As I discussed earlier this week, there are a couple problems I’ve taken note of with the 2012 Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report. Before I go on to the 3rd problem I have with the report, I want to clarify that overall the report is well-written and provides useful and interesting data. I’ve enjoyed reading their annual Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark reports over the past few years. I’ve noticed though, that a lot of people are tweeting, posting, and writing about the report this year. While that’s great, many of the posts/articles I’ve read take the statistics at face value – even though they are not generalizable to nonprofits as a whole. So, I think it’s important to discuss some of the problems I noticed on my blog.
So, what’s the 3rd problem?
Nonprofit annual budget categories need adjustment
Right now the options for nonprofits completing the survey are:
“1)Less than $1 million, 2) $1 million to $5 million, 3) $6 million to $50 million, 4) $51 million to $250 million, and 5) more than $250 million.”
For the first run of this survey, those categories were fine. Not ideal though because there are plenty of surveys out there that show us a large proportion of nonprofits have budgets under $1 million. But, since this was the 4th administration of this survey, I would have liked to see them provide more options under $1 million for annual budgets. Each year they have done this survey, they have gotten around 40 – 45% of all respondents having budgets under $1 million. That’s a huge chunk. When you have that large of a proportion of respondents choosing a category, it’s ideal to break it out a bit more for analysis. It would be great if they had offered less than $250,000, $250,000-$499,999, $500,000 – $749,999, and $750,000 – $999,999. Then we’d know a lot more about this large population of nonprofits under $1 million. We’d know if there are differences between social media types, staffing, etc.
One more thing to note, while not a huge deal, is that their categories aren’t all-inclusive. That means there is the possibility for someone to be confused as to which category they should select. For example, if my nonprofit’s annual budget is $5.5 million would I choose #2 or #3? Some would choose #2 while others would choose #3. That’s why it’s important to make sure closed ended questions (multiple choice) are all-inclusive. See this question from a survey from Guidestar as an example:
- Very Small: expenditures less than $250,000
- Small: expenditures of $250,000 to $999,999
- Medium‐size: expenditures of $1 million to $2.99 million
- Large: expenditures of $3 million or more
Photo Credit: Jasonunbound