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Nonprofits warm up to social media

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Social networking is becoming more mainstream for nonprofits, and the sector is beginning to staff up accordingly, a new report says.

Almost three-quarters of nonprofits have a presence on the social-networking site Facebook, says the survey of 978 groups, conducted by ThePort Network, NTEN and Common Knowledge.

However, those nonprofits’ online followings are modest, with membership on nonprofits’ Facebook groups averaging 5,454.

About eight in 10 nonprofits devote at least a fourth of a full-time staffer to social networking, the report says, and a majority say they plan to grow staffing in the area over the next year.

One in three nonprofits has its own social networks, with almost all of those claiming membership of 10,000 or fewer.

And while nonprofits in general favor traditional marketing tactics to publicize their social networks, a growing number are branching out to newer tools like Twitter, the report says.

“We’re clearly on the cusp of a new wave of innovation and productivity in the nonprofit industry,” Jeff Patrick, president of Common Knowledge, says in a statement.

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