How Associations Use Technology: 10 Surprising Statistics

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Though I am perpetually frustrated in social situations when my friends use their smartphones to check email, browse Facebook, play Candy Crush, or do pretty much anything besides have a conversation with me, I have to admit their behavior is a big advantage for associations who want to connect with members.

Couple in a cafe spends leisure time together, she is angry beca

No longer do people only check their emails at home on their computer, or browse Facebook just a couple times a day—now, they have constant access to emails and social media with their smartphones and tablets. This means that associations need to really know their members—know the ways that they best receive information, how frequently, through what means of communication, and also they need to stay up to date on the changing trends. To start you off, here are some statistics about technology usage in associations and how it’s evolving.

1. 37% of non-profits spend six or more hours per week on social media posting content and responding to questions. 29% spend six to ten hours per week on social media, 6% spend 11-20 hours per week, and 2% spend 21+ hours per week. (Source: VerticalResponse<<Tweet this stat!

2. 40% of associations read emails on a mobile device, compared to only 35% on a desktop.  (Source: Informz<<Tweet this stat!

3. 67% of foundations that are using social media only do it to promote the work of the foundation. 49% use it to promote the work of the grantees, 45% use it to keep up with the news and trends, and 18% use it to solicit proposals. (Source: GlassPockets<<Tweet this stat!

Source: GlassPockets

Source: GlassPockets

4. 96% of non-profits are active on Facebook, versus only 90% of small businesses, and 76% of non-profits post multiple times per week, versus 66% of small businesses. (Source: VerticalResponse<<Tweet this stat!

5. The average open rates for an email sent from an association is 32.36%. This is compared to only 18%-20% for most businesses and marketing efforts. (Source: Informz<<Tweet this stat!

6. For every 1,000 email subscribers, nonprofits have 149 Facebook fans, 53 Twitter followers, and 29 mobile subscribers. (Source: eBenchmarks Study)

Source: eBenchmarks Study

Source: eBenchmarks Study

7. 56% of organizations do not communicate with their members via text or plan to. 29% plan to start using a texting service in the next 12 months, and only 15% say that they currently do communicate with their members via text. (Source: Association Adviser<<Tweet this stat!

8. Only 24% of associations say they use paid search engine marketing to drive traffic to their website. 71% don’t use SEM at all. (Source: Association Adviser<<Tweet this stat!

9. 74% of associations send one to five emails to a member per month. But organizations that sent six to ten emails to a member per month had the highest open and click rates. (Source: Informz<<Tweet this stat!

Source: Informz

Source: Informz

10. 71% of foundations who are using social media have not developed a formal social media strategy. (Source: GlassPockets<<Tweet this stat!

What other statistics do you think are interesting or important as associations adapt and learn to use more technology and social media? Add them in the comments below!

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About the Author

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Leah Readings

Leah Readings is a Software Analyst for Capterra, a company that connects buyers and sellers of business software. She specializes in church management software along with several other software directories. When she’s not helping software buyers, she is, among other things, reading, writing, and spending time with her family and friends.

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