Masters Thesis

Philanthropy 2.0: using social media for fundraising in the Third Sector

Since the first organization ventured onto social media, the median has proven to be a tour de force. According to Stone (2009), “The age of social media has empowered amateur journalists and fledgling presidents” through 140-character Tweets and “status updates” it has the power to “recruit volunteers, spread awareness, and solicit donations.” Many nonprofits have experienced huge successes utilizing social media for just these purposes. Unfortunately, for some, experiencing success on social media has been an elusive endeavor. The following thesis is an investigation of three nonprofits’ social media campaigns in order to identify essential elements needed to experience successful outcomes on social media. The study identified four capacity requirements to fully utilize all of social media’s potential: (1) understanding the varied platforms and its intended use, (2) planning events, (3) dedicated writers, and (4) having a strategy. The study also discovered seven elements that have deemed to be the precursors of success: (1) tell a story, (2) interact, (3) diversify, (4) make sharing easy, (5) make donating easy, (6) give a call to action, and (7) transparency.

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