New White Paper Reports on Findings of 2013 CASE/Huron Education/mStoner Social Media Survey

Janna Crabb (@jcrabb) is the director of online communications at CASE.

Want to learn more about how other institutions are approaching fundraising, staffing, channel use and metrics with respect to their social media activities? #SocialMedia, Advancement and Fundraising in Education, a new white paper by CASE, Huron Education and mStoner, reports on findings from the fourth survey of social media in advancement, conducted earlier this year. More than 1,000 CASE members took the survey.

Below are five highlights that I found especially interesting.

  • Institutions devoted more work hours to social media in 2013 than in 2012, but there’s been no growth in the overall number of employees working on social media. Most institutions are taking the conservative approach and adding social media responsibilities to existing positions rather than hiring staff who focus only on social media.
  • Fifty-four percent of survey respondents have used social media in a campaign, an increase from 41 percent in 2012. The most common focus was alumni engagement.
  • Most institutions are not raising much money through social media–of the 35 percent of respondents who say they used social media to raise money, 67 percent have raised less than $10,000.
  • Facebook plays a role in the social media outreach for 96 percent of institutions, despite the buzz around ever-changing privacy policies and increased focus on advertising dollars.
  • While survey respondents generally recognized the need to do a better job of tying metrics to dollars raised, the majority still mostly track just “friends,” “likes,” volume of participation and number of click-throughs.

In addition to information on the survey findings, the white paper includes case studies of six CASE member institutions using social media in fundraising campaigns.

  • A Day to Raise Millions. During a one-day event, Columbia University raised $6.8 million.
  • Engaging Young Alumni of an Independent School. Phillips Exeter Academy focused on growing relationships with young alumni; many of whom are still in college and do not hold full-time jobs.
  • Turning Alumni Passion into Engagement. Indiana University leveraged the excitement around basketball to grow social media, connect with alumni and raise money.
  • Developing a Campus Culture of Philanthropy. UMass Amherst’s 36-hour, online fundraising event “UMass Gives” helped increase student donations.
  • A 24-hour Challenge for Alumni Giving. Skidmore College set out to attract 501 donors in one-day using social media and email—and succeeded in attracting 1,000.
  • Making Giving a Game. Georgetown University’s 24-hour City Challenge online giving campaign challenged groups of alumni in different cities to see who could encourage the most donors to give.

How does your institution’s activities on social media compare with the survey findings? Did your institution run a successful fundraising campaign? Let us know in the comments.

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