Nonprofits have spent years promoting Facebook and get rewarded with a 3% organic reach.

Is Social Media still worth the effort?

Millions of nonprofits worldwide have been asking supporters and donors to “Follow Us on Facebook!” or “Like Our Facebook Page!” for nearly a decade. We’ve emailed, we’ve tweeted, we’ve given shout outs at events, and prominently placed calls-to-follow in our print materials. Our sector has provided billions of dollars of free advertising for Facebook. Our reward? An approximate 3% organic reach (and still no Google Adwords-like advertising program for nonprofits). Facebook’s organic reach is equivalent to sending 100 donors a fundraising email and having 97 of them classified spam and consequently blocked.  That’s a wasted use of time and resources and that’s how many nonprofits are feeling these days about Facebook. Yes, Facebook’s new donation tools could be awesome, but only if we promote the donation tools to our supporters and donors which many nonprofits are unwilling to do at this point. With reason, nonprofits are skeptical of Facebook’s motives and long-term objectives.

It is important to step back occasionally and take a critical look at how social media is impacting nonprofit technology at your organization as well as your digital staff. Beyond the power and promise, nonprofit technology needs to produce results that can be quantified and that’s becoming harder to do in respect to social media.

12 Not-So-Great Realities About Nonprofits and Social Media

For more than a decade the blogosphere has touted the power and promise of social media (this blog included), but there is also a downside to using social media for your nonprofit.