square test could not be used to determine the relative strength of association for the variables in the survey. Fourth, the survey failed to ask if “payroll deduction” was a way that donors gave to United Way of Greater Greensboro, an omission since a large majority of UWGG’s donors give via payroll deduction. Nevertheless, this research contributes to providing insight to the effects of social networking
  15. 15. 16 for United Way of Greater Greensboro by offering a first attempt at identifying the reasons why people engage with UWGG via social media and how posts influence followers’ engagement with UWGG. Further studies of how many times UWGG’s posts influenced followers to volunteer or donate and the frequency and amount of volunteering and donation would need to be examined. RESULTS The age breakdown of UWGG’s Facebook Fans was determined by looking at the age groups of those who answered “Yes” to “Have you clicked the "Like" button for United Way of Greater Greensboro's Facebook page?” Of those who selected “Yes”, 41% were ages 25-34, 27% were ages 35- 44, and 15% were ages 45-54. 2% of respondents were in the age group 18-24, 13% were 55-64, and two percent were ages 65 and above. (Figure 1) The ways that UWGG’s Facebook page influenced its followers was determined by examining the responses to “Have you ever seen something on UWGG's Facebook Page that influenced you to donate to or volunteer at UWGG?” by those who answered “Yes” to “Have you clicked the "Like" button for United Way of Greater Greensboro's Facebook page?” 17% of those respondents said that a UWGG Facebook post caused them to both donate and volunteer, 20% agreed that a post influenced them volunteer and 5% said a post influenced them to donate. 0% 2% 41% 27% 16% 13% 2% Figure 1: Age Breakdown of UWGG's Facebook Fans Under 18 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65 and above
  16. 16. 17 58% of respondents said that UWGG’s Facebook posts did not influence them to donate or volunteer. (Figure 2) The preferred method of donation by respondents was determined by looking at the responses to “How do you donate to United Way of Greater Greensboro?” by those who answered “Yes” to “Have you clicked the "Like" button for United Way of Greater Greensboro's Facebook page?” Half of UWGG’s Facebook fans (50%) prefer to donate online, 31% prefer to mail their donations, and 19% prefer to donate in person. 60% of UWGG’s followers ages 25-34 and 64% of those between the ages of 35 to 44 preferred donating online. Ages 55-64 preferred online giving as well (62%), while ages 45-54 preferred giving online and via mail equally at 40%. (Figure 3) 5% 20% 17%58% Figure 2: Ways UWGG's Facebook Posts Influence Followers Donate Volunteer Both No 0 5 10 15 Under 18 25-34 45-54 65 and above Age Under 18 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65 and above Online 0 1 12 9 4 1 0 In Person 0 0 4 1 2 2 1 Mail 0 0 4 4 4 5 0 Figure 3: Preferred Donation Method by Age
  17. 17. 18 The reasons why respondents “liked” UWGG’s Facebook pages were determined by looking at the responses to “Have you clicked the "Like" button for United Way of Greater Greensboro's Facebook page by those who selected “Yes”?” and “Why did you "Like" the United Way of Greater Greensboro's Facebook page?” The top reason (36%) why UWGG’s followers liked UWGG’s Facebook pages was because they were interested in UWGG. Sixteen percent of its followers said they liked one of UWGG’s pages was because someone suggested the page to them, 13% said it was because they were a volunteer, and 26% said they liked UWGG’s page because they have donated to UWGG. The preferred sources for obtaining more information about UWGG’s efforts and activities were determined by looking at the responses to “Which is your age?” and “When you want to find out more information about United Way of Greater Greensboro's, what resource would you refer to first?” Twenty-five percent of surveyees utilized Facebook as a primary source, but the majority (56%) favored using the website as a primary source for information about UWGG’s events, campaigns, and/or volunteer opportunities. More of the younger age groups preferred Facebook as a primary sources than older groups. Thirty-one percent of ages 25-34 and 35% of ages 35-44 used Facebook as a primary source of info about UWGG. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 UWGG Donor UWGG Volunteer Someone suggested page UWGG Board Member I don't know I'm interested in UWGG UWGG Employee Figure 4:Why Someone "Liked" UWGG's Facebook Page
  18. 18. 19 DISCUSSION The findings of this research revealed some information that could be useful to United Way of Greater Greensboro as it relates to its social media strategy. The survey indicated that there is a relationship between a “Like” on United Way of Greater Greensboro Facebook Page and donor and volunteer engagement. A “Like” can mean a volunteer opportunity or additional dollars for United Way. While 58% of respondents have not been influenced to volunteer or donate by an UWGG Facebook post, 42% have been influenced in some way. Seventeen percent of respondents said that a UWGG Facebook post has caused them to both donate and volunteer, 20% agreed that a post influenced them volunteer and 5% said a post made them want to donate. The majority of UWGG’s Facebook posts influence donors to volunteer, if anything. This could be because the content of UWGG’s page is focused on the organization’s efforts in the community and volunteer opportunities, and rarely includes requests for donations. Another reason that UWGG’s posts tend to influence followers to donate is that a great portion of its target audience fall in the Generation Y/Millennial generation, the generation that is more likely to volunteer than give. The survey revealed that a “Like” is more likely to convert into a volunteer opportunity than a donation. The value of a “like” on United Way of Greater Greensboro’s 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65 and above Figure 5: Preferred Source for More Info about UWGG Twitter Newspaper Newsletter Employee or Board Member Website Facebook
  19. 19. 20 Facebook page is generally nonfinancial. While nonfinancial outcomes like increased volunteerism have no current monetary value, research has stated that younger volunteers who stay actively engaged with an organization are likely to be loyal donors in the future. This research has also revealed that social media users follow UWGG’s Facebook page for various reasons. The target audience for UWGG’s Facebook page is ages 25-44. This finding supports the information in the literature review that states that Generation X and Y are more engaged with a nonprofit via social media than older generational groups. The results showed that the overall majority of UWGG’s Facebook friends preferred to donate online. Donations by mail are still very common, especially among older generations. The study revealed that UWGG’s Facebook Page is not utilized as a primary source for finding out information about the organization’s events, campaigns, or volunteer opportunities. Just as the information in the literature review revealed, the majority of the respondents looked to UWGG’s website for information. A higher percentage of younger age groups did utilize Facebook as a primary source of info older age groups. RECOMMENDATIONS • Create a “Donate” widget/button on UWGG’s Facebook pages • Post content that encourages or invite followers to donate • Conduct research on Millenials to determine which type(s) of content is most effective with that demographic • Upload more photos of Generation X and Y on all of UWGG’s Facebook pages • Continue to post content about volunteer opportunities and calls to action Creating a “Donate” widget/button on UWGG’s Facebook pages could help increase donations from social media users who don’t go to United Way’s website and are not involved with a workplace campaign. Posting content that encourages followers to donate may be effective because
  20. 20. 21 often people don’t donate unless they are asked. The only time that someone may be asked to donate to United Way, may be through social media, so every communication platform should be utilized to encourage donating. Because social media is almost synonymous with Millenials and Millenials are the target audiences for UWGG’s Facebook pages, additional research should be conducted on this demographic to see what type of content is most compelling to them. Research has shown that Millenials are more likely to volunteer and advocate than to donate at the moment. Posting content with calls to action and volunteer opportunities could get Millenials more engaged with UWGG’s Facebook pages. Additionally, the majority of UWGG’s followers are either Generation X or Generation Y. The content posted on UWGG’s general Facebook page does not display a large amount of content that would target the Millennials, the largest group on its social media pages. The Young Leaders Facebook page should not be the only page that includes content tailored towards younger generations, because the Young Leaders group is an affinity group and followers may not be aware of its existence. CONCLUSIONS The findings of this study showed that there is a relationship between a “Like” and donor and volunteer engagement at United Way of Greater Greensboro. A “Like” does not have financial value at UWGG, but instead, has nonfinancial value, which is increased volunteerism for UWGG. Those who are engaged with United Way of Greater Greensboro’s page have a high likelihood of being influenced to volunteer for UWGG.
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