Tag Archives: new media

Tweeting Social Change: How Social Media are Changing Nonprofit Advocacy

Chao Guo and Gregory D. Saxton

How are nonprofit organizations utilizing social media to engage in advocacy work? We address this question by investigating the social media use of 188 501(c)(3) advocacy organizations. After briefly examining the types of social media technologies employed, we turn to an in-depth examination of the organizations’ use of Twitter. This in-depth message-level analysis is twofold: a content analysis that examines the prevalence of previously identified communicative and advocacy constructs in nonprofits’ social media messages; and an inductive analysis that explores the unique features and dynamics of social media-based advocacy and identifies new organizational practices and forms of communication heretofore unseen in the literature.

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, forthcoming (Available on SSRN)

Conceptualizing Web-based Stakeholder Communication: The Organizational Website as A Stakeholder Relations Tool

Gregory D. Saxton and Chao Guo

With the near ubiquity of the organizational website, organizations’ online stakeholder relationships have dramatically increased in prevalence, complexity, and financial and strategic importance. To help advance our understanding of these relationships, we introduce and test the multi-dimensional concept of Web based stakeholder communication using original data on US community foundations. After presenting the conceptual foundations of Web-based stakeholder communication, we develop operational measures of its key dimensions, namely stakeholder targeting and the balance of organizations’ online stakeholder portfolios. We then explore the outcomes of Web-based stakeholder communication by testing for its relationship to subsequent levels of charitable contributions. We end with an in-depth discussion of the most important implications for organizational theory and practice.

Communication & Science Journal, Forthcoming (2012)

Social Media and the Social Good: How Nonprofits Use Facebook to Communicate with the Public

Gregory D. Saxton, Chao Guo, I-Hsuan Chiu and Bo Feng

In this study, we examine the social networking practices of the 100 largest nonprofit organizations in the United States. More specifically, we develop a comprehensive classification scheme to delineate these organizations’ use of Facebook as a stakeholder engagement tool. We find that there are 5 primary categories of Facebook “statuses”, which can be aggregated into three key dimensions – “information”, “community”, and “action”. Our analysis reveals that, though the “informational” use of Facebook is still significant, nonprofit organizations are better at using Facebook to strategically engage their stakeholders via “dialogic” and “community-building” practices than they have been with traditional websites. The adoption of social media seems to have engendered new paradigms of public engagement.

 China Third Sector Research 1 (2011): 40-54

 

Accountability Online: Understanding the Web-based Accountability Practices of Nonprofit Organizations

Gregory D. Saxton and Chao Guo

Nonprofit organizations are increasingly using Internet-based technologies to address accountability. This article presents a set of conceptual, theoretical, and empirical innovations to help understand this phenomenon. First, this article presents a conceptual framework that delineates two key dimensions of Web-based accountability practices: disclosure and dialogue. It then posits a four-factor explanatory model of online accountability incorporating organizational strategy, capacity, governance, and environment. Last, it tests the model through a content analysis of 117 U.S. community foundation Web sites combined with survey and financial data. The descriptive statistics show that the Web site has been more effectively used to provide financial and performance disclosures than to provide dialogic mechanisms for stakeholder input and interactive engagement. Our multivariate analyses, in turn, highlight capacity- and governance-related variables, especially asset size and board performance, as the most significant factors associated with the adoption of Web-based accountability practices.

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 40, no. 2 (2011): 270-295