All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Akhlaque Haque

Advisory Committee Members

Donna M Handley

Michael Howell-Moroney

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2010

Degree Name by School

Master of Public Administration (MPA) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Facebook has become a social networking phenomenon. Investigation into the specific features that Facebook offers nonprofits is vital to determining whether the benefits of having a Facebook presence outweigh the costs. Given the current economic climate and the fact that nonprofits are always looking for ways to expand their client base in the most efficient and cost effective ways possible, alternate ways to interact with constituents and reach new ones should be considered This descriptive analysis seeks to build upon the total body of work by examining nonprofit organizations knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding Facebook. A sam-ple of 400 nonprofit organizations in the south were asked to complete a survey that ex-amined their use of Facebook Pages as it relates to variables such as visibility, communi-cation, fundraising, and volunteerism. The research seeks to clarify why nonprofits are getting on Facebook and what they perceive the value of it to be. Additionally, the results will show if there is a disconnect between their reasons for being on Facebook and the actual results of their Facebook presence. Meaning, it will help to show if their intended results of being on Facebook are actually achieved. The contribution of this research lies within the results of this descriptive analysis, which will help nonprofit practioners to better plan, monitor, and evaluate their presence on Facebook. Additionally, the results will raise awareness of the status of nonprofits and the implications of using social networks for fundraising and general awareness of nonprofit entities. From these findings, nonprofit organizations will be able to better identify how to best use their resources, knowledge and processes on Facebook to im-prove their overall organizational capacity. In general, the survey results provided evi-dence that nonprofits see the power of using Facebook to increase the visibility of their organizations, and they are establishing Facebook Pages because of it. For nonprofits go-ing forward, they need to work towards moving from using Facebook as only a visibility tool to one for friendraising as well.

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