CHOICES: Measuring Return on Investment in a Nonprofit Organization

CHOICES: Measuring Return on Investment in a Nonprofit Organization

Leigh Nanney Hersey (University of Louisiana – Monroe, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1963-8.ch008


Social media is increasing becoming a prominent tool in today's nonprofit sector. By 2010, the largest 200 nonprofit organizations in the United States used social media as a tool to meet their goals (Barnes, n.d.). According to those surveyed the top reason for using social media is for increasing awareness of the organization's mission (90%). In studying the American Red Cross' use of social media, Briones, et al. (2011) found that the use of social media built relationships with the public. This chapter explores the success of a mid-sized nonprofit organization, CHOICES: Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, as it develops a strategic social media plan to increase awareness and support for the organization. Through this case study, we will address how this organization has used social media to advance its mission and the process used to develop performance metrics along the way.
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Background: Social Media Use By Nonprofit Organizations

In the past decade, social media has become a more important tool for nonprofit organizations. Transformational social media communication tools have significantly increased audience access to nonprofit organizations engaged in cause marketing and advocacy. While often thought of as primarily a communications tool, when used effectively, social media can help nonprofit organizations better meet their missions. Social media has provided increased ability not only for outreach and advocacy, but also for education, collaboration, service provision, volunteer recruitment, and financial support (Shirky, 2008; Pynes, 2009). The new tools have also resulted in greater expectations from the public for organizational communication leadership and technology skills. There are four critical areas to evaluate when surveying the current landscape of nonprofit social media utilization: Usage, Coordination, and Responsibility, Strategy, and Organizational Capacity.

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