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Beth, agree completely on the "listen, learn, adapt" approach (and we point people to you and Allison as a source of the right kind of metrics for social media). I think the most interesting "alternative" view of the data we collected is how many orgs reported no success on the metrics that they initially cared about but that they were planning on investing more. There are two possibilities to explain that: 1) they are caught up in shiny object syndrome and thinking "the reason it's not working is we haven't invested enough", or 2) they are finding value other than what they expected and that value is enough to justify increased investment. Unfortunately the comments in the "Why are you increasing investment?" question indicate more of the former. But there is reason to believe the latter is also a major factor. Tim
Beth, an important point of clarification, at least from my perspective. We interpret the results of our study as saying that nonprofits should abandon social media when the primary purpose is fundraising. It just doesn't work very well for that purpose, yet. That doesn't mean that social media should be abandoned entirely. It does work well for other purposes. There's plenty of evidence (which we point to in the report) for other valuable uses for social media than fundraising. But we do strongly believe that nonprofits committing significant resources to social media for the purposes of fundraising isn't wise. They are much better off waiting and watching and learning (which implies some level of engagement, not abandonment) and letting best practices evolve than putting themselves on the bleeding edge. Of course there are exceptions, and some will benefit from being on the bleeding edge. But that should be a well-considered conscious decision to take the risks associated. Best, Tim Ogden Philanthropy Action