Harnessing the Power of Social Media For Social Causes

In this exploratory study we conduct exploratory research to examine how social media is ‘consumed’ by nonprofits. Since this is a relatively low cost method compared to traditional methods to engage various stakeholder groups, nonprofits have increasingly turned to this tool. We used various exploratory research methods including content analysis of sites, interviews with nonprofits, focus groups and surveys with potential donors. Through our preliminary research, we found that this tool is being used in many ways to raise awareness and raise human and financial capital. Our preliminary research uncovered some challenges that nonprofits face in using this new tool such as creating compelling ways to be heard, competing for scarce resources in terms of time and money from supporters. Also, we found that dialogue between those engaged at the grassroots or field level was often lacking, in some cases due to lack of technology.


Saroja Subrahmanyan and Deepali Shenoy (2011) ,"Harnessing the Power of Social Media For Social Causes", in AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Zhihong Yi, Jing Jian Xiao, and June Cotte and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: .


Saroja Subrahmanyan, Saint Mary's College of CA, USA
Deepali Shenoy, Yahoo Inc


AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

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