Twitter is losing influence with donors to charity

In 2014, donors were less likely to be motivated to make a holiday donation by content they saw on Twitter, and more likely to respond to a call-to-action shared on Facebook.

Twitter is losing influence with donors

We know that charities and nonprofits are eager for information about how and why their online donors give during the busy holiday period. More and more organizations are looking for answers to questions like: What persuades supporters to donate to good causes? What role do new platforms like social media play in sending donors to charity websites? Which social networks are most effective in generating action for my cause?

At FrontStream, the heavy volume of transactions in December through our online donation forms, enterprise fundraising system, and, gives us the opportunity to measure and analyze donor behaviour.

Typically, most nonprofits receive 30% of their yearly online donations in December … Often, in the last 3 days of the year!

We dove into the fundraising data from Dec 1–Dec 31 to look at social donation trends during the holiday appeal season. The results were surprising!

When comparing 2014 to 2013, we discovered that Twitter was far less instrumental in prompting donors to give online. In 2014, donations referred by Twitter dropped 68% from the same period last year.

In contrast, donations referred by Facebook grew 11%. “Referral” means that the donor originally clicked on a link shared inside a post or comment on Facebook, or in a tweet, before donating on a charity’s website or through a crowdfunding portal.

These numbers reflect both the growing popularity and the persuasive nature of Facebook. We’re not the only ones to have noticed these trends!

This Q3 2014 report from Shareholic illustrates how “Twitter’s share has steadily declined” while the social network appears to be losing “influence and clout”.

The same industry data on referral traffic for marketers, publishers and site owners shows that Facebook is one of the few social media platforms that has actually seen its “share of traffic” grow year-over-year.

There’s no doubt that Twitter is a useful tool for charities and nonprofits using the platform for customer service, media outreach, advocacy campaigns and stewardship. The question remains: “How effective is Twitter for converting followers to donors?

With these new numbers under the microscope, it appears the answer might be: “Not as effective as Facebook.

FrontStream Holdings LLC is a registered ISO of Elavon, Inc. Georgia, Chase Paymentech Solutions, LLC, First National Bank of Omaha, Omaha, NE, BMO Harris Bank, N.A., Chicago, IL, Deutsche Bank, USA, New York, NY and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Walnut Creek, CA.