new report from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth indicates charities are increasing their social marketing campaigns, and they may want marketers to help them reach donors through social channels.

With economic recovery at hand, many nonprofit organizations are anticipating donations will rise accordingly this year. A new report from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth indicates charities are increasing their social marketing campaigns, and these efforts to bring funds to their organizations may also bring some funds to marketers who can help them reach donors through social channels.

The study, aptly entitled US Charities’ Adoption of Social Media Outpaces All Other Sectors for the Third Year in a Row, indicates that nonprofits are increasingly employing social media tactics to reach prospective funders. Nonprofits’ adoption of social media and monitoring of social buzz about their organizations far exceeds businesses and higher education institutions, indicating this sector may offer unparalleled job opportunities for marketers.

Nearly half of all charity leaders (42 percent) say social technologies are very important to their organizations. As such, nonprofits are adopting some advanced forms of social outreach. Social networks and Twitter are the most popular social media channels for charities to engage donors, with 96 and 90 percent of charities using these platforms, respectively. Still, some organizations are delving into podcasting (46 percent) and video blogging (51 percent), demonstrating that nonprofits are keeping pace with emerging platforms.

One tried and true social format used by many organizations is the blogosphere. Sixty-five percent of charities maintain blogs, and 56 percent of those foundations that do not currently blog intend to start. Many nonprofits already demonstrate good blogging practices, with 90 percent accepting comments on their blogs to maintain conversations with prospective funders. Plus, 93 percent of organizations report regularly monitoring blog comments and other social buzz.

This means marketers looking to get jobs in brandraising – boosting nonprofits’ brands while raising funds for their causes – should be able to demonstrate expertise in traditional and emerging social channels, and they should boast impeccable monitoring habits. Tracking brand conversations is critical in any industry. As Skype’s recent misstep with its blog demonstrates, failing to respond to consumers’ feedback on social sites can hurt a brand. 

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.