Tweeting Social Change: How Social Media are Changing Nonprofit Advocacy

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 57-79, 2014

37 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2013 Last revised: 5 Mar 2015

See all articles by Chao Guo

Chao Guo

Penn School of Social Policy & Practice, University of Pennsylvania

Gregory D. Saxton

Schulich School of Business, York University

Date Written: November 12, 2012

Abstract

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.

Keywords: nonprofit advocacy, social media, Twitter, Facebook, new media, Internet, organizational communication, public relations, nonprofit organizations, charities

JEL Classification: L31, L38, O33

Suggested Citation

Guo, Chao and Saxton, Gregory D., Tweeting Social Change: How Social Media are Changing Nonprofit Advocacy (November 12, 2012). Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 57-79, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2247136

Chao Guo

Penn School of Social Policy & Practice, University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6214
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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