The internet, and social media in particular, has powerful tool for raising awareness for social causes and charity events. Non-government organizations (NGOs) have also adapted to the digital age and use technology to communicate with supporters and donors.
However, according to a report from nonprofits Tech For Good and Public Interest Registry, there is a gap between the use of internet and social platforms by NGOs in Western nations and those in developing nations.
The report, based on a survey of 2,780 NGOs in 133 countries, revealed that 92 percent of NGOs have a website and less than half maintain a regular blog. Nearly 80 percent of the respondents agreed that social media is effective for fundraising, but only 11 percent were able to employ either part-time or full-time social media managers; 15 percent depend on volunteers.
According to the report, 95 percent of the survey respondents have a Facebook page with smaller NGOs averaging about 5,700 likes and larger NGOs averaging just under 128,000. The report shows that 83 percent of NGOs have a Twitter profile with an average of 3,332 followers for smaller organizations and about 66,000 for larger organizations.
Millennials and Gen Xers are most likely to donate online at 72 and 67 percent respectively, but Baby Boomers still give online at 54 percent. At 43 percent, millennials are most likely to be inspired to donate by social media, while Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are more inspired to give by email. Websites also inspire Gen Xers to give 20 percent of the time.
According to a statement from Tech for Good founder Heather Mansfield:
There are myriad of digital tools available to NGOs around the world that can be used to engage the public. What we found in our research, however, is that economic and political factors and the quality of Internet infrastructure in each region affects how NGOs use these tools and how donors in each region respond to them.
Among NGOs in both African and Asian countries, less than 80 percent have a website, but more than 80 percent believe social is important for fundraising. By contrast more than 90 percent of NGOs in Europe, Australia and North America have websites, and seem less dependent on social media for the purpose of fundraising.
Across the board three-fourths of NGOs send out regular email updates. However, the email subscription lists are significantly lower for African and Asian NGOs than those in Western countries. This trend follows on social media as well, with NGOs in Africa averaging just over 4,300 Facebook likes, considerably lower than the 12,300 average Facebook likes for NGOs in Asia.
Download the full report for more detailed benchmarks in each region.