Adopting Social Networking and Technology: The Challenges and Obstacles Atlanta-based Nonprofits Encounter Shanika Danielle
Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts in Arts Administration at The Savannah College of Art and Design © March 2012, Shanika Danielle Wooton
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Adopting Social Networking and Technology: The Challenges and Obstacles Atlanta-based Nonprofits Encounter
A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of the Arts Administration Department in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Arts Administration Savannah College of Art and Design
Shanika Danielle Wooton Atlanta, Georgia March 2012
Acknowledgements Throughout this thesis process, there have been many people guiding me along the way. Without their support, encouragement, and overall ―just do it,‖ attitudes, I would surely not be writing this acknowledgements section. So, first I would like to thank my parents for supporting me during this time. While they asked questions about my thesis and research, they were quick to tell me when I became a little too long-winded about it all. I would also like to thank my committee members for their continued encouragement, guidance, and patience, without you all this thesis would have never been completed. Also, a big thank you to my wonderful friends all of whom continued to remind me that there is a world outside of school, and by finishing this thesis, I was one-step closer to accomplishing my dreams. Lastly, I would like to thank the staff at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Opera, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia for taking time to participate in my surveys. The information presented throughout this thesis was only possible with their support.
Table of Contents List of figures……………………………………………………………………………………...1 Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………………2 Chapter One: Introduction and Statement of Purpose………………………………………….....3 Chapter Two: Literature Review………………………………………………………………….6 2.1 Commercial and House Social Networks……………………………………………………..7 2.2 Adoption and Implementation of New, Social, and Digital Media………………………….11 2.3 Identifying Nonprofit Technology Barriers and Obstacles…………………………………..16 2.4 Summary……………………………………………………………………………………..26 Chapter Three: Mixed Methodology Approach, Design, and Implementation………………….28 3.1Selecion of Atlanta-Based Nonprofits………………………………………………………..29 3.2Mixed Methodology Approach……………………………………………………………….30 3.3Constructing Case Studies……………………………………………………………………33 3.4 Study and Design…………………………………………………………………………….39 3.5 Constructing and Implementing Surveys……………………………………………………40 3.6 Scope and Limitations………………………………………………………………………..43 3.7 Summary……………………………………………………………………………………..44 Chapter Four: Data Analysis and Case Studies………………………………………………….46 4.1 Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Case Study……………………………………………………47 4.1.1 Commercial Social Network Data…………………………………………………49 4.1.2 House Social Network Data………………………………………………………..59 4.1.3 Technology Adoption Survey Data………………………………………………..60 4.1.4 Summary…………………………………………………………………………...66 4.2 Atlanta Opera Case Study……………………………………………………………………67 4.2.1 Commercial Social Network Data…………………………………………………68 4.2.2 House Social Network Data……………………………………………………….75 4.2.3 Technology Adoption Survey Data………………………………………………..76 4.2.4 Summary…………………………………………………………………………...79 4.3 Museum of Contemporary Art Case Study…………………………………………………..80 4.3.1 Commercial Social Network Survey Data…………………………………………81 4.3.2 House Social Network Data………………………………………………………..87 4.3.3 Technology Adoption Survey Data………………………………………………..87 4.3.4 Summary…………………………………………………………………………...91 Chapter Five: Research and Findings…………………………………………………………....92
5.1 Key Findings………………………………………………………………………………....92 5.2 Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Challenges, Obstacles, and Maximization…………………...93 5.3 Atlanta Opera Challenges, Obstacles, and Maximization…………………………………...97 5.4 MOCA GA Challenges, Obstacles, and Maximization…………………………………....100 5.5 Understanding the Findings………………………………………………………………...104 5.6 Summary……………………………………………………………………………………105 Chapter Six: Conclusions……………………………………………………………………….107 6.1 Creating Social Media Strategies, Goals, and Policies…………………………………..…108 6.2 Future Research…………………………………………………………………………….112 6.3 Conclusions………………………………………………………………………………....112 Appendix 1 Nonprofit Social Network and House Social Network Survey……………………114 Appendix 2 Nonprofit New Media and Technology Survey…………………………………...122 Works Cited and Works Consulted……………………………………………………………..133
List of Figures and Tables Figure 2.1: Organization Size and Budget……………………………………………………….19 Figure 2.2: Nonprofit Technology Self-Assessment…………………………………………….20 Figure 2.3: Nonprofit Technology Self-Assessment (Shown By Organization Size)…………...21 Figure 2.4: How Large Organizations Seek Technology Help………………………………….23 Figure 2.5: How Small Organizations Seek Technology Help…………………………………..24 Figure 4.1: The ASO‘s Commercial Social Network Comparison………………………………50 Graph 2.2: Budget for Commercial Social Networks……………………………………………52 Table 6.1: Organization Size and Commercial Social Networking (Highlights Total Budget)…53 Table 6.1: Organization Size and Commercial Social Networking (Highlights ROI)………..…57 Figure 4.2: Technology Adoption Among Nonprofit Organizations……………………………62 Chart 6: 2010 I.T. Leaders Found in Size Categories……………………………………………63 Table 12: Staffing Expenditures for Nonprofits Who Provide Their Own I.T. Support………...64 Figure 4.3: I.T. Staffing Averages At Very Large Organizations……………………………….65 Figure 4.4: The Atlanta Opera‘s Commercial Social Network Comparison……………………69 Table 6.1: Organization Size and Commercial Social Networking (Highlights ROI)…………..73 Table 1.1: Master Fundraisers……………………………………………………………………74 Table 7.2: Fundraising Revenue for Cost Effective Social Networking Charities………………75 Figure 4.5: Technology Adoption Among Nonprofit Organizations ………………………........77 Figure 4.6: MOCA GA‘s Commercial Social Network Comparison……………………………82 Table 1.1: Master Fundraisers……………………………………………………………………86 Figure 4.7: Technology Adoption Among Nonprofit Organizations…………………………….89
Adopting Social Networking and Technology: The Challenges and Obstacles Atlanta-based Nonprofits Encounter
Shanika D. Wooton March 2012
Nonprofits have been steadily adopting the use of social networks to raise awareness, market events, and even fundraise. However, the use of such sites is being undertaken in many cases without planning, setting goals, or measuring these efforts. This study will examine how threeAtlanta based nonprofits are engaging the use of social networks, and how budget, as well as staff affects the role technology plays in their utilization of these sites. Furthermore, this study will seek to understand the obstacles and challenges of using social networks and technology, as well as suggest ways to maximize overall usage.
Chapter 1 Introduction and Statement of Purpose Over the past decade, social media has grown into quite a phenomenon, with the arrival of sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. In a recent Nielsen ―State of the Media: Social Media Report – Q3 2011,‖ statistics show 4 out of 5 Americans are using these sites daily, and this number is only expected to increase (Nielsen.com). Nonprofit organizations like the rest of America have taken notice of their burgeoning popularity with 92% utilizing at least one social networking platform. A significant reason social media sites have become increasingly popular amongst nonprofits, is due to the fact that most are free to its users and allow them to connect as well as share unlimited information with acquaintances, friends, family, or even fans (Facebook.com); (Twitter.com); (YouTube.com). These sites can also provide nonprofits with seemingly unlimited access to their fan bases, while allowing two-way conversations and engagement to occur, as opposed to traditional sponsor provided, one-way messages or ads (Kanter and Fine). Nonprofits can further harvest the use of these sites to promote upcoming events, fundraise, or increase awareness about an organization‘s mission, giving social media a powerful appeal as a communications tool. While there are many benefits associated with using social media as a communications tool, it does require knowledge of the various sites and various functions to use them effectively, and to understand the overall value they can provide. They also require time and maintenance for each social media account. As many social media managers state, these sites are not a ―no‖ resource tool (Scott and Jacka). In other words, while they are free to use, doing so effectively depends on the organization and its administrator‘s abilities to do so. In order for nonprofits to use these sites effectively and successfully, strategies, goals, as well as a measuring of these
efforts must occur, just like traditional media marketing and public relation efforts (Scott and Jacka). If an organization is simply using social media because they think they should, without a purpose, this could result in a lack of value through what they consider wasted time and effort. Even more skepticism in the overall ability of social media could occur if a nonprofit feels their brand, sales, or social media user feedback has harmed the organization or revenue stream in any way (Kanter and Fine). There is a great need for many nonprofits to gain a better understanding of how to use sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, but due to nonprofit budgets, training courses or seminars may be out of reach. That is why studies such as this one are so important. These studies further document the trends of social media and technology, while providing nonprofits with information regarding how other similar sized and staffed organizations are using these sites. The purpose of this study is to provide a framework for other nonprofits to see how three Atlanta-based organizations of various budget categories, and staff sizes, are utilizing social media as well as technology. These three organizations are the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Opera, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA). This thesis will examine how these nonprofits are adopting as well as utilizing these technologies, by surveying their usage of these tools. This study will also focus on the challenges and obstacles these organizations encounter using social media in a nonprofit environment, and how they can overcome these to maximize their overall usage. Furthermore, this thesis will provide a framework for other nonprofit organizations to assess their own level and usage of social media, as well as technology. This research will allow others to better understand how to determine the
maximize benefit and usage of these technologies. Finally, this thesis will contribute to the existing literature surrounding social media usage at nonprofit organizations, by addressing the issues of ineffective employment of these tools and the hazards they pose.
Research Questions: What barriers or obstacles are keeping nonprofit organizations from maximizing the benefits of new, social, and digital media, as well as information technology? How can nonprofit organizations determine the maximum benefit of new, social, and digital media, as well as information technology for their organization?
Chapter 2 Literature Review In America, there are many types of nonprofits. Some organizations are dedicated to human services, others are invested in the arts, cultures, and humanities, while some seek to create change through smaller grass root efforts. A common thread that ties these nonprofits together is an inherent desire to be successful organizations while carrying out their missions. With the advent of the Internet, many nonprofits are seeking to further their missions and overall success by utilizing online tools. Several of these online tools come in the form of new, social, and digital media, which are a ―set of Web-based broadcast technologies that enable the democratization of content, giving people the ability to emerge from consumers of content to publishers‖ (Scott and Jacka 5). Social media makes it possible for nonprofits to host web pages on a social media site, and include content regarding their organization. This information can range from announcements for upcoming events, fundraising initiatives, contests, or even requests for feedback on previous events. With social media and its networking capabilities, nonprofits have an invested interest in further exploring its benefits, since ―The internet now makes possible ‗a resource that has never been available to nonprofits before now: affordable, direct, interactive access to the public at large‘‖ (qtd. in Kenix 409). A new, social, and digital media site can provide access to a nonprofit‘s key demographics makeing use of the Internet and its various functions so desirable to many nonprofit organizations. However, while this affordable, direct, and interactive access to the organization‘s target audience is useful, it does come with its own unique obstacles and challenges. Some of these
challenges and obstacles revolve around what happens when social media is used without a purpose or goals. This chapter will focus on how nonprofits are adopting and using social media and technology, and the challenges as well as obstacles that nonprofits encounter as they work on finding ways to incorporate these tools into their organizations. Understanding the issues surrounding these challenges will present information as to why using social media with a purpose and goals is so important. By addressing these issues, it will become clear what is preventing non-profits from maximizing their use of social media and technology, as well as how an organization can determine the maximum benefit of these for their use. In order to employ these sites effectively, organizations must first fully understand each social networking platform.
2.1 Commercial and House Social Networks To understand what social network platforms are, users must be aware that there are two types of social networks. The first are known as Commercial or Consumer Social Networks, which are ―online communit[ies] operat[ing] on a Commercial social networking platform …(NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 1). Commercial social networks include familiar names such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. These platforms earn revenue by placing ads within their sites, earning money from both the advertiser and the user clicks on product placements (Facebook.com); (Twitter.com). While consumer social networks have proven to be useful, the second type of social network has proven to be valuable as well. This second type of social network is known as a house social network (or Private Networks). House social networks can be defined as a ―Social networking community built on a nonprofit‘s own website,‖ (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 1). House social networks allow online
users to share comments, view or post content such as photos or videos, directly to the organization‘s webpage. Many house social networks have a functionality component, such as biographical or historical information, event information and ticket purchasing, as well as an online news room including organization press photos, releases, as well as news clips (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud). Many nonprofit organizations involved in the Human Services or Educational systems typically have House Social Networks (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud). These sites allow users to create an account or profile on the organizations website and receive updates or information via the website. These sites may also allow users to post information or content as well. Although house social networks are an excellent source for nonprofits to invest in, the incorporation of a social network on the organization‘s website is not quite as common. This is due to high associated costs involved with building the network inside the organization‘s web page, and the staff as well as funds to maintain it. To understand how common they are, the oldest house social networks are less than a year old with only 13% of organizations having them, in comparison to 92% of nonprofits which have been using many of the consumer social networks around one to two years (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 17). Another key difference between house and commercial social networks are their intended purposes. House social networks are frequently built and used for service and program delivery, while commercial social networks primary functions are marketing the organization‘s programs, mission, events, and brand (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud).
New, Social, and Digital Media While house and commercial social networks are the two major types of networks, there are subtypes of these networks, which are more familiar sounding. These are known as new, social, and digital media, or by their more recognizable names, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. There are several working definitions for new, social, and digital media including the one in authors Beth Kanter and Allison Fine‘s book, The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change. They define social media as, the array of digital tools such as instant messaging, text messaging, blogs, videos, and social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace that are inexpensive and easy to use. Social media enable people to create their own stories, videos, and photos and to manipulate them widely at almost no cost. (Kanter and Fine 31) A report written by Idealware in order to help nonprofits make the most of their social networking efforts, entitled a ―Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide,‖ also defines new, social, and digital media as ―online media (like text, photos, messages or video) that is ‗social‘—in other words, media that starts conversations, encourages people to pass it on to others, and finds ways to travel on its own,‖ (Quinn and Berry7). Another definition is offered in author Tracy Tutens‘s book , Advertising 2.0: Social Media Marketing in a Web 2.0 World, where she states: Social media refers to online communities that are participatory, conversational, and fluid. These communities enable members to produce, publish, control, critique, rank, and interact with online content. The term can encompass any online community that promotes the individual while also emphasizing an
individual‘s relationship to the community, the rights of all members to collaborate and be heard within a protective space, which welcomes the opinions and contributions of participants. (Tuten 20) All of these definitions continue to reference the social nature of these sites, and the fact that they are networks. This is important for nonprofits to understand, as these sites are meant for generating conversations and building relationships, not just for promoting the organization. For example, Facebook‘s site is dedicated to allowing individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations, celebrities, and musical groups to maintain an online presence (Facebook.com). This can be done through status updates, photos, videos, or links regarding what a particular user feels like sharing. Twitter is similar; however, the main difference is all posts are limited to 140characters. Users may post photos, videos, and other links, as long as the web address can fit into the status update box (Twitter.com). While users can post pictures and videos to both Facebook and Twitter, YouTube is fully dedicated to users who wish to post videos (YouTube.com). Responses are allowed to be posted underneath the user‘s video as well. The key, however, when utilizing these sites is to remember they are to be used with twoway conversations in mind. Therefore, posting an update about your organization is suitable, but only if you actively engage in the comments that appear afterwards. If responses from the commenter are negative, there is even more of an urgency to recognize this. Engage these individuals, regardless of their positive or negative comments, use customer service skills to remedy situations (Gunelius). This will help build a respectable reputation for the organization, in that they are willing to take criticism with a healthy dose of tolerance and understanding. Not taking action can only damage the organization‘s ability to maintain a trusting relationship with
its fan bases, devaluing social media as a communications tool, and damaging the reputation or brand of the organization (Kanter and Fine). While these are just a few examples of how utilizing social networks can go wrong, it is important to also understand that ―When you refuse to take this step, [engaging in active conversations or responding] you are the [communication] barrier,‖ hindering your organization from building trusting relationships with constituents (Kanter and Fine 82). That is why gaining and grasping an understanding of what new, social, and digital media are, is so important in further comprehending the time, money, and effort that must go into using these sites as a two-way communication tool. Utilizing sites like these not only requires knowledgeable staff members, but they also take active ones to respond and engage communities, as well as develop strategies for maintaining the online organizational presence.
2.2 Adoption and Implementation of New, Social, and Digital Media However, understanding what these sites are, and how they are used is only the beginning of these platforms. While new, social, and digital media sites provide users the ability to not just be consumers of information, they now have the power and ability to become producers of it. Becoming producers of fluid content does create even more responsibilities for staff members at nonprofits that may already have long-lists of priorities (Kenix). For some, this notion of producing content may be relatively simple, while to others with little or no knowledge about these platforms, it could be very daunting. In reality, the diversity and number of these sites available can make it somewhat difficult and overwhelming when an organization‘s staff begins selecting which sites to employ (Guo, Brown and Ashcraft). The ― 3rd Annual, Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report,‖ breaks down the top five social networks in use by nonprofits in
2011. In order of popularity these are: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Flickr (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud). Overall 89% of nonprofits are using Facebook, 57% are engaging on Twitter, 47% are utilizing YouTube, only 30% are employing LinkedIn (a professional association network), while the lowest percentage of nonprofits are using Flickr at 19% (a photo sharing site). These figures reveal overall that 92% of nonprofits are solidly utilizng one social networking platform regularly (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud). It appears that typically, the adoption of social networks tends to veer more in the direction towards well-known and established sites, like Facebook,Twitter, and YouTube, where value has been seen, while the uncertainty of newer platforms creates a bit of a learning curve contributing to a slower adoption rate (Kanter and Fine). Slower adoption of sites like LinkedIn and Flickr, are largely due to understanding the functionality of these sites, and the uncertainty of fan base utilization (Kanter and Fine). For example, LinkedIn is a social networking plaftform for professionals, giving users the ability to leverage their resumes and work experience to others building upon career related connections (LinkedIn.com). Flickr is a social network devoted to sharing photos. The lack of usage here stems from the functionality already being built in to most social networks like Facebook and Twitter, where you do not need to have a separate account storing the photo (like Flikr) to then upload the image for viewing (Flickr.com). Other issues with slower adoption also revolve around budgetary reasons, a shortage of knowledgeable staff for utilization, and lack of training or interest in adopting technologies (Kenix). However, ― technology is constantly changing and immeasurably diverse. It can be a challenge for organizations to find the right mix of training, staff, commitment, leadership and
funding to keep on top of it‖ (C. Bernard and K. Bernard 4). Furthermore, dedicating staff time to maintaining multiple social networks, can be time consuming. As the ―3rd Annual Social Network Benhcmark Report,‖ reveals, over the past three years nonprofits have been slow to increase the number of staff who actively maintain and update these sites (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud). But, the continued low-cost usage of social networks has changed the value proposition, meaning the time put in is not regarded as being more valuable than what they are getting in return (Gunelius). This has created a slow growth trend in devoting more and more staff to social networks. ―Since 2009 about 5% of nonprofits have allocated at least some staff time (at least ¼ FTE) to commercial social networking, bringing the total percent of nonprofits that do so up from 81% to 86% between 2009 and 2011‖ (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 28)1. This slow increase has proven that most social network activities are being regarded in a positive light, ―18%,18% and 20% of nonprofits in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively rate their social networks as ‗very valuable,‘ while the ‗somewhat valuable‘ cohort remains rock steady at 61% (2009), 63% (2010) and 62% (2011)‖ (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 28). Although, larger percentages view their social networks as ―somewhat valuable,‖ this could be largely due to the overall implementation of solid strategies utilizing these sites. Many authors write about creating strategies and measurable goals as a guide to build stronger social media campaigns. However, actually setting goals to measure by are often one of the most forgotten elements to utilizing social networking sites. Employing social networks without a
Full-time and part-time staff members utilizing social media on the organization‘s behalf are considered to be fulltime equivalent employees or FTE‘s (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud).
strategy or set goals, as these statistics show, can create a lack of value in the overall abilities of these sites, whether they are being used to market, fundraise, or engage patrons. Furthermore, not setting strategies or end goals to measure, leads to confusion and increased skepticism about whether these sites produced any measurable benefits, which can again slow the overall adoption of future social networking platforms (Kanter and Fine). Author Susan Gunelius, further discusses the issue of not implementing social network strategies in her book 30-Minute Social Media Marketing: Step-By-Step Techniques to Spread the Word About Your Business Fast and Free. Gunelius describes a lack of understanding and expectations as major roadblocks for creating social media strategies and goals. She concludes there are four main pillars to grasp before implementing a social media strategy on these networks. To understand these pillars, she reiterates the need to understand social media sites, and that two-way conversations should occur between the organization and the fan base at all times. Once this is understood, she states these four pillars can help organizations create better strategies and goals. These four pillars are: reading, creating, sharing, and discussing content (Gunelius). Mapping out various ways to read, create, share, and discuss content can allow organizations to understand not only what their fan bases like or dislike about them, but it also gives the organization insight into the kinds information sharing fans are most receptive to, as well as approachable goals to strive towards (Gunelius). Authors, Peter Scott and Mike Jacka, share similar beliefs in their book Auditing Social Media: A Governance and Risk Guide. They believe that listening in addition to learning about your fan bases are the best methods to begin adopting and implementing social media strategies. To do this, the organization must first understand they are no longer in control of the
conversations (Scott and Jacka). Furthermore, strategies need to include elements to engage fans, and not ignore them. By ignoring conversations ―…This basically sends a message that the organization doesn‘t care about its stakeholders and that, if they want to engage with the organization, they will have to do it on the organization‘s terms,‖ preventing the engagement and relationship building social networks were designed for (Scott and Jacka 23). Failing ―to use social media channels to listen to stakeholders (and competitors) can subject the organization to unnecessary reputational risk‖ creating a lack of trust, value, and organizational transparency to fans, donors, or other patrons, that actively support your organization. To participate in these online conversations, strategies that seek to enhance organization value through these sites are needed. These authors go on to state that aligning social media goals with the organization‘s mission is one such way of creating this value. Additionally, it is also important to weave traditional marketing and communication plans together with social networking ones. By not doing this, Social media strategies that are developed in a stand-alone environment tend to operate in a silo—almost the exact opposite of the original intended purpose, and generally lead to a network of uncoordinated tactical initiatives that organically spread throughout the organization from one silo to another. In particular, a silo approach to social media strategy can affect such areas as accountability in the organization; consistent communication to various stakeholders; coordination of messaging; and staffing, training, technical resources, and budgeting issues. (Scott and Jacka 28-29)
Many organizations utilizing these sites for promotional purposes, fail to adhere to many of these principals, and feel social networks are only a means of distributing information about upcoming events, sales, or other revenue generating activities. Failing to understand that these networks are called ―social‖ for a reason could actually push away fans from wanting to read, share, and discuss content with your organization. Therefore, participating and taking an active role in conversations, aligning goals with the organization‘s mission, and weaving traditional media with social media strategies are all important elements when implementing a social networing strategy. By not adhering to these principals, ―…then your strategies and tactics will be unfocused, haphazard, and ineffective‖ (Gunelius 16-17).
2.3 Identifying Nonprofit Technology Barriers and Obstacles While having strategies, goals, and knowledgeable staff to maintain social network efforts are important for maximizing usage, there are also other aspects nonprofits should be alerted to. Authors Beth Kanter and Allison Fine of The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change, discuss several technology barriers and obstacles nonprofits face. To start, nonprofit organizations have become increasingly more complex throughout the twentieth century. Yochai Benkler wrote about organizations and their attraction to complexity this way: The solution to this increased complexity in the late 19th, early 20th century was to increase the role of structure and improve its design [to function more efficiently]. During the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, this type of
rationalization took the form of ever-more complex managed systems, with crisp specification of roles, lines of authority, communication and control.‘‖ (qtd. in Kanter and Fine 102) This development also meant that nonprofits were making processes for everything, modeling themselves after corporate, for-profit environments to become bigger, better, and more competitive in nature. When in reality this created more inefficiency, and more time being spent ―…discussing who is responsible for doing what rather than just doing it. It is all the energy spent trying to control messages, people, and brands (Kanter and Finer 102). This over complication of structure and growth of ―individual organizations made them bigger, more expensive, and harder to manage and sustain,‖ creating a fracture between nonprofit missions and their employees. This is important because missions drive nonprofits and their abilities to connect with their target audiences. If there is a fracture between the employees and the mission, there will only be further splintering of this trickling down through processes, employee abilities, actions to adopt policies, procedures, and future technology, putting the organization in a silo, therefore making it, its greatest barriers for change.
Obstacles and Barriers Nonprofits Face Using Internet Technologies It is variances of size, staff, and budget that further contribute to the challenges for nonprofits seeking to stay on top of technology (C.Bernard and K. Bernard). Having a working knowledge of these sites, and not overcomplicating policies and procedures to adopt technology are all important steps in maximizing an organization‘s use of them, but it is not the only factor
that contributes to how well technology is implemented within a nonprofit (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud); (Center for Arts Management and Technology). Research shows a correlation between an organization‘s budget, and the ability to implement technology more readily. This finding is contributed to budget size, which is used to classify nonprofit organizations throughout the referenced benchmark studies (C. Bernard and K. Bernard); (Center for Arts Management and Technology); (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud); (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and The Port). In fact, several benchmark studies directly correlate an organization‘s size, to its overall ability to plan, implement, and calculate the success or return on investment (ROI) from using social media, these benchmarks are as follows: the ―2010, Nonprofit I.T. Staffing and Spending Survey Report,‖ the ―2011, 3rd Annual Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report,‖ the ―2011, Arts & I.T.: Technology Adoption and Implementation in Arts Organizations,‖ survey, and the ―2010, Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report.‖
Sizes of Organizations Studied A variety of nonprofits were analyzed for these benchmark studies and reports, ranging from organizations in: the human services, arts, cultures, educational, environmental, animal, religious, healthcare, international, societal benefit, community improvement, and humanities. In order to classify these organizations by size, two surveys took into account budget as the primary factor, while other surveys were concerned with only budgets allocated towards technology. The following were used in the ―Arts and I.T. Technology and Implementation Report‖ and the ―Nonprofit I.T. Staffing and Spending Report,‖ to estimate nonprofit organization size: small organizations were those with budgets of less than $500,000; medium organizations were those
with budgets ranging from $500,000 to $2,500,000 up to $3,000,000; large organizations were those with budgets ranging from $3,000,000 to $10,000,000 ; and very large organizations were those with budgets of over $10,000,000.
Figure 2.1: Organization Size and Budget
Very Large Large Medium Small 0% 10% 17% 20% 9%
35% 37% 40%
Arts and I.T. Technology and Implementation Report, 2011 Nonprofit I.T. & Staffing Report,2010
As mentioned earlier these two reports correlate a very important fact regarding organization size and budget. These reports indicate a clear connection between budget size and a nonprofit organization‘s ability to implement technology more successfully. While organizations with larger budgets are more capable of funding technology sources and staff, further research shows that this is not the only factor contributing to successful technology use and integration at nonprofits. The ―Nonprofit I.T. Staffing and Spending Report,‖ went on to analyze how nonprofits identified their uses of technology, which allowed further insight into successful usage of technology. This report asked nonprofit organizations to rank their technology usage on a scale identifying themselves as one of the following categories: ―Leading Edge/Early Adopter,
Fast Follower, Average, Lagging Behind, or In Trouble‖ (C. Bernard and K. Bernard15). Here is a look at what they found.
Figure 2.2: Nonprofit Technology Self-Assessment
Source: C. Bernard and K. Bernard 15
The following factors were used to help organizations rank themselves on this scale: ―Planning and Evaluation, Committees or Groups Devoted to Technology, and Staff Member Interest‖ (16). In the ―Arts and I.T. Technology and Implementation Report‖ a similar study was done asking nonprofits to identify themselves ―on a 7 point scale, with 1 indicating ‗lagging behind‘, 4 as ‗just where we need to be‘ and 7 as ‗cutting edge‘‖ (Center for Arts Management and Technology 7). Interestingly, this study also found that the majority of nonprofits identified their usage of technology as average or ―just where we need to be.‖ While, a clear show of statistics
proved that smaller nonprofits, budgetarily speaking, were ―lagging behind,‖ (C. Bernard and K. Bernard).
Figure 2.3: Nonprofit Technology Self-Assessment (Shown By Organization Size)
Source: Center for Arts Management and Technology 15
Interestingly, both of these studies found that most nonprofit organizations felt their technology use what about average. What this indicates is that, while having a larger budget does increase overall technology use, it is not the only factor for creating better implementation at nonprofit organizations. Further research suggests that the amount of knowledgeable staff a nonprofit allocates toward technology planning and implementation is an additional factor to maximizing
technology usage. In fact, many nonprofits are now either creating their own Information Technology Departments (I.T. Dept.) or hiring outsourced I.T. professionals on an as needed basis (C. Bernard and K. Bernard). As nonprofits begin to consider the long-term potential benefits of technology, many are increasingly adopting their own I.T. Departments.
Staff and Resources Nonprofit organizations seem to be understaffed and overworked in many cases (Kenix); (Corder). Thinking about the variety of social networking sites and other technologies available to nonprofits will sometimes require personnel training. As one report states ―At your organization, you may already have asked where tools like Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other social media channels fit within your long list of priorities,‖ (Quinn and Berry 7). Research shows that many nonprofits are willing to invest in training personnel to use technology or even to attend seminars on making the most out of social networking, but the primary factor revealing whether organizations are doing this comes down to money. Again, a correlation with larger budgets shows a direct relationship with training staff, and even hiring qualified technologically savvy employees. When nonprofits were questioned about their staff and available resources devoted to utilizing technology, many organizations from small to large, noted that they were either unable to devote as much time or money to it as they would like or that they were satisfied with their technology investment (C.Bernard and K.Bernard). However, research shows that smaller organizations are less likely to create separate I.T. departments than larger organizations, not only due to budget, but available staff (Center for Arts Management and Technology). This begs the question, who are nonprofits asking to maintain their social networks, websites, and
computer issues if they do not have a devoted I.T. department? The figure below illustrates how some nonprofit organizations are seeking help regarding their I.T. needs.
Figure 2.4: How Large Organizations Seek Technology Help
Source: Center for Arts Management and Technology 50
Smaller organizations from the same study did the following (See Figure 2.5):
Figure 2.5 How Small Organizations Seek Technology Help
Source: Center for Arts Management and Technology 23
Comparatively, both large and small nonprofits were more likely to seek free help from online searches, showing that staff time still represents a large portion of dealing with technology in both budgetary nonprofit realms. Interestingly, second place for larger nonprofits was turning to I.T. consultants, while smaller nonprofits turned to free support from other organizations or volunteers. Across all nonprofit budgetary levels, there is room for improving technology implementation. Having larger budgets may make implementing technology a little easier, but as research continues to show, it still requires some outside staff time or contacting I.T. for help. There are other alternatives in addition to creating or devoting a position to I.T. that nonprofits may find beneficial when using social networking or implementing technology. Simply planning out technology use at your nonprofit can be one of the most beneficial actions an organization takes when using technology.
Strategic Technology Planning Another challenge nonprofits face in addition to getting I.T. help, is strategically planning its uses of all technologies, including social media and I.T. While this seems like a simple task that any nonprofit can do, the fact is many nonprofits do not have the resources, including staff, budget, time, or knowledge regarding the matter. Additionally, some nonprofits may be planning how they are going to use social media or when they will contact an outsourced I.T. consultant, but they have completely forgotten to set goals for the technology use. In fact, with many nonprofits, ―There appeared to be a huge disconnect between those responsible for the organization‘s Internet presence and strategic implementation of any stated or implicit goals,‖ (Kenix 417). If an organization sets a goal on how many tickets it needs to sell to break-even for an event, then it has set a number to calculate or measure against to see its results. Setting a goal for ticket sales is essentially the same as setting or defining goals for social media and I.T. Without these clearly determined goals, a nonprofit will have no way of calculating the benefits or challenges it has faced while utilizing these technologies. However, without knowledgeable staff familiar with social media and I.T., such an approach may be difficult to achieve. Many of the referenced benchmark studies indicated an interest in employee training regarding all technology use, both for administrative staff and for any I.T. personnel (C. Bernard and K. Bernard); (Center for Arts Management and Technology). When nonprofits are able to invest in on-going technology training for their employees, these benchmark studies suggest a positive impact on maximizing the organization‘s overall usage of technology. (C. Bernard and K. Bernard); (Center for Arts Management and Technology). In order to create technology strategies, employees will need to set goals. ―Planning
ahead for technology means your organization has put some thought into its needs beyond the present moment, which—considering organizational growth and technological depreciation—is a smart bet. But budget and staff considerations can often make planning ahead difficult,‖ (C. Bernard and K. Bernard 21). On-going training in addition to creating strategic technology plans whether for I.T. usage or social networking, have proven results in boosting a nonprofit from ―lagging behind‖ in technology, to becoming ―cutting edge‖ or moving into a ―leader‖ position (C. Bernard and K. Bernard). In fact, research provides statistics regarding the benefits of technology planning. ―Of organizations that identified as leaders, 64 percent—a solid majority— said they had [technology] plans,‖ while in comparison ―A full 71 percent of stragglers said they did not have a [technology] plan‖ (21).
2.4 Summary While nonprofits in America are continuously learning to better use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, they are also taking some time to plan for its use. Utilizing social networks whether it‘s a house or commercial network is becoming more common to many nonprofits. While staff members continue to learn and plan for social media use, organizations must not overcomplicate the utilization of these sites, and remember that they are called ―social‖ networks for a reason. Not fully understanding the social capabilities or that creating strategies and goals must occur to see value through these efforts continue to be some of the most easily solvable obstacles for nonprofits. While other more challenging obstacles such as budget and number of staff needed to maintain these sites are more difficult to deal with, but building and engaging current patrons can foster word-of-mouth communications are easier to do, relieving
nonprofits from the mistake of one-way conversations, and valuable staff time. Many of these obstacles and challenges can be approached and solved by careful planning, listening to fan bases, and creating strategies with achievable goals. With a little social network and technology planning, nonprofits can be better successful in carrying out their organization‘s missions.
Chapter 3 Mixed Methodology Approach, Design, and Implementation This chapter‘s focus will be on the methodology used to answer this thesis study‘s primary questions: ―What barriers or obstacles are preventing nonprofit organizations from maximizing the benefits of new, social, and digital media, as well as information technology?‖ and ―How can nonprofit organizations determine the maximum benefit of new, social, and digital media, as well as information technology for their organization?‖ In order to answer these questions fully, a combination of a quantitative and qualitative approach will be implemented, also known as a Mixed Methodology. A Mixed Methodology approach will build a solid investigation into how the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO), the Atlanta Opera, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA), three Atlanta-based nonprofit organizations use new, social, and digital media, as well as information technology. To do this, the construction of multiple-case studies through survey and response questions will occur. The survey and response questions from the consulted benchmark studies, investigate how nonprofits invest in, implement, and maintain new, social, and digital media, as well as information technology2. Utilizing these questions will therefore provide the foundation for gathering the same information from these Atlanta-based nonprofits. The responses will then be used to build case studies, which will provide evidence of the obstacles and challenges of these technology tools in a nonprofit environment, as well as
Benchmark Studies consulted: the ―2010, Nonprofit I.T. Staffing and Spending Survey Report,‖ the ―2011, 3rd Annual Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report,‖ the ―2011, Arts & I.T.: Technology Adoption and Implementation in Arts Organizations,‖ survey, and the ―2010, Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report.‖
present areas for each organization to maximize their usage, unlike the benchmark studies which only reported how nonprofits were using these technologies. The survey and response questions will be asked of marketing, public relation, development, and information technology professionals at these organizations.
3.1 Selection of Atlanta-Based Nonprofits The three Atlanta-based nonprofits were chosen to participate in this study for several reasons. First, while no preceding survey sampling was involved to gain further information about these organizations, each nonprofit did need to utilize social media and information technology as the nonprofit benchmark organizations did. Previous knowledge regarding the utilization of social media was discovered through an internship with the ASO in 2009, while colleagues at the Atlanta Opera, and Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA) indicate the use of this technology at their organizations as well. Also, these organizations represent various budget and staff sizes, which are important factors contributing to social media and technology usage in the consulted benchmark studies. Furthermore, these three nonprofits are representative of small, medium, and large organization categories (depending on the consulted benchmark studies budget range), and will provide insight into how Atlanta-based nonprofits, in comparison to the benchmarks, are using social media and information technology to support their organizations missions as well as goals.
3.2 Mixed Methodology Approach In order to fully understand what a Mixed Methodology approach is comprised of, one must first understand its two major components, which consist of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. In his book Blending Qualitative & Quantitative Research Methods In Theses and Dissertations, author Robert Murray Thomas explains the difference between a quantitative and qualitative research approach. He states that for a qualitative approach, a researcher is more focused on ―describing kinds of characteristics of people and events without comparing events in terms of measurements or amounts,‖ while a quantitative approach usually incorporates the collection of data or ―focus[es] attention on measurements and amounts …of the characteristics displayed by the people and events that the researcher studies‖ (Thomas 1). Other scholars such as Charles Teddlie and Abbas Tashakkori, have similar accounts describing Mixed Methodologies in their book Foundations of Mixed Method Research: Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. They discuss the evolution, implementation, and functionality of a Mixed Methods approach. In general, research in the social sciences can be categorized into three groups: Quantitatively oriented social and behavioral social sciences primarily working within the post positivist/positivist paradigm and principally interested in numerical data and analyses.3
Paradigm (e.g. positivism, constructionism, pragmatism) may be defined as a ‗worldview, complete with the assumptions that are associated with that view‘ (Teddlie and Tashakkori 4).
Qualitatively oriented social and behavioral scientist primarily working within the constructivist paradigm and principally interested in both narrative data and analyses.
Mixed Methodologists working primarily within the pragmatist paradigm and interested in both narrative and numeric data and their analyses. (Teddlie and Tashakkori 4)
Many views exist as to which methods are better for gathering data and those that are more inclined to the collection of narrative information. Authors King, Keohane, and Verba are more pragmatic in their thinking about research methodologies. In their book Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference In Qualitative Research, they state ―…that these differences [among methodologies] are mainly ones of style and specific technique…Most research does not fit clearly into one category – qualitative or quantitative – or the other. Neither quantitative nor qualitative research is superior to the other‖ (King, Keohane, and Verba 7). While choosing a methodology can sometimes be overwhelming for researchers, those utilizing a Mixed Methodology will end up placing more emphasis on ―the tools [that] are required to answer the research questions under study,‖ rather than focusing so much on following a single method placing more importance on carrying out a procedure of evidence collection, than answering a study‘s own questions (Teddlie and Tashakkori 7). Therefore, researchers are choosing Mixed Methodologies due to their flexible nature and combination of qualitative as well as quantitative research collecting perspectives. For this study‘s questions, the utilization of both a quantitative and qualitative approach, will provide a more flexible method of data and research collection. This method, as Teddlie and Tashakkori pointed out, will allow for an adaption of information
collection if the survey questions (quantitative) do not garner the information needed. Therefore, the optional response questions in the survey (qualitative) will provide further detailed information surrounding the reasoning of a previous answer. Another great quality of Mixed Method approaches are that they allow for the researcher to ―…use qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis techniques in either parallel or sequentional phases,‖ therefore, the researcher is in control of how to collect information for their study‘s questions (Teddlie and Tashakkori 11). In order to answer this thesis study‘s questions fully, having the ability to initiate a survey questionnaire (gathering quantitative data), while allowing survey participants to provide optional, further feedback within these surveys, will create a stronger process for gathering information (See Appendix 1 and 2 for survey questionarres). Incorporating both methodologies simulataneously, will allow for more flexibility, and allow participants to focus on fully answering the survey questions, thereby addressing the research questions of this study more fully. This flexibility is one reason Mixed Methodologies are considered among the soundest research methods used for investigating and collecting information (Teddlie and Tashakkori). While, this study will utilize both qualitative and quantitative reseach methods, due to nature of the survey questions, the data will be analyzed concurrently as the survey and response questions are interrelated. To do this, surveys will be given (the quantitaive portion), and survey participants will be asked to provide explanations to certain questions if they wish to provide a more detailed response (qualitative portion). Collecting data utilizing a survey that asks participants to provide further explanations to the
previous questions response, will allow for any clarification as to why the participant chose to answer a survey question a particular way. By collecting both qualitative and quantitative information, this will allow for the development of multiple case studies, which will be used to assess how the ASO, the Atlanta Opera, and MOCA GA are using new, social, and digital media, as well as information technology. The survey and response quetsions used to formulate these case studies will also provide an in-depth look at the challenges and obstacles nonprofits encounter when implementing these technologies. The research will also reveal areas each organization is struggling to use social media and technology in, which can then provide valuable information on finding solutions to maximizing their use of these technologies.
3.3 Constructing Case Studies In his book, Case Study Research: Design and Methods, author Robert K. Yin discusses the appropriateness and reasoning behind using case studies to conduct research. He states, ―As a research strategy, the case study is used in many situations to contribute to our knowledge of individual, group, organizational, social, political, and related phenomena‖ (Teddlie and Tashakkori 1). For this thesis study‘s purposes, collecting information through both quantitative and qualitative means, will allow for the development of multiple-case studies about groups, in this case nonprofit organizations. Using multiple- case studies ―have distinct advantages and disadvantages in comparison to single-case designs. The evidence from multiple cases is often considered more compelling, and the overall study is therefore regarded as being more robust‖
(qtd. in Yin 1321-1322). Having multiple-cases providing insight into how nonprofit organizations are using social media and information technology, builds a more comparable study to that of the consulted benchmarks. Using multiple-case studies also provides a more in-depth analysis of the central issues surrounding social media and technology usage amongst nonprofits. In order to answer this study‘s research questions, creating case studies are one of the best methods for collecting and presenting information, because this technique allows the researcher to gain ―an intensive, holistic, description and analysis of the phenomenon or social unit being studied‖ (Merriam 206). Therefore, these case studies will be able to accurately represent an analysis on social media and technology usage at these Atlanta-based nonprofits, which will then allow for suggestions on maximizing these efforts. However, in order to create multiple-case studies, the researcher must first develop a theory to work from. The consulted benchmark studies serve as this reference point, in ―that the initial step in designing the study must consist of theory development, and then shows that case selection and the definition of specific measures are important steps in the design and data collection process‖ (Yin 1382). Theory development for these case studies occurred by recognizing the underlying factors contributing to social media and information technology usage in the consulted benchmark data analysis. These contributing factors allowed for an observation that budget and staff size are two important aspects regarding how nonprofits utilize these technologies, and therefore must be areas of concern for the creation of multiple-case studies for this research. This understanding produces the need for replication-logic to transpire throughout each case in this study. Therefore, the benchmarks noting that budget and staff are
indicators contributing to how well nonprofits utilize social media and information technology, is ―considered to be information needing replication by other individual,‖ or multiple-cases (Yin 1382). By utilizing this replication-logic, the organizations chosen for this study, will then be able to develop cases that will predict similar or contrasting results as those in the benchmarks. To create multiple-case studies without bias, however, each individual study will require a type of ―structure‖ and ―focus.‖ This ―structure‖ and ―focus‖ will occur through utilizing the same set of survey and response questions at each Atlanta-based nonprofit. The method is ‗structured‘ in that the researcher writes general questions that reflect the research objective and that these questions are asked of each case under study to guide and standardize data collection, thereby making systematic comparison and cumulation of the findings of the cases possible. The method is ‗focused‘ in that it deals only with certain aspects of the historical cases examined. (Bennett and George 67) This idea of creating ―structure‖ and ―focus‖ is discussed further in the book Case Studies and Theory Development In the Social Sciences. In this book, authors Alexander L. George and Andrew Bennett, offer direction on how to conduct research creating or using multiple-case studies for analysis, since these case studies will be modeled after other benchmarks, it is important to understand how to do so without deviations or biases in the collection information. To standardize and keep the results un-biased, the same language and classification status of nonprofits will be implemented as the referenced benchmark studies have done. For example, these benchmark studies all investigated several aspects of each nonprofit to analyze their use of
technology. The following factors were taken into consideration for this: organization budget; number of full-time employees; if an I.T. Department existed within or outside each organization; satisfaction with technology use, identifying the organization‘s level of technology usage with terms such as ―fast follower,‖ ―average,‖ or ―lagging behind;‖ investment in technology and staff (organization websites, training for staff, purchasing of hardware, and purchasing of software), (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud); (Center for Arts Management and Technology); (C. Bernard and K. Bernard). In addition to these factors, five more components will be taken into consideration when constructing each case study to reflect the use of these technologies. They are as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. A study‘s questions; Its propositions, if any; Its unit(s) of analysis; The logic linking the data to the propositions, and; The criteria for interpreting the findings. (Yin 21)
To coordinate with the benchmark studies questions, these five components will also guide the creation of each case study‘s foundation. By looking at these five components, these case studies will be able to adequately, reliably, and un-biasedley address each component of this study fully and will be comparative to each other as well as the benchmark studies referenced for gauging social media and technology usage. Each case study‘s questions and propositions will allow for an embedded-case study design. An embedded-case study design occurs when there is specific
phenomenon to be analyzed. For each case study, the two research questions serve as this phenomenon, and are the units of analysis placed within the foundation of the case study (Yin). While these five components and questions from the referenced benchmark‘s studies will be applied to these nonprofit organizations, the findings may yield different results than those previously found in the benchmark studies. However, the information discovered will provide a unique reflection as well as an opportunity to compare and contrast how different nonprofits of various sizes utilize, invest in, maintain, and implement new, social, and digital media, as well as information technology into their organizations. By incorporating these five components along with the benchmark studies questions, this research will also provide construct validity, external validity, and reliability within the study itself.4 The information found by completing each case study will communicate ―the specific types of changes that are to be studied (and relate them to the original objectives of the study) [and] …demonstrate that the selected measures of these changes do indeed reflect the specific types of change that have been selected‖ (Yin 35). Simply put, by addressing the use of these technologies with the selected individuals who represent its usage at these organizations, a type of audit will occur. While this type of assessment was demonstrated in the referenced benchmarks, the data collected from this study will be utilized to take a deeper look into the obstacles and challenges of using social media and information technology in a nonprofit environment, and then offer solutions on how each organization can maximize their usage. These areas were not explored further in the benchmark studies, rather the
Construct validity – establishing correct operational measures for the concepts being measured (Yin 34). External validity – establishing the domain to which a study‘s findings can be generalized (34). Reliability – demonstrating that the operations of a study – such as the data collection procedures – can be repeated with the same results (34).
purpose of these studies was to fully analyze how nonprofits invest in, implement, and maintain the usage of social media and information technology. Additionally, each case study can serve as a reference point for these nonprofits when making future social media and information technology decisions, thereby providing them with a S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats) audit. This type of S.W.O.T. audit will point out each organization‘s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as they are concerned with its social media and information technology usage. By providing the survey questions in Appendix 1 and 2, other nonprofit organizations can undertake a similar type study to conclude what is causing their own technology obstacles, and then gain a better understanding of how they can make the most of their social media and additional technology efforts. This is an important issue because many nonprofit organizations are utilizing social media and information technology without any strategy or goals (Kanter and Fine). This leads to increased skepticism and lack of value for what social media can offer, and if used haphazardly, social media could damage the organization‘s reputation or brand. Before participants take the surveys, they will be informed of the purpose for conducting this research, how their answers will be used, and why their participation is valuable. They will also be informed of the two research questions the study seeks to answer (What barriers or obstacles are preventing nonprofits from maximizing the benefits of new media?‖ and ―How can nonprofits determine the maximum benefit of new media for their organization?‖). It will also be made known to these individuals that their responses to survey questions will be used to construct case studies, which will provide a framework for the research questions of this study to be answered, and may serve to be used as benchmarks for their organization‘s in the future.
Participants will also be informed when the findings of this study will be available for their usage and review.
3.4 Study and Design In order to construct a case study for each nonprofit, the following benchmark studies will be taken into consideration: the ―2011, 3rd Annual Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report,‖ the ―2011, Arts & I.T.: Technology Adoption and Implementation in Arts Organizations,‖ survey, and the ―2010, Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report.‖ This thesis‘s case studies will be constructed around the questions asked throughout the aforementioned benchmark studies. The questions asked will be guided by those used in these benchmark studies to reflect the following: Nonprofit organization budget adoption of I.T. technology within the organization identifying level of technology usage such as ―leader,‖ ―fast-follower,‖ ―average,‖ or ―lagging behind‖ strategic planning of new media and technology for the present and future budget devoted to new media for maintenance and communications (promotionally and non-promotionally) budget devoted to I.T. technology, both hardware and software number of full-time employees organization of an I.T. Department
location of I.T. Department ability to staff, recruit, and train I.T. members new and social media employee training use of consumer social networks (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.) use of house social networks (organization operated websites) calculation of return on investment from new media and technology how the organization seeks help for I.T. and new media related issues
By employing these types of questions in both survey and response formats, these case studies will be comparable to the benchmark studies in quality and reliability complete with their own case specific findings. The additional response questions will be open-ended to fill in any gaps the survey questions miss. These questions will not be meant to lead the interviewees; rather they will be used to gain a direct insight into the nature of technology usage, challenges, and technology ability within the ASO, the Atlanta Opera, and MOCA GA. The survey and response questions will again, be used to identify the challenges or obstacles each organization faces while using new media and technology to better identify ways in which their overall utilization of this technology can be maximized.
3.5 Constructing and Implementing Surveys In Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Method Approaches, author John W. Creswell provides information on how a researcher can go about conducting a Mixed
Method approach to strengthen the overall thesis and study. The use of qualitative research methods (conducting interviews or readings of related literature) are important in further enhancing the incorporation of quantitative research and data (survey statistics or other types of numerical data). For this thesis study, the use of a survey to reflect and strengthen the relationship between the quantitative and qualitative findings will be implemented by using a concurrent triangulation strategy. ―In a concurrent triangulation strategy approach, the researcher collects both quantitative and qualitative data concurrently and then compares the two databases to determine if there is convergence, differences, or sometimes combination‖ (Creswell 213). By using Creswell‘s strategy, survey data will be collected during the same period of time as the additional responses. Again, the same ―structured‖ and ―focused‖ questions and objectives will be applied from the benchmark studies to build each case study‘s foundation. While this thesis study and the benchmark studies are not, and could not have been conducted from the same time period, they should allow for convergence of data by way of using the same structured and focus through survey questions and further explained responses, e.g. the same standardized survey questions will be asked, therefore all nonprofit organizations in this study will fall into the standardized identification categories for budget, number of employees, presence on a social network, etc. In order to conduct these surveys, this study will utilize an online tool known as Survey Monkey. This site allows the user to input a variety of questions from multiple-choice, to fill-in the blank, or even scale ranking questions. Survey Monkey also allows the user to collect and analyze survey data through its site, as well as providing the ability to create useful charts or graphs through its subscriber package (SurveyMonkey.com). Utilizing this site will help
administer the Nonprofit Social Network and House Social Network survey, as well as the Nonprofit New Media and Technology survey to all participants at their own convenience. In order to accurately represent the ASO, the Atlanta Opera, and MOCA GA‘s social media and information technology use, the survey questions taken from previous nonprofit new media and technology benchmark studies will be employed as the standardized survey questions. By utilizing these questions, this should eliminate any deviations or errors in collecting and reporting the findings without bias by using the benchmark studies as a guide. This notion of standardization is suggested in Floyd J. Fowler Junior‘s book Survey Research Methods in which by addressing the same ―focused‖ and ―structured‖ survey questions, it will help the researcher remove bias from their study‘s results. It will also allow for Creswell‘s concurrent triangulation strategy to be applied by comparing the survey results with the findings from previous benchmark studies. It is important to standardize survey questions, which Fowler discusses further by describing how initially, researchers were going out and collecting information from questions that were similar, but not a list of the same questions. He explains the issues occurring from nonstandardized questioning: …sending an interviewer out with a set of question objectives without providing specific wording for the questions produced important differences in the answers that were obtained. Thus, early in the 20th century, researchers began to write standardized questions for measuring subjective phenomenon. (Fowler 5)
The standardized survey questions to be implemented for this research will reflect how the ASO, the Atlanta Opera, and MOCA GA invests in, maintains, and implements social media and information technology at their organizations, just as the benchmark studies have done. The questions used will only consist of those which were consistently asked in each study to provide the most unbiased results. By asking these standardized questions, the research will be able to quantifiably show how each organization uses social media and information technology, as well as the challenges and obstacles they incur while using it. This insight will also provide information as to how organizational size dictates the use of social media and information technology needs.
3.6 Scope and Limitation of Study This thesis study will provide the ASO, the Atlanta Opera, and MOCA GA with an invaluable look into their organization‘s approaches, implementation, and shortcomings with regards to social media and technology usage. While this thesis study will provide a benchmark for these organizations to measure against in the future, the study will only allow these organizations to look at the effects of technology from within their organization, and not simply gauge the their social media impact from an outside perspective, such as its target audience or as it affects ticket sales. However, when creating a case study where an audit of social media and information technology use occurs, it is logical to assume that gaining an in depth look at these issues can only improve overall future usage and efforts in regards to ticket sales or outreach to target audiences. This study will also represent a model for which other nonprofit organizations
can carry-out their own social media and technology usage benchmark studies. By utilizing already existing benchmark studies as a guide, this study will provide a similar framework for other nonprofits wishing to see how they can maximize their overall use and benefits from social media, other technology, and alert them to areas they can improve upon. While this study may be dated by the time of completion, due to technological growth, it will as the consulted benchmark studies have done, provide an important framework for other nonprofits to assess their own uses of new media and technology for maximizing its overall benefits.
3.7 Summary In conclusion, the focus of this chapter is to show how a Mixed Methodology approach, using both quantitative and qualitative practices, as well as case studies, reflects these methodologies abilities to produce accurate and reliable results throughout this thesis. Unlike the focus of the benchmark studies, this research will present an analysis of social media and information technology usage, while utilizing the referenced studies survey and response questions to collect the needed information. Once this information is collected, this study will then provide an analysis for the obstacles and challenges nonprofits encounter with social media and information technology, as well as offer solutions on maximizing their usage. This information will show the importance of utilizing social media and information technology strategically to reduce wasted time and effort, as well as avoid a lack of value in what these technologies can do for nonprofits. In order to gain a better understanding of how social media
and information technology are being implemented at the ASO, the Atlanta Opera, and MOCA GA, this method including the uses of cases studies and survey questions should yield comparative and contrasting results to the benchmarks, strengthening the overall study itself as well as providing a foundation for other nonprofits to carry-out similar self-assessment studies.
Chapter 4 Data Analysis and Case Studies
To gain a deeper understanding of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO), the Atlanta Opera, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia‘s (MOCA GA) utilization of the Internet and technology, two surveys were constructed. These surveys included questions regarding commercial social networks, house social networks, and information technology usage and adoption at these nonprofit organizations. The surveys were used to create a case study for each of these Atlanta-based nonprofits based on the theory that budget and staff size are contributing factors to overall social media and technology abilities in a nonprofit environment (discussed later in this chapter, and in Chapter 5 Research and Findings). These case studies provide insight into how the ASO, the Atlanta Opera, and MOCA GA‘s Internet and technology use compares as well as contrasts with other nonprofits from benchmark study research. The survey questions presented to each organization‘s administrators, were taken directly from the ―2010, Nonprofit I.T. Staffing and Spending Survey Report,‖ while the remaining questions were created by referencing the results and questions provided from the following benchmarks: the ―2011, 3rd Annual Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report,‖ the ―2011, Arts & I.T.: Technology Adoption and Implementation in Arts Organizations,‖ survey, and the ―2010, Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report.‖ Using these benchmarks as guides, this study will reproduce the type of results evidenced throughout these benchmarks. However, this study will provide an analysis of how to overcome the obstacles and challenges of using social media and information technology, unlike the referenced benchmarks, which only offered an assessment of how these technologies are being used.
While these four benchmark studies offer a unique viewpoint of how over 12,000 nonprofits across America, both large and small, invest in, implement, as well as maintain their technology, they also shed light on the challenges and obstacles the administrators at these nonprofits encounter along the way. Using these survey questions will provide a similar framework for the ASO, the Atlanta Opera, and MOCA GA‘s data analysis, but take the research a step further by offering way of maximizing social media and information technology usage. The survey questions also offer insight into how these Atlanta-based nonprofits utilize the Internet, its subsequent technologies, and the challenges as well as obstacles that they encounter along the way. A study of this type will create a useful benchmark for the ASO, the Atlanta Opera, and MOCA GA to reference for future social network and overall technology improvements, or to gain a better understanding of their current technology standing.
4.1 Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Case Study Background Information Known as ―the leading cultural organization in the Southeast, the ASO serves as the cornerstone for artistic development in music education in the region‖ (Atlantasymphony.org). Now in its sixty-seventh season, the GRAMMY® Award-winning orchestra, ― consistently affirms its position as one of America‘s leading Orchestras by performing music, presenting great artists, educating, and engaging,‖ its audiences with over 200 concerts yearly ―to …half a million [people] in a full schedule of performances which also features educational and community concerts‖ (Atlantasymphony.org). Lead by Maestro Robert Spano, the orchestra
continues to explore the boundaries of classical music by creating classical ―Theatre of Concert‖ performances, utilizing two outdoor summer venues, commissioning world-renowned and local composers to engage audiences with unique musical experiences. By examining the ASO‘s use of new, social, and digital media, as well as information technology adoption, this case study will explore how budgets, fundraising, devotion of staff, and measuring of return on investment occurs for its commercial social networks, as well as house social network use. The first series of survey questions presented to the ASO staff, regarded the use of Commercial Social Networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. The second series of questions focused on the use of a House Social Network, which is a social network built within an organization‘s own website (see section 4.1.2 House Social Network Survey Data for further information). Both series of survey questions had two respondents for the ASO. One participant was the Development Coordinator, from the Development or Fundraising Department; the other participant was the Senior Director of Communications, from the Communications or Public Relation Department. While, each department has its own focus, it is interesting to see how the results from the two departments serve as a representation of the technology use at this nonprofit organization. Comparatively, these benchmark studies also incorporated responses from various departments at nonprofit organizations, and like those studies, the commercial and house social networking aspects of this survey provided both some surprising and not-so surprising finds.
4.1.1 Commercial Social Network Survey Data Like 92% of nonprofits, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, like many nonprofits, is already using the Internet and commercial social networks to promote their organizations (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 6). To gain a better understanding of which commercial social networks are being used, both the 2010 and 2011 Nonprofit Social Benchmark Reports ask nonprofits to identify their organizational budgets, budgets devoted to maintaining commercial social networks, staff dedicated to these sites, which commercial social networking sites they maintained a presence on, and if they calculated the return on investment from these sites. These survey questions provide further insight into the types of obstacles and challenges nonprofits face while implementing commercial social networks. The surveys also provide an in depth look into how the ASO is currently using commercial social networks, and how they can maximize their overall usage.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Commercial Social Networks Each study asked nonprofit survey participants to identify the commercial social networks in which their organizations maintained an online presence; they were presented the following choices: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, FourSquare, Jumo, Vimeo, Yelp, Picassa, Ning, CrowdRise, FirstGiving, Razoo and Causes. The top five social networks of these listed and employed by nonprofits in the benchmark studies were, in order of popularity: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, as well as Flickr. While the ASO maintains an online presence on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, like the 2011 benchmark participants, the ASO
also utilized LinkedIn, MySpace, FourSquare, as well as Vimeo, of which only half of the benchmark participants noted a presence. To put the ASO‘s commercial social network use into perspective, Figure 4.1 provides a comparative viewpoint regarding their usage to the benchmark study‘s findings. Figure 4.1: The ASO‘s Commercial Social Network Comparison
Commercial Social Network Comparisons
# of Friends, Followers, or Subscribers 14,000 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 2010 Nonprofit Commercial Social Benchmark Report 2011 Nonprofit Commercial Social Benchmark Report 2011 ASO Nonprofit Social Network Statistics
From the ASO‘s survey results, it is clear their Facebook and Twitter fan bases are much higher than the benchmark averages with Facebook accounting for 9,415 friends, and Twitter accounting for 12,182 followers. The benchmark average Facebook friend count in 2011 was 6,376, with Twitter followers at 1,822 (with benchmark averages showing each site‘s highest fan bases yet) (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud). Both benchmarks provide evidence suggesting larger followings on commercial social network sites are a result of more time, effort, and resources being allocated to maintaining them (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud); (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and The Port Network). Interestingly, looking at the ASO‘s fan base for YouTube, LinkedIn, and Flickr, it is noticeably clear their followings here
are much smaller than those on Facebook and Twitter, as well as being much lower than the 2010 and 2011 benchmark averages. The ASO‘s YouTube account has 266 subscribers versus 2,702 (2011); their LinkedIn account has 236 members versus 1,196 (2011); and their Flickr account had 0 contacts versus 307 (2011). While the ASO does trail off in fan base numbers on YouTube, LinkedIn, and Flickr, this could be due to allocating so much time and effort towards their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Although, the number of Flickr contacts is listed as 0, the benchmarks suggest the photo sharing capabilities of Facebook to be the major culprit behind slower growth in fan bases on Flickr (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud). Also, the benchmark studies from both years indicated record growth in the number of nonprofits utilizing commercial social networks in 2010, which slowed in 2011. This change, as the 2011 benchmark suggests, is due to the fact that many organizations are now focused on building their followings through the top commercial social networking sites, rather than adopting newer platforms (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and The Port Network). It is evident that the ASO has put time and effort into building its fan bases on Facebook and Twitter as these sites have the largest numbers in comparison to their other social networks. The adoption of two newcomer sites, FourSquare and Vimeo suggests the ASO has found value in them, which may be another reason for smaller fan bases on YouTube (video sharing) as well as LinkedIn5. From these results, it is reasonable to assume that the ASO places more emphasis on Facebook and Twitter for commercial social networking endeavors. As for the smaller fan bases
Vimeo is another video sharing site (similar to YouTube), and FourSquare, a check-in application, notifying friends and followers to your location or particular function you are attending.
on the ASO‘s YouTube and LinkedIn accounts, this suggests the ASO may not be harnessing the full power of these sites for various reasons including lack of confidence or value in these sites, comparatively higher level of engagement on other sites, and limited resources to maintaining multiple commercial social network platforms, to name a few.
Budgets Devoted to Commercial Social Networks Throughout the 2010 and 2011 Commercial Social Benchmark Studies, one key factor being a big indicator or predictor of how well nonprofit organizations were at utilizing social networks was the budgets dedicated to them. Many nonprofit organizations (48% in 2011) notated that their budgets devoted to maintaining commercial social networks were nonexistent. While only 36% stated they had a budget between $1,000 and $10,000 (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 8). Graph 2.2 from the 2011 Commercial Social Benchmark Study, shows this slow trend in adopting a budget for commercial social network use (8).
Both benchmark studies (2010 and 2011) prove that the majority of nonprofits are slow at adopting a budget for commercial social networking endeavors. However, not surprisingly, organization budget and size also play a key role in determining if an organization has funds to to create commercial social networking budgets. Table 6.1, taken from the 2011 benchmark, provides information regarding the role organization budget plays into the adoption of commercial social network budgeting.
Source: NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 22
Comparatively, the ASO‘s annual budget is $46 million (2010), placing it in the ―Medium‖ organization category. Participants of the ASO were also asked to identify the budget devoted to maintaining their commercial social networks. In this area, the ASO survey participants were conflicted on the amount of funding directed towards maintaining commercial social networks. The results showed a large difference amongst departments with the Development Department indicating a devotion of $1,000 - $5,000, while the Communication Department notated a devotion of $10,000 - $25,000 yearly. Only 27% of medium size organizations reported devoting a similar budget of over $10,000 towards commercial social networking efforts. From the survey data received from the ASO, it is somewhat difficult to calculate the actual percentage of their budget dedicated to maintaining commercial social networks. However, based on the figure of $10,000 to $25,000, and using $25,000 as the figure as a top-end estimate, that both the benchmarks used and the Communications Director notated as the amount allotted for this, the ASO can be said to devote roughly 1.8% (based on a budget of $25,000 and calculated as $46,000,000/$25,000) or less than a 2% of their budget to social networking efforts. Therefore, the amount of funding dedicated to commercial social networks at the ASO overall, can be reviewed as very minimal.
Staff Devoted to Commercial Social Networks In 2011, 86% of nonprofits dedicated at least one quarter of their full-time staff to maintaining commercial social networks. Likewise, the ASO has realized this value and based on survey results have allocated 25% to 66% of staff time yearly to maintaining commercial social
networks. As far as the number of full-time equivalent employees (FTE‘s), which includes all full-time employees and those part-time, which may aid in the maintenance of social networks, the results from the ASO‘s participants indicate a concernment that at least 2 FTE‘s are required to maintain commercial social networks. When asked which departments maintain the organization‘s social networking platforms, the results were mixed. All participants believed the Marketing Department maintained the organization‘s social networking platforms, while only half believed the Fundraising and Communication‘s Departments were responsible. The answers could indicate a lack of communication between departments regarding who is, or is not using social networks on behalf of the ASO. From these results, it is not surprising that all participants felt the primary use of social networking platforms for their organization, were dedicated towards marketing efforts, since both members believed Marketing was involved in maintaining social networks. This lack of information regarding those in charge of maintaining the commercial social networks could lead to multiple problems. These include inconsistent tone on these sites, misinformation or double posting of information, and overall unknowledgeable appearance to the organization‘s fan base. While the ASO, did not have a clear understanding of which department maintained their sites, they did have an agreement that 2 FTE‘s were required to update their social networks. Comparatively, the benchmarks show an increase in the number of organizations devoting a quarter to one-half of FTE to maintaining their online communities over a yearly period from 67% in 2010, to 72% in 2011 (Nonprofit Technology Network, Common Knowledge, and The Port Network 6); (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 17).This makes the ASO‘s
overall staff devotion to maintaining their commercial social networks, higher than the average benchmark results by one-and-a- half FTE.
Measuring Return On Investment (ROI) of Commercial Social Networks According to the 2011 benchmark study, ―large and very large organizations are 2 to 3 times more likely to be measuring the financial viability of their commercial social networks with large (17%) and very large (21%) groups measuring hard ROI more frequently than small (8%) and medium (9%) charities‖ (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 21). In comparison, the ASO‘s organizational size as a medium organization puts them in the category of not as likely to measure ROI. However, the ASO‘s $46 million budget (higher-end of medium organizations) and fan base volume have proven to be somewhat a-typical of this size organization. The ASO is part of the 9% of medium size organizations measuring ROI for commercial social networks. In fact, when asked which factors they consider for measuring, the participants indicated the following: increased awareness about particular items, how much site visitor volume has changed, the rate of customer service feedback with responses, and the change in registered
number of members to the social network site.
Source: NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 22
Fundraising On Commercial Social Networks Fundraising is also another important aspect to any nonprofit organization, and many nonprofits are turning to commercial social networks to aid in this area. The survey participants from the ASO indicated overwhelmingly that Facebook and Twitter are both used for fundraising endeavors, while YouTube, LinkedIn, and Flickr were not used in this area at all. There was some confliction amongst the participants though, as to the amount of money the ASO has raised
utilizing these channels. On the lower end, one participant noted that Facebook and Twitter separately had provided $1,000 - $10,000 in additional funds, while the other participant‘s results showed more success, with Facebook and Twitter separately accounting for $10,000 - $100,000 in funds. These discrepancies are rather large, which could indicate the organization‘s staff and administrators may not have a clear understanding or unfamiliarity of the actual dollar value raised through these channels associated with commercial social networks. In comparison, the 2011 benchmark study reported that 52% of all nonprofits are not fundraising on commercial social networks, and only 46% were raising between $0 to $10,000 (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 17). Furthermore, only 8% of all medium sized organizations, like the ASO reported raising over $100,000 through commercial social network fundraising efforts (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 4). Another important factor found in the benchmark study is that any organization raising more than $100,000 in funds are considered ―Master Social Fundraisers.‖ This study also revealed that organization size and budget are not always the best predictors for what constitutes an organization‘s ability to fundraise online. Surprisingly, ―30% of the Master Fundraisers were Small organizations ($1 to $5MM annual budget) and 8% were Medium-sized ($6 to $50MM) (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 3). As noted previously the ASO does devote 2 FTE to maintaining their social networks and one staff member indicated they were raising between $10,000 to $100,000 through social networks, while the discrepancy is still there, it does allow room for the ASO to be considered a Master Fundraiser on commercial social networking platform.
This discrepancy does make it impossible to compare the benchmark amounts raised, to what the ASO has, but it is evident the staff at this organization have put time and effort into planning as well as strategizing a fundraising plan for these sites.
4.1.2 House Social Network Survey Data It is clear that the ASO does put time and thought into the overall utilization of their commercial social networks, but for the survey portion regarding the house social network, all participants indicate the organization does not maintain one. Therefore, the only information collected in this portion of the survey is in regards to why the ASO does not have a house social network. The participants of this survey indicated that lack of strategy and budget were the two contributing factors leading to this result. Although the ASO does have a rather sizeable operating budget of $46 million, house social networks are rather expensive to invest in, build, and maintain. The ASO is not alone in not having a house social network; comparatively 77% of nonprofits do not have house social networks for similar reasons. In fact, 64% of the nonprofits in the 2011 benchmark study stated a lack of staff and budget (like the ASO), while 47% claimed a lack of expertise for the reason, and 44% feel a lack of strategy keeps them from creating one (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 15).
4.1.3 Technology Usage and Adoption Survey Data To gain an accurate representation of the ASO‘s information technology usage and information technology staffing needs, the Director of Information Technology at the Woodruff Arts Center was asked, and agreed to participate in this survey. This individual represents how information technology is handled not only in regards to the ASO, but also the other organization‘s underneath the Woodruff Arts Center (WAC) umbrella, including the Alliance Theatre, the High Museum of Art, and Young Audiences division. The ASO in this regard, does not have specific staff dedicated to their organization or one I.T. representative; rather I.T. staff are dispensed from the I.T. Office to assist with all WAC umbrella organization technology needs. The survey questions therefore are a representation of how the WAC operates its I.T. Department, which directly affects the ASO‘s technology needs, and ability to utilize commercial social networks. Therefore, the questions, while being directed towards how the ASO‘s technology needs are handled, also represent how the Woodruff Arts Center utilizes information technology staff and needs, as they are both are interconnected. The responses collected from this survey provide an in depth look into the contributing factors that allow all departments within the ASO to function, technologically speaking. The survey produces overwhelming evidence of just how important an information technology department and staff are, since they are vital to solving many computer issues; and without computers, most of the ASO staff would not be able to perform their jobs.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Technology Adoption One of the first indicators analyzing technology usage within the WAC, directly affecting the ASO, comes in the form of identifying the organization‘s overall status in adopting technology. Both benchmark studies (―2010, Nonprofit I.T. Staffing and Spending Survey Report‖ and the ―Arts & I.T.: Technology Adoption and Implementation in Arts Organizations,‖) as nonprofits to choose how well they are adopting and implementing technology from the following categories: ―leading edge/early adopter,‖ ―fast follower,‖ ―average,‖ ―lagging behind,‖ ―in trouble,‖ or, ―I don‘t know.‖ The average benchmark response was that most nonprofits consider themselves as ―average‖ adopters of technology with 428 of the 972 reporting this (C. Bernard and K. Bernard 15). The ―Arts & I.T.‖ benchmark also noted similar findings with ―the overall average response…[of] 3.44… on a scale of 1 indicating ―lagging behind‖, and 7 as ―cutting edge‖ (Center for Arts Management and Technology 15). This average ranking of 3.44 indicating that most organizations felt they were almost were they needed to be. The ASO‘s ranking on this scale was very similar as well, with survey results showing the overall technology adoption within the organization as ―average.‖ See Figure
Figure 4.2: Technology Adoption Among Nonprofit Organizations
140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 in trouble
Technology Adoption Among Nonprofit Organizations
2010 Nonprofit IT Staffing & Spending Benchmar 2011 Arts & IT Tech Adoption ASO Tech Adoption
Budget Devoted to Information Technology These two benchmark studies focused heavily also on the budgets devoted to adopting and implementing I.T. The 2010 study identifies organizations by the following sizes: small organizations = under $500,000; medium = $500,000 to $3 million; large = $3million to $10 million; very large = over $10 million (C. Bernard and K.Bernard 11). While the 2011 study offers the following categories for organizational budget: small = under $500,000; medium = $500,000 to $2.5 million; large = $2.5 million to $5 million; very large = over $5 million (Center for Arts Management and Technology 5). In both of these organizational benchmark studies classification systems, the ASO falls into the ―very large‖category with a budget of $46 million.
Spending trends among very large organizations, as evidenced throughout these benchmarks, provide more ability to fund I.T. related expenses and develop I.T. Departments. Statistically speaking, very large organizations, like the ASO, tend to identify themselves more frequently as I.T. leaders.
Source: C.Bernard and K.Bernard 18 While the ASO identified itself as ―average‖ among these rankings, the ability for them to become I.T. leaders or transform into ―early adopters,‖ or on the ―leading edge,‖ are more likely. This of course will all rely upon budget dedicated towards technology, hardware and software, as well as on-going staff training to boost into a higher category. The direct correlation between budget and overall technology adoption is a common occurrence though. The larger a nonprofits budget, the more prominent it is that the organizations are adopting technology.
Information Technology Staffing Staffing is an important aspect for any nonprofits, especially if they are using technology in any capacity from hardware, software, to the Internet. However, hiring staff for I.T. really
depends on the size of an organization‘s budget again. Due to budgetary constraints, these benchmark studies noted a huge gap in the ability for smaller and mid-size nonprofits to hire I.T. related staff. Comparatively speaking, the ASO being considered a ―very large‖ organization like others in this category were more likely to hire I.T. staff and have separate I.T. Departments (C. Bernard and K. Bernard); (Center for Arts Management and Technology). In Table 12, it is easier to see how nonprofits with larger budgets are benefiting from allotting a percentage towards I.T. Staffing. A direct correlation between organization budget and I.T. budget exists. The larger the organization‘s budget is, the more it can devote to I.T. Staffing Expenditures such as additional training, or technology.
Source: C. Bernard and K. Bernard 39 While the ASO‘s I.T. survey participant chose not to reveal any numerical figures regarding budget dedication for staff, they did however provide information regarding the size of the I.T. staff. There are 11-13 FTE staff members working in the I.T. Department. Similarly, other very large organizations compared as follows: ―very large orgs averaged one I.T. staffer to every 45 staffers,‖ in the 2010 study, and 55, I.T. staff members were dedicated to very large organizations in the 2011 benchmark (39); (Center for Arts Management and Technology 45).
Figure 4.3: I.T. Staffing Averages At Very Large Organizations
I.T. Staffing Averages At Very Large Organizations
100 50 0 IT Staff 2010 Benchmark Very Large Org's ASO = Very Large Org 2011 Benchmark Very Large Org's
While the I.T. staffing is much lower for the ASO‘s technology needs, it is also important to remember another significant factor, the WAC also utilizes the same I.T. Department for its other umbrella organizations including the High Museum of Art, the Alliance Theatre, and Young Audiences, indicating an understaffed I.T. Department at this organization. Furthermore, the survey participant notes that the I.T. Department is ―inadequately staffed,‖ with only 11-13 FTE‘s. This I.T. staffing issue is further suggested with the response of being ―somewhat satisfied,‖ with the ability of I.T. to respond to client needs; this response leads to further concerns as to how the organization will keep-up with its ever-growing and changing technology needs, while needing to increase the overall I.T. Staff size to meet its current needs. Although this participant chose not to disclose information regarding the specifics for its I.T. budget, it is clear that there needs to be more funds devoted to employing more I.T. staff members in the future.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Information Technology Planning As the benchmark studies keep revealing, a nonprofit‘s budget seems to affect several aspects of I.T. development from staffing to adopting technology. In the same manner, the larger an organization‘s budget, the better chances are they will be planning future technology acquisitions. The ASO, like 59% of very large nonprofits have a strategic technology plans, in comparison to only 43% of large, 28% of medium, and only14% of small (C. Bernard and K. Bernard 22). The survey participant also notates that the WAC does strategically plan its overall technology use for all umbrella organizations, including the ASO. This could mean better I.T. staffing in the future for the organization and more on-going training for staff.
4.1.4 Summary From the Commercial Social Network, House Social Network, and Nonprofit I.T. Survey responses, it is clear that technology is playing an important role at the WAC and its umbrella organization, the ASO. All four benchmark studies: ―2010, Nonprofit I.T. Staffing and Spending Survey Report,‖ the ―2011, 3rd Annual Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report,‖ the ―2011, Arts & I.T.: Technology Adoption and Implementation in Arts Organizations,‖ survey, and the ―2010, Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report,‖ have provided a valuable and informative framework to compare and contrast the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra‘s Case Study with. The statistics on nonprofit technology adoption and implementation at the ASO show that the organization is doing fairly well. The organization has more staff dedicated to its commercial social networks than the average nonprofit, and has larger fan bases than most nonprofits on the
top two social networking sites. The surveys also reveal that the ASO does plan its utilization of commercial social networks and information technology. While having a larger budget has benefited the organization technologically speaking, there is a need for the organization to hire more I.T. staff members. Some of the challenges the organization faces have been evidenced through the I.T. staffing issues, the discrepancies among department answers regarding commercial social network usage, and budget devoted to technology in general. However, with continued planning and budget dedicated to these efforts, the ASO will surely reach its technology goals.
4.2 Atlanta Opera Case Study Background Information The Atlanta Opera is a growing nonprofit organization with its headquarters located in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Starting its thirty-third year of existence, the Atlanta Opera has provided over 100,000 patrons in the metro-Atlanta region and the state of Georgia with ―mainstage opera productions and excellent arts education programs for all ages‖ (Atlantaopera.org). In 2007, the Atlanta Opera moved its productions from the Fox Theatre to a more acoustically pleasing setting, the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, located 30-minutes north of Atlanta. Since its move, the organization has seen a 50% increase in audience size (Atlantaopera.org). ―Led by Zurich General Director Dennis Hanthorn, The Atlanta Opera strives to expand the experience of its patrons with memorable and exciting performances reflecting the
highest musical and theatrical standards, while supporting community and educational programs‖ (Atlantaopera.org). The purpose of this case study is to research how the Atlanta Opera invests in, implements, and maintains new, social, and digital media as well as information technology in a nonprofit organizational setting. By examining the Atlanta Opera‘s use of new, social, and digital media, as well as information technology adoption, this case study will explore how budgets, fundraising, devotion of staff, and measuring of return on investment occurs for its commercial social networks, as well as house social network use. The first series of survey questions presented to the Atlanta Opera staff, regarded the use of Commercial Social Networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. The second series of questions focused on the use of a House Social Network, which is a social network built within an organization‘s own website (see section 4.2.2 House Social Network Survey Data for further information). Both series of survey questions had one respondent the Communications Manager for the Atlanta Opera.
4.2.1 Commercial Social Network Survey Data When taking a closer look at the commercial social networks the Atlanta Opera maintained an online presence with, the survey findings were somewhat surprising. This organization‘s results showed an online presence with 9 commercial social network sites. One reason this finding is somewhat surprising is due to the fact that this organization is classified in the ―Small Organization‖ Category (annual budget between $0-5million). Typically, larger
organizations will maintain more social networking sites because they have larger staff and budget to devote to them, but most only use the top 5 sites. While, the Atlanta Opera is using all 5 of the top 5 social networking sites, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Flickr. The remaining 4 sites they utilize are FourSquare, Yelp, Picasa, and Causes. When taking a closer look at the community sizes of all 9 of these sites, it appears that the Atlanta Opera may be over committing itself to maintaining too many of them. This suggestion comes by comparing each social network fan base to the 2010 and 2011 Commercial Social Network benchmark studies. Figure 4.4: The Atlanta Opera‘s Commercial Social Network Comparison
The Atlanta Opera's Commercial Social Network Comparison
7000 6000 5000 Axis Title 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 Facebook Twitter YouTube LinkedIn Flickr 2010 Nonprofit Commercial Social Benchmark 2011 Nonprofit Commercial Social Benchmark 2011 Atlanta Opera Social Network Statistics
For example, while the Atlanta Opera maintains its largest presence on Twitter, with a fan base of 4,344, in comparison to the other benchmark nonprofits, this number is quite high. The average number of followers the 2011 Commercial Social benchmark found was 1,822
followers, and this included small, medium, large, and very large organizations. It is clear Twitter has value to the Atlanta Opera, and that they have put forth effort to developing this fan base. However, the Atlanta Opera‘s other social networks seem to lack this same effort. Its Facebook fan base is made up of 2,688 friends, compared to the 2011‘s average of 6,376; its YouTube fan base is comprised of 76 subscribers compared to 2011‘s average of 2,702; LinkedIn contacts at 165, compared to the 2011‘s average of 1,196; and its Flickr account with a total of 0 contacts, compared to 2011‘s average of 307. In further comparison, other small organizations (budgets between $0-$5 million annually) have also generated larger fan bases on Facebook with 3,227 compared to the opera‘s fan base of 2,688. In comparison, … ―large and very large organizations (more than $250 MM annually) average 24,811 fans on Facebook or 7.7 times greater than small nonprofits‖ (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 21). Its LinkedIn account also lags behind the smaller organization category average of 1,356, while they have only 165 contacts. As for the smaller fan bases on the Atlanta Opera‘s YouTube , LinkedIn, and Flickr accounts, this suggests the organization may not be utilizing them to their full capacity. This of course could be due to several reasons including lack of confidence or value in these sites, comparatively higher level of engagement on their Twitter site, or limited resources to maintaining multiple commercial social network platforms.
Budget Devoted to Commercial Social Networks The Atlanta Opera, like most sized nonprofit organizations (48%), do not have a social network budget at all (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 8). This finding is not too surprising since adopting a social network budget is still in its infancy for all sized nonprofits. Also, since the Atlanta Opera appears to still be in the building phase, as far as their fan bases are concerned for most of its commercial social network platforms this actually may be acceptable for their organization. In order to better invest in social network platforms, an organization will want to know that their fan bases are utilizing the platforms they are creating budgets for. There would be little value in devoting a budget, creating a strategy, and measuring ROI if fans are not using the sites an organization chooses to invest in monetarily. Furthermore, only 11% of small nonprofits, like the Atlanta Opera, stated they devoted a budget of more than $10,000, towards social networking efforts in comparison to 27% of medium, 42% of large, and52% of very large (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 22). It is clear that devoting a budget of more than $10,000, is still a very small percentage of organizations, and that all sized nonprofits are still figuring out if there is enough value in these sites before committing any type of budget to them. However, the larger the organization is, the more likely they are to have an established commercial social network budget. Therefore, as the operating budget increases, so does the organizations ability to create social networking budgets.
Staff Devoted to Maintaining Commercial Networks As far as the number of staff the Atlanta Opera commits to maintaining its online social networking presence, the organization seems to be doing quite well. According to the survey results, the opera utilizes 2 FTE staff members from their Communications/PR Department to maintain their social networking efforts, and about 66% of their staff time yearly towards these efforsts. In fact, having 2 FTE staff members is comparatively greater than ¼ FTE staff that other small organizations devote to maintaining their social networks. Having 2 FTE staff members is also even more impressive considering that the Atlanta Opera employs 31 people, including 3 seasonal staff members. The ability of the Atlanta Opera to devote this many people to their social networking efforts, could provide the opera with a means to build up their fan bases, and further realize which of these sites is the most beneficial to them for future use.
Measuring Return On Investment (ROI) of Commercial Social Networks As far as the Atlanta Opera‘s measuring efforts are concerned, they state they have strategies for their commercial social network use, which is one of the first steps in setting goals to measure against. This organization states they have strategies in the following areas: marketing, branding, customer service, programming, and engaging supporters. Their survey results corroborate these strategies since they are measuring their efforts in following areas: increased awareness, education, non-financial supporter participation, site visitor volume, and customer service feedback with responses. Interestingly, only 8% of small organizations from the benchmark studies state they are doing this. Therefore, the Atlanta Opera should be able to
consider which of their social network sites really are the most valuable to them, using the areas they are already measuring. Furthermore, the Atlanta Opera considers their overall feeback and usage of social network sites to be valuable. See Table 6.1
Source: NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 22
Fundraising On Commercial Social Networks Like most nonprofits (52%) organizations of all sizes, the Atlanta Opera states they are not fundraising through commercial social networks. Interestingly, one of the sites in which they
maintain a presence on is Causes, which is linked to their Facebook account, and sole purpose of Causes is to be used for fundraising efforts. This is a real missed opportunity for their organization for several reasons. First, this organization is devoting 2 FTE staff members to maintaining their social networks, which is comparatively greater than all sized nonprofits. Secondly, benchmark studies show that 30% of ―Master Social Fundraisers‖ came in the size of small organizations (See Table 1.1) (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud). This is extremely relevant for the Atlanta Opera, since the benchmark reported the number of staff needed to become ―Master Social Fundraisers‖ is equivalent to 2 FTE staff members.
Source: NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 4 Also, the 2011 Benchmark study notes that, ―one in ten (9.5%) who measure their Facebook fundraising revenue also brought in more than $10,000 over the last year, compared to less than 3% of nonprofits on Facebook generally‖ (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 24). This is another incentive for the Atlanta Opera, since they are already measuring other areas of
their social networking efforts. There is a correlation between measuring ROI and the ability of a nonprofit to raise more funds via social networks. See Table 7.2.
Source: NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 24
4.2.2 House Social Network Survey Data While there is room for improvement in how the Atlanta Opera is utilizing many of its commercial social networks, it is clear that they are putting time and thought into the overall usage of these sites. Since they are not readily investing funds into their commercial social network use, it comes as no surprise that they do not have a House Social Network. Therefore, the only information collected in this portion of the survey is in regards to why the Atlanta Opera does not have a house social network. The participant of this survey indicated that lack of strategy and budget were the two contributing factors leading to this result. It is logical that an organization in the small budget category would not have a house social network, since they are rather expensive to invest in, build, and maintain.
As mentioned previously, ―House Social Networks (HSN) – social networking communities created on a nonprofits own website (sometimes called private social networks) are operated by 13% of nonprofit organizations‖ (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 11). Many nonprofit organizations involved in the Human Services or Educational systems typically have HSN‘s (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud). The Atlanta Opera is not alone in not having a HSN, since 77% of nonprofits do not have house social networks for similar reasons. In fact, 64% of the nonprofits in the 2011 benchmark study stated a lack of staff and budget (like the ASO), while 47% claimed a lack of expertise for the reason, and 44% feel a lack of strategy keeps them from creating one (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 15).
4.2.3 Technology Usage and Adoption Survey Data This portion of the case study focuses on the overall ability of the Atlanta Opera to use and adopt technology in the following areas: hardware, software, staff, and training for on-going technology usage. While the Atlanta Opera does not have a dedicated Information Technology Department, they do indicate that there is ―about one full-time consultant,‖ responsible for supporting or maintaining their information technology needs. The finding in their technology usage and adoption survey, based on the fact there is no dedicated I.T. Department, provide valuable insight into the challenges many smaller nonprofits face without this type of I.T. assistance.
Atlanta Opera Technology Adoption In both benchmark studies the ―2010, Nonprofit I.T. Staffing and Spending Survey Report‖ and the ―Arts & I.T.: Technology Adoption and Implementation in Arts Organizations,‖ asked nonprofits to indicate their overall adoption of technology. The self-assessment provided by the Atlanta Opera was a ranking of ―average.‖ The average benchmark response was that most nonprofits consider themselves as ―average‖ also, with 428 of the 972 reporting this (C. Bernard and K. Bernard 15). The ―Arts & I.T.‖ benchmark also noted similar findings with ―the overall average response…[of] 3.44… on a scale of 1 indicating ―lagging behind‖, and 7 as ―cutting edge‖ (Center for Arts Management and Technology 15). This average ranking of 3.44 indicating that most organizations felt they were almost were they needed to be. Figure 4.5: Technology Adoption Among Nonprofit Organizations Atlanta Opera Comparison
140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 2010 Nonprofit IT Staffing & Spending Benchmar 2011 Arts & IT Tech Adoption Atlanta Opera Tech Adoption
This self-assessment is one of the first indicators of how well a nonprofit organization believes their technology usage and adoption is, while the actual results found from the Atlanta
Opera‘s survey results, seemed to suggest they may be a little further behind than they think. This analysis can be attributed to following: lack of funding, staff, training, planning, and integration of technology into the organization.
Budget, Staff, and Planning of Information Technology Like the commercial social network benchmark studies, these two studies also focused on the budgets devoted to adopting and implementing information technology (I.T.). The 2010 study identifies organizations by the following sizes: small organizations = under $500,000; medium = $500,000 to $3 million; large = $3million to $10 million; very large = over $10 million (C. Bernard and K. Bernard 11). While the 2011 study offers the following categories for organizational budget: small = under $500,000; medium = $500,000 to $2.5 million; large = $2.5 million to $5 million; very large = over $5 million (Center for Arts Management and Technology 5). According to these organizational benchmark studies classification systems, the Atlanta Opera falls into the ―large‖ category for the 2010 benchmark, and ―very large‖ category in the 2011 category, with an annual operating budget of $5.4 million. While spending trends among large and very large organizations show they are more likely to have I.T. Departments, as well as provide more ability to fund I.T. related expenses, the Atlanta Opera does fall short in both organization categories. Without an I.T. Department, the only source of technology assistance this organization receives is from ―about one I.T. consultant.‖ In comparison, organizations that fell within the large and very large categories were able to produce an I.T. budget of $80,000 (large) and $382,726 (very large), while the
Atlanta Opera chose not to report a numerical figure regarding this, they did indicate they were ―not at all satisfied with the amount of total organization budget allocated to I.T.‖ Since the Atlanta Opera continued to provide an overall dissatisfaction with their budget for I.T., quality of hardware and software, integration of I.T. into the organization‘s strategic plan, as well as the availability of I.T. to respond to organization needs, it is interesting that they believe their organization was ―average‖ regarding technology adoption. Furthermore, the dissatisfaction of with their organization‘s ability to integrate technology adoption into its strategic plan is also somewhat un-characteristic of large and very large organizations. Of the large organizations 43% have established technology plans, while 59% of very large organizations do, the Atlanta Opera does not have a technology plan at all. Therefore, one conclusion as to why the Atlanta Opera found notated their selfassessment as ―average‖ may lie in this organization‘s contentment with its website and the fact that most of their major technology needs, as found in their survey results, revolve around the use of commercial social networks, of which are adequately staffed at 2 FTE.
4.2.4 Summary From the Commercial Social Network, House Social Network, and Nonprofit I.T. Survey responses, it is clear that technology has an important role at the Atlanta Opera. For the most part, this organization is utilizing Facebook and Twitter fairly well. There are of course ways to further these efforts, and seeing they have the staff to dedicate to commercial social networking efforts makes this all the more possible. As for their ability to create a House Social Network,
this is an area, for the time being, that is better left undone. Establishing a budget and plan for future technology adoption at the Atlanta Opera, should be a top priority for this organization. Therefore, some of the challenges the organization faces continue to be shown through the I.T. staffing issues, over extending its use of commercial social networks on 9 platforms, and their lack of budget devoted to technology in general. However, with continued planning and budget dedicated to these efforts, the Atlanta Opera will be able to better handle its growing technology needs.
4.3 Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA) Background Information Celebrating its twelfth year in existence, MOCA GA has featured ―nearly 700 works by 250 Georgia artists,‖ since its inception in ―variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, photography, installation, and more‖ (Mocaga.org). The organization was co-founded by the president of CGR Advisors (an Atlanta-based real estate company), David S. Golden, and wellknown Georgia artist, and now President/CEO/ and Director of MOCA GA, Annette ConeSkelton. The museum was initially started with ―the extensive collections of Atlanta-based CGR Advisors…and Golden‘s person collection‖ (Mocaga.org). The organization continues to seek and bring some of Georgia‘s best artists to their gallery every year. The purpose of this case study is to research how MOCA GA invests in, implements, and maintains new, social, and digital media as well as information technology in a nonprofit organizational setting. By examining MOCA GA‘s use of new, social, and digital media, as well
as information technology adoption, this case study will explore how budgets, fundraising, devotion of staff, and measuring of return on investment occurs for its commercial social networks, as well as house social network use. The first series of survey questions presented to the MOCA GA staff, regarded the use of Commercial Social Networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. The second series of questions focused on the use of a House Social Network, which is a social network built within an organization‘s own website (see section 4.3.2 House Social Network Survey Data for further information). Both series of survey questions had one respondent, the Grants Manager for MOCA GA.
4.3.1 Commercial Social Network Survey Data While MOCA GA is categorized in the ―Small Organization‖ category with a budget of $726,000, their survey results provided some pretty exciting findings for its size. A further look into this organization did however prove the difficulties smaller organizations must face as they expand their social networking and technology efforts. Like most nonprofit organizations, MOCA GA maintains an online presence with 3 of the top 5, social network sites. These are Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The additional and fairly newer site they are utilizing is the location-based, check-in site known as Four Square. Taking a closer look at the each of these sites fan bases provide evidence of which ones are the most vital to this organization.
Figure 4.6: MOCA GA‘s Commercial Social Network Comparison
7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 2010 Nonprofit Commercial Social Benchmark 2011 Nonprofit Commercial Social Benchmark 2011 MOCA GA Social Network Statistics
It is clear that MOCA GA places most of its commercial social network efforts into utilizing the top site – Facebook. While the Facebook nonprofit fan base average was 6,376 for all sized organizations, MOCA GA‘s numbers are a bit lower at 2,305 friends. What this number suggests is that the organization is still in fan base building mode. In fact, it appears the overall usage and number of fans on each of its social network sites indicates they are all in fan base building mode. Even MOCA GA‘s Twitter account is slightly lower than the average of 1,822, with their followers at 1,155. Its usage of YouTube also pales in comparison to the average statistics from 2011 of 2,702 subscribers, with MOCA GA‘s site having only 9 subscribers. They do not have a presence on LinkedIn or Flickr. However, for a smaller organization, these numbers will prove to be impressive when discussing the staff devoted to their maintenance in the next section. The results from MOCA GA‘s overall usage of commercial social networks suggest the organization
is still learning about these sites, and what they have to offer before investing more time into them since both their LinkedIn and Flickr accounts have not been created yet.
Budget Devoted to Commercial Social Networks With an annual budget of $726,000, it is not surprising that, like most sized nonprofit organizations (48%), MOCA GA does not have a social network budget. This finding is even less surprising since the organization only maintains a presence on 3 of the top 5 commercial social networks. While the organization is in the fan base building phase for most of their social network sites, they will begin to be able to see which of these are better suited for their overall use, and future investment. Furthermore, only 11% of small nonprofits, like the MOCA GA, stated they devoted a budget of more than $10,000, towards social networking efforts, it is still a very small percentage of all sized organizations doing so. As this organization‘s operating budget increases, it may have future abilities to invest in a commercial social network budget. Staff Devoted to Maintaining Commercial Networks One of the most exciting findings regarding MOCA GA‘s commercial social network use, came from their survey results about staff devoted to these sites. The finding was even more astonishing considering that MOCA GA only employs 5 full-time staff members. When asked the number of staff devoted to maintaining this organization‘s social networking sites, the participant indicated that 2 FTE staff did so. This shows that the organization has placed value in social networking efforts, while they may not be able to monetarily invest in these efforts through ad placements or hiring a social media strategist, they are investing 25% of employee
time into them yearly. The allotment of 25% of time towards these efforts is about average from the benchmark standpoint, but considering the size of this organization staff as a whole, the number is quite impressive. This devotion of 2 FTE staff members further suggests that MOCA GA, is truly devoting some of its commercial social network efforts into building those larger fan bases. Creating larger fan bases will be another great way for this organization to tap into their ability to fundraise on these sites. However, a rather interesting finding from seeing how many staff members are employed here, came from the titles of each staff member. One title missing was for a marketing, communications, or public relations staff member. MOCA GA does not employ any of these staff members. The survey questions from these benchmark studies did not ask about the overall makeup of each organization‘s staff base, i.e. ―Does your organization have a marketing, communication, or public relations department devoted to maintaining your social networks?‖ This finding is extremely interesting when considering how this organization will further use social media sites and calculate their return on investment.
Measuring Return On Investment (ROI) of Commercial Social Networks MOCA GA indicated in survey results that they do not have a commercial social network strategy at all. In fact, their primary purpose for utilizing their social networking sites was for programming. This result is somewhat confusing since, it would appear as though the organization wants to engage patrons about their programming. In other words, it appears that their primary use is actually for communications or marketing for upcoming events. That said,
the previous section revealed this organization does not employ a marketing, communications, or public relations staff member at all. This may be the reason for the selection of ―programming‖ as their primary focus. Therefore, it is not actually too surprising that MOCA GA does not have a commercial social network strategy or does not measure its ROI from its uses of these sites. However, while MOCA GA does have 2 FTE staff members devoted to maintaining these sites, it appears as though there is a lack of knowledge regarding how to plan for social network use. In comparison though, only 8% of small nonprofit organizations were measuring their ROI from social networks. While MOCA GA is right on target in this area, it is still rather concerning to see there is not one department dedicated to marketing and communicating about this organization‘s events.
Fundraising On Commercial Social Networks Like most nonprofits (52%) organizations of all sizes, MOCA GA is also not fundraising through commercial social networks. This is not too surprising since the organization does not have a Development or Fundraising Department, only a Grants Manger. For future fundraising efforts though, this organization has the potential to become a ―Master Social Fundrasier,‖ which as mentioned previously, is where an organization raises over $100,000 yearly using social networks. Once the organization bring their fan bases up to the average benchmark numbers, there is an excellent chance MOCA GA could reach this ―Master Social Fundraiser Status,‖ since they are already devoting 2 FTE staff members, which is comparatively greater than what most nonprofits are doing, and because the benchmark studies show that 30% of ―Master Social
Fundraisers‖ came in the size of small organizations (See Table 1.1) (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud). This is extremely encouraging for MOCA GA, since the benchmark studies show organizations of similar size are reaching this status.
Source: NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 4 In contrast, however, for MOCA GA to reach this status they will need to start setting goals for social network efforts whether those are marketing or fundraising. The 2011 Benchmark study notes that, ―one in ten (9.5%) who measure their Facebook fundraising revenue also brought in more than $10,000 over the last year, compared to less than 3% of nonprofits on Facebook generally‖ (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 24).
4.3.2 House Social Network Survey Data MOCA GA really appears to be in the beginning stages of its social networking efforts; therefore, it is not surprising that this organization does not have a house social network. It is clear that the organization is using social networks with some intentions, but these intentions are still being shaped and formed to fit the organization s needs. Therefore, the only information collected in this portion of the survey is in regards to why the MOCA GA does not have a house social network. The participant of this survey indicated that lack of staff and budget were the two contributing factors leading to this result. Also, for an organization with an annual budget of $726,000, there is most likely not enough of the budget to be spread around to something that may not hold a lot of potential for them. Like MOCA GA, 77% of nonprofits do not have house social networks for similar reasons. In fact, 64% of the nonprofits in the 2011 benchmark study stated a lack of staff and budget (like the ASO), while 47% claimed a lack of expertise for the reason, and 44% feel a lack of strategy keeps them from creating one (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 15).
4.3.3 Technology Usage and Adoption Survey Data This portion of the case study focuses on how MOCA GA invests in, implements, and maintains technology within their organization. The survey results focused on if the organization is adopting hardware, software, staff, and on-going training for the use of technology as well. Since this organization falls within the ―Medium Organization‖ category for these I.T.
Benchmark Studies, the results from this survey really provide evidence of the struggles similar nonprofits experience.
MOCA GA Technology Adoption In both benchmark studies the ―2010, Nonprofit I.T. Staffing and Spending Survey Report‖ and the ―Arts & I.T.: Technology Adoption and Implementation in Arts Organizations,‖ asked nonprofits to indicate their overall adoption of technology. The self-assessment provided by MOCA GA was that of ―lagging behind.‖ While the benchmark average response was that their technology adoption and usage was ―average,‖ with 428 of the 972 organizations reporting this (C. Bernard and K. Bernard 15). The ―Arts & I.T.‖ benchmark also noted similar findings with ―the overall average response…[of] 3.44… on a scale of 1 indicating ―lagging behind‖, and 7 as ―cutting edge‖ (Center for Arts Management and Technology 15). This average ranking of 3.44 indicating that most organizations felt they were almost were they needed to be. However, MOCA GA‘s self-assessment indicates larger issues the organization is facing in adopting technology and I.T. staff.
Figure 4.7: Technology Adoption Among Nonprofit Organizations
140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 2010 Nonprofit IT Staffing & Spending Benchmar 2011 Arts & IT Tech Adoption MOCA GA
This self-assessment of ―lagging behind,‖ is very revealing, but the participant provided additional information in the survey, responding that this self-assessment was based on the fact that the organization had ―no budget for I.T. adoption.‖
Budget, Staff, and Planning of Information Technology Like the commercial social network benchmark studies, these two studies also focused on the budgets devoted to adopting and implementing information technology (I.T.). The 2010 study identifies organizations by the following sizes: small organizations = under $500,000; medium = $500,000 to $3 million; large = $3million to $10 million; very large = over $10 million (C. Bernard and K.Bernard 11). While the 2011 study offers the following categories for
organizational budget: small = under $500,000; medium = $500,000 to $2.5 million; large = $2.5 million to $5 million; very large = over $5 million (Center for Arts Management and Technology 5). According to these organizational benchmark studies classification systems, as mentioned earlier, MOCA GA falls into the ―medium‖ category for both benchmarks, with an annual operating budget of $726,000. Having the response that this organization has no budget for I.T. is clearly evident when seeing the overall annual budget figure. Therefore, it is not surprising to that when asked about the maintenance of I.T. related issues, that there was no I.T. Department or one full-time staff member. In fact, the survey participant provided another additional response in this portion of the survey: ―We do not have a staff person dedicated to I.T. We use a pro bono volunteer so we are completely dependent on him and his work schedule.‖ This information is extremely beneficial to understanding the challenges this organization will have when adopting technology in the future. In comparison, the average medium sized organization was devoting 72.15% of their annual budgets towards I.T. staffing, which is a very large and an almost impossible amount to believe that goes towards these efforts. Furthermore, it shows that while I.T. related staff are needed, it is extremely difficult for organizations, especially those lacking the funds to spread around, to attain a higher technology self-assessment status, and overall satisfaction of their technology use, as well as future adoption. While spending trends larger organizations show they are more likely to have I.T. Departments, as well as provide more ability to fund I.T. related expenses, even in the medium sized category, MOCA falls short of what are considered average expectations. However, as mentioned previously, with only 5 total full-time staff members, not having any I.T. staff or budget for a department is not too surprising.
It is also not surprising that MOCA GA was generally dissatisfied with the integration of I.T. into the organization‘s strategic plan, availability of I.T. to respond to staff needs, the quality of hardware and software in use, the amount of budget dedicated towards I.T. Comparatively, many of the benchmark organizations stated dissatisfaction in similar areas such as I.T. budget allocations at 45%, integration of I.T. into the organization‘s strategic plan at 38%, and availability to meet staff and client needs 25% (C. Bernard and K. Bernard 33).
4.3.4 Summary MOCA GA has put forth a great deal of effort when it comes to Commercial Social Networks and technology adoption. The organization is in the fan base building phase with most of their commercial social networks, but they have 2 FTE devoted to these efforts, which create positive outcomes for future uses of these sites. Furthermore, having 2 FTE staff will also help this organization begin fundraising and boost its efforts to become ―Master Social Fundraisers,‖ too. While the organization does not have a full-time I.T. staff member, they are fortunate to have a pro bono individual to help when he is available. However, without an I.T. strategy integrated into the organizations strategic plan, this nonprofit will continue to lag behind other organizations of similar sizes. With more devotion to planning commercial social network use, and technology adoption, this organization has the potential to slowly create a better technology environment for their nonprofit.
Chapter 5 Research and Findings By surveying the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO), the Atlanta Opera, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA), to compare their technology findings to similar nonprofit organizations from benchmark studies, it is clear that not all commercial social networking and technology adoption efforts are equal. These Atlanta-based nonprofits are varied in budget, which ultimately defines each organization‘s size and overall ability to implement commercial social and house social network efforts, as well as technology adoption. The findings from the surveys conducted with each of these organizations, provides evidence of different challenges and obstacles that could be preventing them from maximizing their usage of social media as well as technology efforts.
5.1 Key Findings Not surprisingly, the key factors indicating a nonprofit organization‘s ability to successfully overcome obstacles and challenges of utilizing commercial and house social networks, as well as technology, are largely based on the overall resources the organization has to devote to each of these. The resources that directly affect an organization‘s use of all types of social networks and technology adoption lie in their budget as well as number of staff. Based upon the benchmark findings, and the surveys with the ASO, the Atlanta Opera, and MOCA GA, these two key factors consistently emerged. Interestingly, these two key factors also continue to
be the largest predictors for the types of challenges, as well as obstacles each size nonprofit will encounter when dealing with commercial social networks, and technology adoption. From the benchmark studies, and surveys conducted with these Atlanta-based nonprofits, it is clear that budgets can either be an organization‘s key to success in many areas, such as programming, fundraising, acquiring highly qualified staff, or disseminating funding in areas of need, or one of their largest challenges. Budgets are especially challenging if there is a lack of funds to spread around the organization. Based on the research and findings, budgets are one of the biggest indicators of an organization‘s ability to utilize all types of social networks and technology long-term, as well as a great predictor for the types of challenges each size organization will encounter. This information does not mean nonprofits with a lack of funding cannot create and implement social media and technology adoption plans. It just means there will need to be more research into free analytic social media tools, the costs of associated software and hardware technology, as well as better long-term strategies for these technologies.
5.2 Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Challenges, Obstacles, and Maximization Having the largest operating budget of all three organizations ($46 million annually), the ASO has a medium to large organization (depending on the benchmark study). The organization does allocate a designated portion of their budget towards social networking and technology, which is consistent with organizations of a similar size. Annually the ASO devotes between $10,000 and $25,000 (based on survey findings) towards its social networking efforts, or less than 1% of their operating budget. While this amount is relatively minute in comparison to the organization‘s overall budget, it is significant for several reasons. First, it indicates that this
nonprofit has associated a positive value to social networking, and due to this they have also placed a monetary value for investing in social networking efforts. Second, the ASO indicates it has measured return on investment (ROI) of its social media usage; therefore, it has determined and associated value, trust, as well as seen results in the overall abilities of social networking efforts for engaging supporters, marketing, and fundraising. However, having a larger budget devoted towards social networking and technology does not always equal problem free usage. Larger budgeted organizations tend to have more responsibilities not only to their online network constituents when it comes to updates or posts, but they also have higher organizational expectations and goals based on what they hope these social networking sites are going to provide their organization with. Therefore, in some cases, the larger the budget, the more responsibility there is to maintaining or up-keeping the growing needs with each technology platform. Although the ASO does have a larger budget to invest in social networking, this leads to another challenge, which is keeping computer hardware and software up to date. Since the ASO is an umbrella organization underneath the Woodruff Arts Center (WAC), they are fortunate enough to have an Information Technology (I.T.) Department, which is not a common occurrence amongst most nonprofits. Because of this, the ASO is able to have qualified I.T. staff assist with maintaining their computers (hardware) and software, from which they utilize to perform their jobs or to update social networks. However, being under an umbrella organization like the WAC also produces unique challenges for the ASO. Since the WAC I.T. Department staff members are there to provide assistance to all of the other umbrella organizations including the Alliance Theatre, the High Museum of Art, and Young Audiences, the ASO must sometimes
compete for I.T. support. Therefore, sometimes having larger budgets to dedicate towards more updated hardware and software at the ASO may create additional levels of support that the WAC I.T. staff cannot handle, producing a limit to how quickly the ASO can continue to grow its technology and social network efforts. In fact, from the I.T. technology survey conducted with the WAC I.T. participant, they noted that their department was inadequately staffed with between 11-13 FTE supporting the WAC umbrella organizations I.T. needs. Consequently, the ASO‘s ability to invest in technology and social networks may be somewhat hindered by an inadequately staffed I.T. Department, creating a challenge for the I.T. staff to meet the growing technology demands of the ASO. Having an inadequately staffed I.T. Department creates yet another challenge for the ASO staff. In order to execute social media efforts to their fullest or utilize the technology their organization has, the ASO staff may need to be more familiar with the software and technology they are using to self-solve any issues at times. Having to self-solve computer issues was a prevalent issue across all organization sizes, regardless of having an I.T. Department or not. Having a knowledgeable staff dedicated to using social networks, was however an area where the ASO excelled. Based on the survey findings, the ASO is sufficiently using about 2 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff members to maintain their social networks. This is an important for a few reasons. According to the benchmark studies, organizations devoting at least 2 FTE staff members to their commercial social networking efforts were more successful in the following ways: growing community member bases, fundraising, setting goals, measuring ROI, and seeing results based on their usage of social networks (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud). Having enough
staff members to maintain social networks also proved a positive correlation for planning its overall use, of which the ASO survey participants reported. While the ASO has the budget and staff to devote to many important aspects of utilizing commercial social networks, another obstacle that manifested itself throughout their survey was a lack of consistency in cross-departmental answers. Having a larger dedicated staff team working on multiple projects can sometimes lead to miscommunication between departments. This is especially true for an organization that employees 76 FTE staff members, plus seasonal employees, interns, board members, and other volunteers. This miscommunication was evident throughout some of the ASO‘s survey results. For example, there were inconsistencies in the reported amount of budget devoted to maintaining social networks, where one staff member reported a figure between $1,000 and $5,000, while another staff member said the figure was between $10,000 and $25,000 (the latter was the correct answer). A solution to this obstacle is to create a cross-departmental social network plan. Or have each department map out their usage of social networks and send around to all departments. These types of plans would continue to allow staff members to see how and when social networks would be utilized throughout different departments at the ASO, as well as the setting of goals by which these efforts are to be measured. Also, establishing follow-up meetings discussing the usage and efforts of social networks would help diminish any miscommunication between cross-departmental usage of the organization‘s social networks. Overall the ASO in comparison to the benchmark studies, is excelling in utilizing social networks and information technologies, while they
5.3 The Atlanta Opera’s Challenges, Obstacles, and Maximization Based on the Atlanta Opera‘s survey results, this organization falls under the ―Small Organization‖ category ($5.3 million annually) although, it is at the higher end of this category (Small Organization‘s are between $1 million to $5.9 million), which produces some interesting and not so interesting findings (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud). Like most organizations, the Atlanta Opera has no dedicated budget toward either investing in or maintaining its social networks. However, not having a budget for commercial social networks, as Chapter 4 stated, is a common occurrence (48% have no formal social network budget), which is typical for all sized nonprofits. To create a small social network budget between $1,000 and $5,000, the Atlanta Opera would need to devote between .01% to .09% of their overall budget towards these efforts, which appears to be a relatively small amount. However, with smaller organizations, dedicating even the smallest portion of their budget to maintaining social networks may be a real challenge for several reasons. For the Atlanta Opera, one very large reason this may not be possible is due to their own budget struggles. As recently as 2009, the opera was forced to cut back on programming for its 2010-2011 season due to rising debt and lack of an endowment. The Atlanta Opera was forced to reducing its normally ―4-season repertoire to just three performances a season,‖ as well as cutting ―its overall budget from $7million to about $5.2 – a 25% decrease‖ consequently, the opera has made its fair share of budgetary sacrifices in recent years, and may simply not have the funding to invest in social network budgets (Hernandez 60). In situations such as this, with no endowment and rising debt, nonprofits are forced to make sacrifices in areas where they can, i.e. new hardware, software, or adoption of social network budgets. This type of budget restriction
produces a leaner organization as a whole, which can hinder further advancement in mission based efforts, staffing, as well as overall technology budgets, adoption, and planning. Furthermore, it not surprising with these survey results, that the Atlanta Opera does not have an I.T. Department. Due to this, survey figures show a consistent un-satisfaction with most I.T. related functions including training provided to staff, integration of I.T. into the organization‘s strategic plan, and overall ability to resolve a variety of I.T. related issues. These findings are not too unexpected since the Atlanta Opera does not have a dedicated I.T. Department, and states there is ―about one full-time person,‖ that is outsourced from a consulting firm contributing to the organization‘s technology health. With no budget put towards social networking and a lack of an I.T. Department, many of the technology responsibilities will continue to fall upon regular staff members (i.e non-I.T.) creating an undue burden where time, resources, and knowledge may already be stretched thin. On a positive note however, the Atlanta Opera consistently answered satisfactorily regarding the amount of staff dedicated to maintaining its social networking efforts. Despite having no social networking budget, the organization revealed it does have 2 FTE staff members dedicated to updating and maintaining the organization‘s online presence, as well as measuring its overall usage. This is an important indicator for several reasons since the organization‘s primary purposes for utilizing these sites are for marketing. Also, having 2 FTE staff members updating these sites allows for communication amongst a small social networking staff base, which can help eliminate miscommunication or deviation from the intended purposes for utilizing these sites. In addition, while the opera stated it is not using any social networking site to fundraise, benchmark reports consistently show that allocating at least 2 or more FTE staff
members to social network sites, along with planning its use, can result in even the smallest organizations becoming ―Master Social Network Fundraisers‖ or those raising more than $100,000 yearly (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 25). By already dedicating 2 FTE staff members to maintaining social networks, the Atlanta Opera could begin its efforts to increase its overall budget, and build its endowment fund by utilizing social networks to fundraise. Other interesting findings regarding the social networking sites the opera invests an online presence with indicate the organization may be trying to maintain too many of these sites. While the organization as a whole employs 31 people, including 3 seasonal staff members, only 2 FTE are dedicated to social networking maintenance (Atlantaopera.org). Of the top 5 social networking sites, the Atlanta Opera states they are maintaining 9-total social network accounts including some of the less well known and newer sites, such as Four Square, Yelp, Picasa, and Causes. The benchmark studies suggest choosing your organization‘s social networking sites carefully so that your organization can ―learn the difference [between these sites] and build your community with the tools that suit you and are used by your supporters‖ (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud 26). Finding the social network sites that are doing the most good for this organization could eliminate the focus off of those that are not serving the opera very well. Focusing more attention and efforts on stronger social networks could be a great way for this organization to grow its fan communities, boost engagement, ticket sales, and fundraise, to name a few. On the other hand, the Atlanta Opera states they are measuring their ROI for marketing efforts utilizing social networks. Their efforts include some of the more basic areas for
measuring, such as site visitor volume and customer feedback with responses. While the opera specified a positive inclination towards their overall usage of social networks stating, they were ―valuable‖ to their organization, it appears that both in budget and fundraising terms, this organization does not put much faith or dependence upon what social networking sites could do for their mission, or future organizational goals.
5.4 MOCA GA Challenges, Obstacles, and Maximization According to MOCA GA‘s annual budget ($726,000), this organization is also placed in the ―Small Organization‖ category and provided some of the more typical small organization responses (based on benchmark study findings). Like the Atlanta Opera, MOCA GA does not have any formal budget dedicated to its use of social networks. Budget for this organization continues to be a significant factor for its overall ability to adopt funding towards technology efforts, including its social networks. In order for this organization to dedicate between $1,000 and $5,000 yearly towards social networking, the organization would need to devote .13% to .68% of their annual operating budget towards this cause. While this monetary value is somewhat small, in real terms, this funding could go towards purchasing a new art piece for the gallery‘s permanent collection, paying utility bills, or covering a small grant that did not come through. In real terms, a minute budgetary devotion to social networking efforts for ―Small Organizations‖ is inherently much more challenging for them, than for medium, large, or very large organizations.
However, MOCA GA, like other small nonprofits are looking for ways to improve their overall social networking abilities and technology adoption. Since MOCA GA has no budget dedicated towards social networking, it is not surprising that they do not have a dedicated I.T. Department either. But, again not having an I.T. Department, is a common occurrence among all nonprofits, regardless of the size of their budgets (Center for Arts Management and Technology); (C. Bernard and K. Bernard). However, an important finding from this survey is that this organization recognizes the value of technology adoption within their organization. In fact, MOCA GA has secured an outsourced I.T. consultant from a firm, to provide ―in-kind‖ technology assistance for their organization, which allows this organization to explore future technology adoption. This proves their understanding of the how important technology is to growing nonprofits, but also presents their organization with unique challenges simultaneously. The survey participant noted that while this consultant donates their time, they are completely dependent upon him and his schedule should they need immediate assistance or help updating their website. Being dependent upon a volunteer for technology can definitely hinder the organization‘s ability to successfully update their website, resolve I.T related issues, and place more burdens upon regular staff to handle technology problems of which they know nothing about. While small organizations like MOCA GA understand the importance of technology, they may have more of a difficult time advancing their organization‘s mission and goals utilizing outdated hardware and software, due to lack of funding for I.T. support , and overall lagging behind in long-term technology adoption. On a positive note, this organization, as mentioned previously, does feel technology is an important factor to their nonprofit, despite not having a large budget to dedicate to it. That is why
it is surprising to find they are dedicating 2 FTE staff members to maintaining the organization‘s social networking sites. Even more surprising is the fact that MOCA GA employs a total of 5 full-time staff members. This number is all the more impressive since only 2% of all sized organizations devote this amount of staff to social network efforts (NTEN, Common Knowledge, and Blackbaud). Interestingly, the organization also noted their primary purpose for utilizing social networks revolved around programming, and stated the maintenance of these sites was a ―cross-departmental‖ effort. While devoting 2 FTE staff members to maintaining social networks, it would appear as though this organization feels its overall feedback and usage of these sites would be considered ―very valuable.‖ However, MOCA GA ranked its social network feedback and usage as only ―somewhat valuable.‖ A ranking of only ―somewhat valuable,‖ for social network feedback and usage, reveals another important correlation. First, MOCA GA may be hesitant to put much value or hope in what social networking efforts could do for their organization. Second, they may have a lack of understanding of why investing in social networking efforts is important for their organization, and third, not measuring or setting any goals to use social networks by, can create less value in the overall apparent abilities of these sites. All of these reasonings continue to prove why this organization believes social networks are only ―somewhat valuable,‖ and an important indicator of why they lack a consumer social network strategy. The survey results state this lack of strategy is due to a deficient budget, staff, and overall ability and knowledge to create such a social networking plan. Interestingly, MOCA GA does not employ Marketing, Communications, or Public Relations staff members, which typically have knowledge or training in planning, implementing, and measuring social media efforts (Scott and Jacka). Rather, this organization‘s
focus seems to be on programming, fundraising, and facility up-keep (according to their staff make-up). It appears their overall lack of social network and technology planning, as well as funding are largely due to being understaffed, therefore they may be utilizing social networks and technology to the best of their ability. One more important finding that could be very useful for MOCA GA is the fact that they are devoting 2 FTE staff members to social networking efforts. As mentioned previously, this along with building large community fan bases on the two major social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter, can produce significant fundraising results. In order to become a ―Master Social Fundraiser,‖ raising $100,000 or more yearly through social networks, has been proven possible by utilizing 2 FTE staff members to undertake, plan, and maintain such initiatives. While MOCA GA has limited staff, there is a great possibility this organization could set out on a social network fundraising campaign in order to finance additional technology adoption in the future, or support other important areas where the organization is in need. Furthermore, MOCA GA could likely improve its overall social networking abilities with the assistance of a Social Media Manager or Strategist to provide pro-bono assistance in this area. The Atlanta-area has a variety of communication and public relation firms such as 360 Media, Karen West PR, and Liz Lapidus Public Relations, just to name a few which work with nonprofit organizations, and may offer discounted rates or volunteer their time. Otherwise, there are several websites which provide step-by-step techniques create social media strategies, ideas on setting goals, and ways to assess the overall outcomes. Some of these sites include ―Beth‘s Blog‖ at www.bethkanter.org; www.nonprofitorgs.wordpress.com; other sites include the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) at www.nten.org; and Tech Soup a ―Technology Place
for Nonprofits,‖ at www.techsoup.org. All of these sites have trained social media and I.T. professional sharing information and tips on ways to plan, implement, as well as measure the utilization of these tools. Furthermore, there are a variety of books continuously being published that could be very beneficial to MOCA GA‘s social media and technology efforts, such as the Networked Nonprofit, Auditing Social Media: A Governance and Risk Guide, Hands-On Social Marketing: A Step-by-Step Guide to Designing Change for Good, and The Participatory Museum, to name a few.
5.5 Understanding the Findings From these three-Atlanta based organizations, it is clear that all budgetary sizes can have the opportunities to make the most out of their utilization of social media and technology efforts. All three organizations faired very well in their utilization and adoption of social networks, having larger fan bases than many of the benchmark nonprofits. However, like many of the nonprofits throughout the benchmarks, the Atlanta Opera and MOCA GA struggled with adopting strategies, unlike the ASO. The notion of creating budgets for social media were also other elements not occurring at the Atlanta Opera and MOCA GA, while the ASO had discrepancies among staff on deciding how much of a budget they devoted to this area. Average responses from the referenced studies indicated most nonprofits were not devoting budgets towards social media, however, the larger the organization, the higher the probability of this was occurring. Otherwise, like most organizations the Atlanta Opera and MOCA GA were not raising funds through social networks, and the ASO again had discrepancies as to the actual dollar value they had raised. Statistically speaking though, all of these nonprofits have the potential to
become ―Master Social Fundraisers,‖ in that they are all devoting 2 FTE towards their social networking efforts, which was the minimum number needed to raise over $100,000 through these sites. In many ways these organizations fully represented the gamut of various budgets, staff sizes, and overall different levels of technology adoption. Like the benchmark studies, these three organizations are slowly working to understand the value of social media, and information technology, as well as the benefits these tools could provide them with. It is not surprising that relying on outsourced and in-kind I.T. assistance can create slower adoption of these tools, just as the benchmarks predicted. While the ASO proved to be a great example for the Atlanta Opera and MOCA GA to follow in terms of levels of adoption and implementation of these tools, at the same time, the highly structured nature of this organization, has become an obstacle for them. The discrepancies in survey answers show that inter-organizational communications must occur for everyone to be on the same page in all regards, including social media and technology use.
5.6 Summary The survey results from the ASO, the Atlanta Opera, and MOCA GA continue to prove, all organization‘s social networking efforts are not equal. While many larger organizations are more capable of funding social networking and technology efforts, they also face challenges that can be quite overwhelming, requiring further budgetary funding, staffing, as well as overall ongoing, long-term efforts for resolution. Organizations like the ASO which are doing many things well in terms of social network utilization also face another obstacle regarding crossdepartmental communication. As seen throughout their survey results, a lack of consistency in
some of the survey results proves there is disconnect between how one department versus how another is utilizing social networks. While this may be a common problem amongst larger organizations, creating stronger cross-departmental social network plans and follow-up meetings would provide better communication in general in this area. Unlike the ASO however, the Atlanta Opera, and MOCA GA tend to showcase many of the typical ―Small Organization‖ social network and technology issues seen throughout the benchmark study findings. The largest problems these organizations face are simply a lack of resources to devote to improving the overall quality and usage of social networks, as well as future technology adoption. In this sense, lack of budget and staff are the main culprits. However, both organizations are doing some things quite well, such as their devotion of 2 FTE staff members to maintain their social networking sites. Unfortunately, it appears that not understanding the full capabilities or placing priorities elsewhere within their organizations are practically making them miss one of the largest opportunities to raise funds. While all size organizations have the potential to utilize social networks to the best of their abilities, it appears that without proper acknowledgement of this, budget, staff, planning, measuring, and additional resources, there will continue to be missed opportunities in this evergrowing realm of technology. Therefore, it is impertinent for nonprofit organizations to take a closer look into how they are currently using social networks, and their overall technology adoption, so that they may find ways to overcome any obstacles in order to maximize their overall usage. Without taking a closer look into technology usage at nonprofits, many organizations will continue to place little value in what it can do for their organizations.
Chapter 6 Conclusion The findings in this study are representative of the challenges and obstacles organizations encounter when adopting, as well as implementing social media, and technology in a nonprofit environment. It is the utilization of these technology tools without purpose and goals that can create further issues when trying to maximize their usage of them. Not understanding that social networks are for engaging fan bases in two-way conversations, the purpose of creating strategies and goals, or why aligning your social networking efforts with the organization‘s mission, are just some of the pitfalls resulting in a lack of value regarding online communication tools such as these. Creating a study that investigates these issues and why they occur is a start at remedying the situation to help nonprofits to stop using social networks haphazardly. By taking a deeper look at how the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO), the Atlanta Opera, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA), adopt and utilize social networks and technology, this study provides an important framework for other nonprofits to reference in order to conduct similar technology audits at their organizations. Furthermore, this chapter will focus on how nonprofits can begin to create working social networking strategies including goals to measure by, suggestions for resources to assist in these efforts, and provide information on how to manage these activities effectively.
6.1 Creating Social Media Strategies, Goals, and Policies Many nonprofits struggle to understand that social networks are created with the intentions of being used for two-way conversations, not one-sided advertising. Understanding this is the first element to taking charge and building awareness about your nonprofits mission and goals. Reading, listening, sharing, and discussing content are the four pillars to evaluating your social network fan base and the pathway to creating strategies (Gunelius). Once this understanding happens, it will be clearer what type of tone, and message your fan bases will be most responsive to. First, however, having staff members aware of how social networks are to be used on behalf of the nonprofit is another issue that should be addressed, and honestly should be one of the first things the organization does before allowing staff members to use these sites for them. There are many free resources and examples of ―Social Media Policies,‖ created by other nonprofits. These policies provide guidelines regarding procedures for how staff is to maintain, respond, and behave while utilizing these networks on behalf of the organization. These social media policies should include the following: A statement of purpose for the policies to encourage the use of social media. A reminder that everyone is responsible for what they write. Encouragement to step out from behind the logo and be authentic. A reminder of who the audiences are and what they mean to the organization. An exhortation to use good judgment. The need to balance personal and professional roles to help build community. Respect for copyright and fair use.
The need to protect privacy, particularly of clients, and proprietary information. The need to use social media in a way that adds value to the organization. Creating a balance between online and on land activities. (Kanter and Fine 75)
Once these policies are in place, nonprofits can allow staff members to connect and learn more about their fan bases, and what types of messaging will be most beneficial to designing and implementing a strategy around them, there are free online tools to assist in these areas. In other words, there are ways to test the waters of social networking sites before actually diving in with a poorly thought out strategy or even creating a presence on these sites. This can be done by monitoring previous organization posts and the fans that are in turn, sharing the information with their friends, followers, or subscribers. To do this, take notice of individuals that re-share your material, map out how many people they connect with either on a bulletin board on in a Word document. Note how many of those people share your content with others. It sounds complicated, but it can be done and it is a rather simplistic process. If the organization already has an account on Facebook, or Twitter, it can be even easier. The feature called ―Google Alerts,‖ provides email updates regarding anytime your organization‘s name is mentioned online. You can monitor these efforts further by signing up with ―Google Analytics,‖ which provides more in depth information regarding who is visiting your site, ecommerce tracking, measuring site engagement, to tracking sales conversions (Google.com). These tools are all relevant for the three organizations from this study, and offer a great place to start to gain a better understanding of who their fan bases are, what they like about you, and what do not like.
Next, realizing that the conversation does not have to be controlled by your nonprofit to see measurable results will help build stronger social networking strategies. To start this process, align your social network goals with your mission statement. This sounds somewhat general, but the value in doing so will create stronger relationships with your fans, and increase your reputation as well as transparency amongst these individuals. Map out the goals you want to achieve from utilizing a social network platform. These goals should be interwoven with your traditional media marketing such as print ads, newspaper features, or T.V. commercials, and revolve around similar timelines. Building upon these already existing goals will only further enhance social network efforts, increasing the impressions or touch-points of contact for your organization amongst the fan base. Another step in this process is to look at what efforts your organization has already tried with social media. Take note of these, how they were used, why you chose to use them, and afterwards the overall sentiments of what they achieved. Looking back on previous efforts is one easy way to re-calculate future efforts. Once a comprehensive understanding of where previous efforts were focused, and a general perspective of what people are saying and sharing about your organization is mapped out, the strategy to harvest conversations, market, fundraise, and see measurable results will be much clearer. Situating social media goals around the same timeline as traditional goals, will allow a paid versus free analysis to occur, showcasing what the organization was able to achieve through social media versus traditional media. While measuring these efforts is about return-oninvestment, it is also about return-on-interaction (Kanter and Fine). This can start with asking what your organization wants to learn from utilizing the social network. Are they interested in only increasing sales to a particular event or reaching a fundraising goal? If so, the organization
needs to think broader. For example, do they want to learn why their strategy was not as effective as they had hoped it would be for sales or fundraising through social media versus traditional methods? Setting goals for both the organizations social media learning curve, as well as those that can affect the funding are two great ways to begin making better goals, to create strategies by (Kanter and Fine). These goals to start will need to be ―SMART,‖ or ―specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timed‖ (Kanter, Beth's Blog). Maintaining this effective approach to creating strategies and goals to measure by, will generate more need to keep up to speed with how to perform these tasks. The great thing about the survey responses from the ASO, the Atlanta Opera, and MOCA GA, were that they are all utilizing the optimal number of employees to maintain their social networking efforts – 2 FTE‘s. Having 2 FTE‘s will leverage the ability of their nonprofits to coordinate strategies and goals, as well as send them around to other departments for coordination. This will create a more cohesive community within the organization making sure all staff understands what social networking efforts should achieve for a period of time, whether month-to-month, or campaign-to-campaign. One of the last ways to maximize usage of social networking sites is to know that your organization‘s fan base, with which you are actively engaged, can leverage your nonprofits goals to new heights. Trusting that these sites are capable of working on your behalf because you have built sustainable and responsible communities is one of the easiest, most cost-effective methods to seeing results from these tools (Kanter and Fine). The power of word-of-mouth, peer-to-peer feedback and recommendations are among the strongest in the marketing and public relation fields (Tuten).
6.2 Future Research As social networking and computer technologies continue to advance, new studies will be needed to continue to document how nonprofit organizations are utilizing these technologies, and to identify future obstacles and challenges preventing nonprofits from maximizing its use. Suggestions for ways to keep these statistics and findings up-to-date could involve more studies being conducted on the effects of using social networking sites ineffectively. There seems to be a large amount of information regarding how nonprofits are using these sites, but literature and studies on what happens if they are not used effectively is lacking in the field. Also, further research into the types of strategies or methods being used at nonprofits regarding social networking efforts could be valuable, as many organizations are using these sites with little strategy or intention (Scott and Jacka). Future research on social network fundraising efforts would also be very valuable, allowing nonprofits to see how similar sized organizations are able to successfully fundraise online. Further research into how and why some nonprofits are hiring I.T. Staff, as well as creating I.T. Departments would also provide much needed evidence as to which organizations should consider taking similar measures.
6.3 Conclusion While the ASO, the Atlanta Opera, and MOCA GA, all have the potential to utilize social networks to the best of their abilities, it appears that without proper acknowledgement of this, budget, staff, planning, measuring, and additional resources, there will continue to be missed opportunities for each organization trying to successfully utilize social networks as well as
technology. Therefore, it is impertinent for all nonprofit organizations to utilize a variety of sources from social media strategist‘s blogs, to books, and free online seminars. It is also important for these organizations to step-back and look at how they are currently using social networks and technology by recreating the survey audits created in this study on a yearly basis. Audits such as these will allow nonprofits to analyze yearly changes of how they use social networks, as well as their overall technology adoption, so that they may find ways to overcome any obstacles in order to maximize their overall usage. Without taking a closer look into technology usage at nonprofits, many organizations will continue to place little value in what it can do for their organizations, therefore missing out on some cost-effective communication opportunities to further the organization‘s mission.
Appendix 1 Nonprofit Social Network and House Social Network Survey Directions: Please choose the best answers regarding your organization‘s use of Consumer Social Networks and House Social Networks. Multiple answers may be selected for some of the questions. 1. Indicate the following consumer social networks (CSN‘s) in which your organization maintains an online presence. Facebook Flickr Twitter LinkedIn Myspace YouTube Four Square Jumo Yelp Vimeo Picasa Ning Crowd Rise First Giving Razoo Causes 2. What type of website does your organization maintain? Static (HTML) Dynamic with flash 3. Which of the following department(s) maintains or updates your social networking sites? Communications/Public Relations Marketing Fundraising Programs Executive Management Cross-departmental
4. What is your organization‘s primary purpose for utilizing social networks? Marketing Fundraising Branding Customer Service Marketing Research Programming Service Delivery Engage Supporters Grow Membership 5. What is your organization‘s primary purpose for utilizing its website? Marketing Fundraising Branding Customer Service Marketing Research Programming Service Delivery Engage Supporters Grow Membership 6. How much staff time is allocated to maintaining consumer social networks yearly? None 25% 50% 66% 75% 100% 7. How many full-time employees (FTE) help maintain consumer social networks? 0 FTE ¼ FTE ½ FTE ¾ to 1 FTE 1 ¼ to 2 FTE > 2 FTE
8. Indicate the budget devoted to maintaining consumer social networks. No budget $1-$5,000 $5,000-$10,000 $10,000-25,000 $25,000-$50,000 > $50,000 9. What is the average number of community members on your organization‘s Facebook account? ________________________ or none 10. What is the average number of community members on your organization‘s Twitter account? ________________________ or none 11. How long has your organization been using social networks? 1-6 months 7-12 months 13-23 months 2-3 years Longer than 3 years 12. Indicate how you tell others about your consumer social networking sites (you may choose multiple answers). Organization‘s website Email to e-subscriber house lists Events Online Ads TV/Radio SEM 13. How much fundraising from individuals has your organization raised on the following social networks in the last year, please check your answer? Not Raising $0-$1K $1K-$10K $10K> $100K $100K Facebook Twitter YouTube
LinkedIn Flickr 14. Indicate if your organization measures any of the following when using social networks. Increased awareness Education Non-financial supporter participation Site visitor volume Fundraising Registered members Customer feedback with responses Customer feedback without responses 15. How valuable do you consider the feedback from your consumer social networks? Not very valuable Somewhat Valuable Valuable Very Valuable 16. If your organization is not on a social networking site, please select the reason why (you may choose multiple answers). Lack of strategy Lack of staff Lack of budget Lack of expertise Concerns about privacy Lack of control 17. Does your organization have strategy for using consumer social networks in the following areas (you may choose multiple answers): Marketing Fundraising Branding Customer Service Marketing Research Programming Service Delivery Engage Supporters
Grow Membership 18. If your organization is does not have a consumer social network(s) strategy, please select the reason why (you may choose multiple answers). Lack of strategy Lack of staff Lack of budget Lack of expertise 19. Indicate how long your organization has utilized House Social Networks (HSN‘s), these are social networking communities hosted on your organization‘s own website. 0 months/ Not applicable 1-6 months 7-12 months 13-23 months 2-3 years Longer than 3 years 20. How many community members does your house social have? _______________________ or None 21. Indicate the budget devoted to maintaining house social networks. No budget $1-$5,000 $5,000-$10,000 $10,000-25,000 $25,000-$50,000 $50,000 22. How much staff time is allocated to maintaining consumer social networks yearly? None 25% 50% 66% 75% 100% 23. How many full-time employees (FTE) help maintain house social network?
0 FTE ¼ FTE ½ FTE ¾ to 1 FTE 1 ¼ to 2 FTE 2 FTE
24. Which of the following department(s) maintains or updates your house social networking site? Communications/Public Relations Marketing Fundraising Programs Executive Management Cross-departmental 25. How much staff time is allocated to maintaining house social networks yearly? None 25% 50% 66% 75% 100% 26. How many full-time employees (FTE) help maintain house social networks? 0 FTE ¼ FTE ½ FTE ¾ to 1 FTE 1 ¼ to 2 FTE 2 FTE 27. Does your organization have strategy for using house social networks in the following areas (you may choose multiple answers): Marketing Fundraising Branding Customer Service
Marketing Research Programming Service Delivery Engage Supporters Grow Membership
28. If your organization is does not have a house social network strategy, please select the reason why (you may choose multiple answers). Lack of strategy Lack of staff Lack of budget Lack of expertise 29. What is your organization‘s primary purpose for utilizing house social networks? Marketing Fundraising Branding Customer Service Marketing Research Programming Service Delivery Engage Supporters Grow Membership 30. Indicate if your organization measures any of the following when using house social networks. Increased awareness Education Non-financial supporter participation Site visitor volume Fundraising Registered members Customer feedback with responses Customer feedback without responses 31. Indicate how you tell others about your house social network site (you may choose multiple answers). Organization‘s website
Email to e-subscriber house lists Events Online Ads TV/Radio SEM
32. How much fundraising from individuals has your organization raised on its house social networks in the last year, please check your answer? Not Raising $0-$1K $1K-$10K $10K> $100K $100K House Social Network 33. How valuable do you consider the feedback from your house social network? Not very valuable Somewhat Valuable Valuable Very Valuable 34. If your organization is not on a house social networking site, please select the reason why (you may choose multiple answers). Lack of strategy Lack of staff Lack of budget Lack of expertise Concerns about privacy Lack of control 35. What is your organization's yearly operating budget? This information will be used to compare the organization's investment in social media comparatively with other nonprofits of various sizes.
36. Please provide the name of your organization and job title.
Appendix 2 Nonprofit New Media and Technology Survey Directions: Please choose the best answers regarding your organization‘s use technologies. Multiple answers may be selected for some of the questions.
1. How would you describe your organization's IT adoption? Leading edge/early adopter Fast follower Average Lagging behind In trouble I don't know
2. What factors contribute to that self-assessment?
3. Please indicate how satisfied you are in each of the following areas: Not all satisfied 1 IT recruiting process used by your organization Quality of IT training provided to your staff 2 3 4 Extremely Satisfied 5 Don‘t know or N/A
Integration of IT into your organization's strategic plan
Availability of IT to respond to your staff needs Availability of IT to respond to your client needs Quality of hardware/software in use by your organization Quality of your organization's web site Amount of total organization budget allocated to IT
4. Please provide comments if you wish to explain your ratings for question number 3.
5. How would you describe your current I.T. staffing condition? Inadequately staffed Adequately staffed Overstaffed 6. Does your organization have a formal, organization-wide technology plan or strategy? Yes No Not sure
Other (Please specify)
7. Where is the responsibility for I.T. primarily located within your organization? We have no one with official I.T. responsibility Within finance department Within Marketing or Communications departments Part of general operations or administrations Part of Development or Fundraising Separate I.T. Department within organization Other (please specify)
8. Who does the I.T Director or person responsible report to? Executive Director Administrative Director/COO CFO I don‘t know Other (please specify)
9. Has your organization evaluated the return on investment (ROI) from I.T. projects or programs? Yes No I don‘t know Other (please specify)
10. Please provide any comments if you wish to explain your response to question 9.
11. How many people, excluding consultants, are on your payroll who are, in any way, responsible for supporting or maintaining information technology in your organization? (Please consider part-time staff in Full Time Equivalents (FTE's). None Less than one full-time person About one full-time person 2-4 FTEs 5-7 FTEs 8-10 FTEs 11-13 FTEs 14-16 FTEs 17-19 FTEs 20-22 FTEs More than 22 FTEs 12. What is the average tenure of your IT staff? If you do not have dedicated IT staff, indicate the average tenure for all staff responsible for technology support and maintenance. Less than 6 months 6 months to 1 year 1 to 3 years 3 to 5 years 5 to 10 years More than 10 years I don‘t know
13. What is the percentage of your I.T. staff assigned to particular functions? 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Networking Application Development Program Support Helpdesk/Desktop Support Application Administration I.T. Management End-user Training Telecom/AudioVisual Knowledge Management
Web Site Online Communications Social Media 14. Does your organization work with an outside consultant or provider firm for support? No, we do not use an outside consultant or firm. Yes, less than one full-time consultant. Yes, about one full-time consultant. Yes, one consulting firm/organization. Yes, more than one consulting firm/organization. I don‘t know 15. What are your organization‘s I.T. outsourcing practices? Not Outsourced Partially Outsourced Technical Training for I.T. staff Technical Training for organizational staff Network administration/support Security and backup Website design Website development Website hosting Website maintenance Website content management Database hosting/maintenance Hardware recommendations Software recommendations Hardware installation Software installation Hardware maintenance Programming/custom software development
Cloud (where applicable as an option)
Telephone services Email hosting and maintenance Help desk Social Media 16. How many office locations does your organization maintain? 1 2 to 4 5 to 8 9 to 15 More than 15 I don‘t know 17. How many TOTAL staff are employed by your organization? Please consider part-time staff in Full Time Equivalents (FTE's). None Less than one full-time person About one full-time person 2-4 FTEs 5-10 FTEs 11-20 FTEs 21-40 FTEs 41-80 FTEs 81-100 FTEs 101-120 FTEs 121-140 FTEs 141-180 FTEs 181-200 FTEs 201-300 FTEs 301-400 FTEs 401-500 FTEs More than 500 FTEs I don‘t know 18. In order to better understand IT spending trends at nonprofits, please report on IT budget spending for the entire organization (including all offices). Round to the nearest whole dollar. If you do not know, please use n/a for your response. I.T. Staffing expenses
I.T. Contracts with outside consultants/firms
Software or Cloud services
Discretionary I.T. expenditures
Total I.T. Budget
19. Please indicate your job title and organization name.
20. Please indicate whether there has been any change between the last fiscal year (2010) and the current fiscal year (2011) in your actual spending for: Decreased Outsourced I.T. Consulting Technical Training for I.T. staff Technical Training for other staff Hardware Software Stayed the same Increased I don‘t know
I.T. staffing/payroll Website design/development Website maintenance Telephone/mobile CRM/database development Other custom software development Network support/ administration support Security and backup Helpdesk support
21. Please provide comments to question 20, if you wish to explain your responses.
22. In order to better understand how nonprofits maintain their technology, please answer the following questions about IT staff that work in your organization. For the following positions, please tell us how many employees you have with that title, the average salary for that position, and the average tenure for your staff in that position. E.g. 5; $45,000; 4 yrs. If this question is not applicable, you may skip it. Outsourced I.T. consulting
Chief Technology/Information Officer
Online Communications Manager
Online Community Manager
PC Tech/I.T. support staff
23. Is recruiting or hiring I.T. staff part of your job description? Yes No 24. Which websites do you use to electronically post position openings for I.T. staff? Own organization‘s website NTEN Idealist
Craigslist DICE Tech Soup Progressive Exchange Developers.net Computerwork.com Justtechjobs.com Opportunity Knocks We do not post positions electronically I don‘t know Other (please specify)
25. Are there differences in the recruitment/retention practices for your I.T. staff as compared to those of your other staff? Indicate all that apply. No difference Higher pay scale than for other staff Lower pay scale than for other staff Higher salary increases than other staff Lower salary increases than other staff Interval between salary increases shorter than other staff Interval between salary increases lower than other staff Special bonuses or incentives Telecommuting I don‘t know Other (please specify)
26. How important are the following considerations for hiring I.T. staff? Least 2 3 4 Important 1 Technical training for I.T. staff Degree of formal education Past training
Most Important 5
or certifications Past experience in nonprofit work environment Past experiences in technology Personality or attitude Candidate‘s fit with organization‘s culture 27. Does your organization provide technology training for your staff? Yes No Other (please specify) 28. Which of the following are used for staff technology training? Check all that apply. Staff trainers External trainer, including training centers Online training Staff are expected to train on their own (read manuals, etc.) Other (please specify)
29. How satisfied are you with the I.T. training available t your organization and staff? Very satisfied Somewhat satisfied Somewhat unsatisfied Very unsatisfied
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