Nonprofit PR—how NGOs use social, mobile tech in 2018

by | Feb 23, 2018 | Public Relations

PR and marketing has never been as straightforward for the nonprofit sector as for B2B and B2C brands, which are (more explicitly) hawking their goods and services for audience consumption. But 2018 could be the year we see non-governmental organizations (NGOs) fully embrace social media and mobile marketing to promote general awareness, communicate with core audiences and raise funds from donors.

New research from Public Interest Registry, the nonprofit operator of the .org domain, and Nonprofit Tech for Good analyzes how NGOs worldwide use web, email and mobile technology, online fundraising tools and social media, as well as manage data and security.

The third annual report, 2018 Global NGO Technology Report, provides insight on the online and mobile communication tools NGOs around the world use for awareness and communications, as well as an analysis of online tools and comparisons of regional usage. New findings this year also uncover how NGOs implement data management and security software.

Nonprofit PR—how NGOs use social, mobile tech in 2018

Nonprofit PR—how NGOs use social, mobile tech in 2018

Key findings from North America include:

  • 98 percent of NGOs in North America have a website, with 88 percent being mobile compatible
  • 86 percent of respondents accept online donations
  • Only 10 percent of NGOs use messaging apps to communicate with donors. Of those, Facebook Messenger is the platform of choice (68 percent), followed by WhatsApp (32 percent) and Snapchat (10 percent)
  • 97 percent of NGOs use Facebook, 85 percent use Twitter, 63 percent use LinkedIn and 61 percent use Instagram
  • Of NGO respondents in North America, 49 percent indicated using Apple iOS on smartphone/tablets, which is the highest reported percentage of use among all regions
  • Regarding data security, 46 percent of North American NGOs use encryption to protect their data and communications, 5 percent higher than the global average
  • Of those using encryption for security, 37 percent say it’s to protect organizational information (global average is 32 percent), 26 percent say it’s to protect the privacy of email communication (global average is 23 percent) and 38 percent say it’s to protect to protect donor information (global average is 29 percent)

“The findings from the 2018 report confirm that NGOs worldwide are rapidly expanding their use of technology and with increased reliance on technology, comes increased data management and security needs,” said Heather Mansfield, founder of Nonprofit Tech for Good, in a news release. “For the first time, this year’s report provides benchmarks for managing and securing organizational and donor data. NGOs lag behind the private sector in this area and by providing benchmarks, we hope to inspire NGOs to modernize their data management and security practices.”

Nonprofit PR—how NGOs use social, mobile tech in 2018

Nonprofit PR—how NGOs use social, mobile tech in 2018

Key findings globally include:

  • 92 percent of respondents have a website. Of those, 87 percent are mobile-compatible, a 9 percent increase from 2017
  • 68 percent of survey respondents noted that their organization uses the .org domain, compared to 8 percent that use the .com domain
  • Email dominates as the preferred form of communication to donors, with 63 percent of respondents regularly sending email updates, but 18 percent use messaging apps and 15 percent regularly send text messages to supporters
  • 72 percent of respondents accept online donations, an increase of 5 percent from 2017
  • While 95 percent agree that social media is effective for online brand awareness, only 32 percent of NGOs worldwide have a written social media strategy
  • Facebook leads global use as the highest social media platform with 93 percent of respondents having a dedicated page, followed by Twitter (77 percent) and YouTube (57 percent)
  • 25 percent of NGOs post daily to their Facebook page and 24 percent Tweet two-to-five times daily, yet 68 percent of NGOs post to LinkedIn less than once per week
  • 80 percent of NGOs worldwide rely on Microsoft Windows operating system for desktop/laptop computers; on smartphones/tablets global Google Android use outweighs Apple iOS
  • NGO respondents indicated using Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) software to manage communications with donors (45 percent), and of those, 64 percent use cloud-based CRM
  • Only 41 percent of global respondents use encryption technology to protect data and communications

“The annual Global NGO Technology Report not only shows how the internet can help organizations communicate and collaborate with stakeholders, but how it can serve as a powerful force for change when coupled with various technology tools,” said Brian Cute, CEO of Public Interest Registry, in then release. “This is an important research initiative, bringing together partners from various industries to ultimately support organizations around the world as they seek to better understand and take advantage of technology that can help them actualizing their important social missions.”

Download the full report here.

The report details the key findings from a survey of 5,352 NGO respondents from 164 countries across Africa, Asia, Australia & Oceania, Europe, North America and South America.

Nonprofit PR—how NGOs use social, mobile tech in 2018

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter