Success in an Online Giving Day: The Role of Social Media in Fundraising

Diarmuid Mcdonnell, Abhishek Bhati

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Social media platforms offer nonprofits considerable potential for crafting, supporting, and executing successful fundraising campaigns. How impactful are attempts by these organizations to utilize social media to support fundraising activities associated with online Giving Days? We address this question by testing a number of hypotheses of the effectiveness of using Facebook for fundraising purposes by all 704 nonprofits participating in Omaha Gives 2015. Using linked administrative and social media data, we find that fundraising success—as measured by the number of donors and value of donations—is positively associated with a nonprofit’s Facebook network size (number of likes), activity (number of posts), and audience engagement (number of shares), as well as net effects of organizational factors including budget size, age, and program service area. These results provide important new empirical insights into the relationship between social media utilization and fundraising success of nonprofits.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Early online date13 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • fundraising
  • social media
  • online giving
  • nonprofit
  • charity


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