Modeling the Adoption and Use of Social Media by Nonprofit Organizations

New Media and Society, vol. 15, pp. 294-313, 2013

30 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2012 Last revised: 5 Mar 2015

See all articles by Seungahn Nah

Seungahn Nah

University of Kentucky

Gregory D. Saxton

Schulich School of Business, York University

Date Written: February 27, 2012

Abstract

This study examines what drives organizational adoption and use of social media through a model built around four key factors – strategy, capacity, governance, and environment. Using Twitter, Facebook, and other data on 100 large US nonprofit organizations, the model is employed to examine the determinants of three key facets of social media utilization: 1) adoption, 2) frequency of use, and 3) dialogue. We find that organizational strategies, capacities, governance features, and external pressures all play a part in these social media adoption and utilization outcomes. Through its integrated, multi-disciplinary theoretical perspective, this study thus helps foster understanding of which types of organizations are able and willing to adopt and juggle multiple social media accounts, to use those accounts to communicate more frequently with their external publics, and to build relationships with those publics through the sending of dialogic messages.

Keywords: social media, new media, nonprofit organizations, Facebook, Twitter, technology adoption and use, diffusion of innovation, dialogue, organization-public relations, charities, NGOs, not-for-profit

JEL Classification: L31, O33, M15

Suggested Citation

Nah, Seungahn and Saxton, Gregory D., Modeling the Adoption and Use of Social Media by Nonprofit Organizations (February 27, 2012). New Media and Society, vol. 15, pp. 294-313, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2130630

Seungahn Nah

University of Kentucky ( email )

Lexington, KY 40506
United States

Gregory D. Saxton (Contact Author)

Schulich School of Business, York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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