If a Tree Falls in the Social Media Forest…

Hmmm. This is interesting. The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP)  has just released a report, Grantees’ Limited Engagement with Foundations’ Social Media, saying that “only 16% of grantees surveyed report using social media created by funders or their staff.” Last year CEP surveyed more than 6,000 nonprofits about their experiences with one of the 34 foundations in this study. The top findings were:

  • “The majority of foundations use social media tools in their work.
  • Very few grantees use social media from their foundation funders or their funders’ staff.
  • Grantees that do use foundations’ social media find those resources less helpful than other communication resources for learning about the foundation.”

We decided to start a Kapor Foundation blog in August 2008, what seems like an eternity ago, with the goal of creating a vehicle to share info and create a window into what we’re learning and thinking. Our social media is considered an asset by Glasspockets.org, which indexes and encourages foundation transparency. So for me, this study not only challenges us to more effectively communicate with community members, it also begs the much larger question of what becomes of all of this online media – copy, photo, audio, and video – generated by individuals and organizations? What is the tipping point at which the struggle to create appealing and relevant content is effective for a small organization?

Any ideas? [Echo] Anybody-y-y-y?


Photo: David Paul Bayles

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