Umass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research Blog

Top Charities Survey Released!

Good afternoon everyone,

The Center is pleased to announce the release of our newest Charities survey for the fourth consecutive year!

Every one of the Forbes top 200 charities surveyed now uses at least one form of social media in its communications strategy. This was among the key findings of the study, “Social Media Usage Ubiquitous Among US Top Charities” conducted by Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D., Senior Fellow and Research Chair of the Society for New Communications Research and Chancellor Professor of Marketing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

The new report is the outcome of a statistically valid study of the nation’s 200 top performing charities as identified by Forbes Magazine. The study examined these not for profit organizations to quantify their adoption of social media tools and technologies. This is the fourth year that Dr. Barnes has tracked social media adoption by the not for profit sector, and the study is the only statistically valid longitudinal research focused on this area. The findings are based on 78 interviews with charity executives at the charities in the areas of marketing/public relations or communications.

The research shows that these top performing charities continue to quickly embrace social media as their adoption of blogging again outpacing both the Fortune 500 and the Inc. 500 with 23% and 50% respectively, maintaining corporate blogs. This latest research shows that 64% of these top performing charities maintain a blog for their organizations.

The study’s key findings include:

  • 100% of these charities use at least one form of social media; a 3% increase over 2009 and 11% growth since 2008.
  • 97% of these charities now have a Facebook presence, 96% have Twitter accounts and 92% utilize YouTube.
  • 44% of these charities use texting to reach interested parties.
  • The use of message boards and podcasts among these charities has dropped.
  • 55% of these charities are using online video to deliver their message and inform their audience about their mission.
  • These charities report using search engines and social networking sites (76% and 75% respectively) in their recruiting and evaluating processes.
  • 90% of respondents consider social media to be very important to increasing awareness of their mission.

“There is continued evidence of enthusiasm and eagerness to explore these new communication tools, and there is also evidence that these powerful tools are being utilized more effectively each year,” stated Barnes.

A full copy of the new research report can be downloaded at:

About the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

To facilitate the economic development of the region by providing an affordable, high-quality economic alternative to meeting business needs for research, training, and consulting in any and all aspects of Marketing. The Center for Marketing Research is associated with and maintains a close relationship with the Chambers of Commerce within southeastern Massachusetts. This unique relationship provides the Center with an effective business networking capability. For more information, visit


Filed under: Social Media

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