Could Your Nonprofit Raise $100K on Facebook?

A select few groups do raise this amount or more per year on the popular social media site. Unfortunately, it’s less than 1% of those surveyed for the 2011 Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report. But the fact any group raises that amount is still astonishing.

The prevailing wisdom is that social networking is, at the end of the day, best used as a friend-raising strategy. Most of the groups surveyed (30%) raised between $0 and $1,000 over the previous 12 months. But have we really tested social fundraising’s possibilities yet, given that the vast majority of groups surveyed reported having invested less than $10,000 and less than 1/4 of an FTE staff person to the task of maintaining their social media presence?

Meanwhile, the return on investment looks pretty good. Unless I’m jamming together numbers that shouldn’t be so jammed, the report seems to say that it took an average of $3.50 to gain a new Facebook fan, and the value of each new fan in the first year was $161. At those rates, I’d be hiring new staff members (probably for the communications department, which is typically the one handling social media).

Facebook isn’t the only social network covered by the report. But with 98% of  nonprofits having established a Facebook presence (though only about half of them attempt to use it to fundraise), and nonprofits actually using their Facebook page more actively than any other social networking site, it’s pretty clear which is the biggest show in town right now.