The Tech & Social Change Baltimore Meetup Message Board › Meeting Logistics, Details, and Notes › 2012 April - Karen Griffin - Social Media Case Study
Gwynn Oak, MD
Karen Griffin, Director of Resource Development at St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center, Inc., joined us to talk about social media and her experience using it to raise money.
Since Tech & Social Change Baltimore started, Karen has been coming, listening, and asking how these tools can be used to fundraise. She needs to raise at least $1.5 million each year for St. Ambrose, and if these tools won't help get her closer to that goal, she doesn't want to waste time with them.
Working to connect people with homes for over 40 years, St. Ambrose has a strong reputation, both locally and nationally. Karen joined the organization in 2005, determined to institutionalize fundraising. Now they have a donor database of 1,500 people, and about 50 percent of these donors give in response to their annual ask. Their average donor is 50 years old. The average online gift is $270, and the overall average is $440.
Initially, Karen focused on sending a monthly online newsletter, two hard copy newsletters, and an annual giving letter. This worked for the first three years. Individual giving increased from $26,000 to $84,000. Then, in the fourth and fifth years, it fell. Karen pushed online giving, and donations increased again. She had learned her lesson: Keep moving.
The next step was for Karen to try social media, adding Twitter, Facebook, a blog, and Google AdWords to their existing repertoire. Before starting, she gathered baseline data, so that she could evaluate her efforts. She looked at eNewsletter subscribers, eNewsletter open rate, Facebook friends, website visitors, Twitter posts, Twitter followers, blog posts, and blog traffic.
Karen learned a lot and was surprised by the results.
Karen says that organizations need to start somewhere even if they are behind, or they will fall even further behind.
A few other points:
Mark Scrimshire also took notes during the session. You can see his post at HealthCa.mp.
Edited by Kate Bladow on Apr 11, 2012 5:41 PM