How Nonprofit Organizations Use Social Media for Fundraising: A Systematic Literature Review

  •  Stefano Di Lauro    
  •  Aizhan Tursunbayeva    
  •  Gilda Antonelli    


Social media (SM) are widely used by nonprofit organizations (NPOs). However, little is known about how they are used for fundraising, especially regarding their benefits/disbenefits, and the optimum strategies for maximizing value from such campaigns. The study presented here aimed to address this gap by collecting, analyzing and synthesizing the results of the corpus of published academic research on this topic.

Of 194 potentially relevant search results generated from seven international online databases, only 71 (62 studies) fully met the inclusion criteria. Most of these qualifying studies were published in social science journals in the past three years and derived from high-income countries. Our findings indicate that the benefits NPOs can obtain from using SM for fundraising include increased transparency and accountability, operational, involvement and engagement, and improved organizational image (although in respect of the two latter, outcomes can be mixed). The strategies for NPOs' SM use for fundraising focused either on generic management of social media for NPO’s fundraising or on management of some specific SM fundraising campaigns.

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