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September 22, 2010

Foundations and Social Media

Many nonprofits have plunged head first into the world of social media, using it as a means to raise awareness about their causes and activities. But are foundations reciprocating these efforts? A recently published report from the Foundation Center shows that foundations are using social media, but calls into question the level of engagement at a leadership level. Survey responses seem to suggest that while usage among foundation leaders is starting to pick up, for most it is not yet a part of their regular routine. Some key findings from the report:

  • About one-third (33 percent) of foundation leaders use Facebook regularly, and a similar number (30 percent) regularly read blogs.
  • About one in 10 foundation CEOs listen to podcasts (11 percent) or watch YouTube (10 percent) videos.
  • Just 6 percent use Twitter regularly.
  • Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) read e-newsletters regularly, while about half (47 percent) use Listservs regularly.


Even so, foundation leaders seem optimistic about the potential for social media to contribute to their work and to the field of philanthropy in general, even if they have yet to become personally involved in its development.

You can view which foundations are already using social media by going to glasspockets.org, but stay tuned for upcoming developments toward integrating this information into Foundation Directory Online.


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