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Social Media Use and Evaluation in Nonprofit Organizations

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) was founded in 1987 to meet the increasing information needs of nonprofits and to convene nonprofits to address issues facing the sector. The past five years have revealed a new era in the United States and around the world – the era of social media. Because of the popularity and viral use of social media, nonprofit organizations have begun to invest time and money into using social media tools, often with little to no understanding of the potential impact on their organizations. Many nonprofits believe that their social media use is positively impacting the organization, but they have no understanding or knowledge in how they can measure this. Kristin Cici, a doctoral student in Evaluation Studies, developed and administered an online survey of Minnesota nonprofit organizations and conducted phone interviews. Knowledge from the project will be shared with the community through a variety of means such as trainings, seminars, webinars, and conference sessions. Additionally, an e-handbook that highlights these smart practices for evaluating social media will be created.

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