Social media motivates cause-supporting adults to take action, study finds

More than half of the respondents in a survey of digitally savvy adults interested in supporting benevolent causes would rather help online rather than in person.

Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication and agency Waggener Edstrom surveyed 2,004 adults engaged in social media and who support causes to find that more than half—54 percent—would rather help a cause online than in person.

“They’re almost sacrificing a level of impact for the convenience of being able to support it any time of day, no matter where they are,” says Julie Dixon, deputy director of Georgetown’s Center for Social Impact Communication.

(Check out the report, “Digital Persuasion: How Social Media Motivates Action and Drives Support for Causes” here.)

Fifty-five percent of respondents said they were inspired to take further action. Social media prompted them to donate money (68 percent), donate personal items or food (52 percent), attend or participate in an event (43 percent), and volunteer (53 percent).

Largely, according to Dixon and other experts in nonprofit organization communication, the survey’s findings are positive. Organizations can use the growing group of social-media contributors to their advantage.

Why social media?

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