Georgia-based Top 200 Charities lead charge on social media

Jimmy Carter at Carter CenterEvery one of the Forbes Top 200 Charities now uses at least one form of social media in its communications strategy, according to a recent report. And that list of social media users includes all 10 Georgia-based Top 200 Charities: American Cancer Society, Arthritis Foundation, Boys & Girls Club of America, CARE USA, Carter Center, Habitat for Humanity USA, In Touch Ministries, Map International, Mission to the World and The Woodruff Arts Center.

In fact, all but one of Atlanta’s Top 200 Charities use at least three kinds of online content other than a corporate website. The not-for-profits use the channels to communicate and build relationships with donors, volunteers and other supporters. Skip to the bottom of this post to see a list (and links) of online content from each of Georgia’s Top 200 Charities.

But first, let’s look at those national numbers. The study reveals charities’ adoption of blogging outpaces both the Fortune 500 and the Inc. 500 by 23 percent and 50 percent, respectively. Sixty-four percent of these top performing charities maintain a blog for their organizations.

Here are some other key findings from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research:

  • 97% of these charities have a Facebook presence, 96% have Twitter accounts and 92% use YouTube.
  • 55% of these charities are using online video to deliver their message and inform their audience about their mission.
  • These charities report using search engines and social networking sites (76% and 75%, respectively) in their recruiting and evaluating processes.
  • 90% of respondents consider social media to be very important in increasing awareness of their charity mission.

I took a look at the eight Atlanta-based and two other Georgia-based organizations on the list to see how each one communicates outside of its primary website. I was surprised to find such a variety of channels, including MySpace, Flickr and even iTunes and Trip Advisor.

It appears that the American Cancer Society uses a decentralized approach for social media. While the organization maintains a corporate level blog, there is no central Twitter feed and the Facebook page is filled with community content and information sourced from Wikipedia.

In addition to its own corporate blog, the Arthritis Foundation goes one step further and features blogs from its online community members on the corporate homepage.

While The Woodruff Arts Center does not maintain a blog, it is the only organization on this list to use Trip Advisor. The obvious connection is that the Arts Center would like favorable reviews as an Atlanta destination.

The rest of the players primarily promote Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Here’s the full break down of Georgia-based Top 200 Charities:

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