top of page

Social Media KPIs and Nonprofits: What To Measure?

The last post about Determining Social Media Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) pointed out that the first step is to define your Business Goals. For nonprofits that could include:

  • Number of Donors

  • Donation Growth

  • Donor Retention Rate

  • Recurring Gift Percentage

  • Pledge Fulfillment Percentage

  • Online Gift Percentage

In order to create an effective digital communications campaign, try to narrow your focus to one or two of these. Define your social media goals in relationship to the business goals so that the effort put into the social media work shows a direct impact on the business goal. Once you have identified a social media goal, design a set of social media tactics that can be measured in order to gauge how well the tactics are working.

How can social media tactics be measured to give useful information? These days, counting the number of Likes on your Facebook page or Follows on Twitter is not enough. These metrics may contribute to your organization’s brand awareness, but they are too general to give much good data. In fact, these kinds of metrics are now called “vanity metrics”.

It might be more helpful to understand how your social media tactics drive traffic to your website, support more donor engagement, or increase subscribers to your email channel. Try to be as specific as possible about tying your business goals and social media tactics together. This article by Wired Impact does a good job of giving examples to get your thinking jump started.

We want to continually review and track which content is communicating our message in a way that resonates with the desired audience. One of the best ideas to leverage social media platforms is to use them together so that they compliment one another. But how do you know which connections are acting as successful transition points?

Google Analytics can be set up to give you specific numbers about who visited your site from different “referral sites”, so you can track how may people clicked through from a Facebook photo album to your organization’s newsletter subscription page or from a Tweet to your latest volunteer event story. There are many ways to create tactical synergy across platforms and then measure the effect of one upon the others. For those of you who want to learn more about how to set up Google Analytics right away, try this article by Kristi Hines at Moz. There are also good tutorials online from Google.

Data can be gathered and measured from different social media tools and reviewed together in a common dashboard so you get an understanding of the big picture. Here’s one list of metrics to start with. Both Twitter and Facebook also offer some analytics tools free. We’ll get into those in the future.

For now, here are a few ideas for collecting data on the most common platforms.


This data tells you which supporters are engaged enough to take some action by commenting, sharing or clicking through to your website.

  • Number of comments on your page

  • Number of reviews

  • Number of photos posted from readers

  • Number of shares for a particular story

  • Number of readers who used the Like button to Turn On All Notifications which ensure that info published about events, news, etc. are included in their Page feeds.

  • Number of people who made news from your page a top priority in their News feed.

  • Number of people who used your call to action button to subscribe our email newsletter, reserve a spot for an event or donate to your cause.

  • Growth in the demographics of followers targeted by a specific campaign

  • Time of day that a story was posted


Tweeting can drive traffic to your site or Facebook page. Followers who like your posts can republish them, get more info about you from your Profile Page, click through to your website or even participate in a live chat session on a particular topic.

  • Number of Retweets

  • Number of Mentions

  • Number of Profile Views

  • Number of click throughs to your site

  • Number of readers who responded to a particular story topic that was the focus a specific campaign

  • Number of new followers during a particular campaign

  • Number of followers who used a particular hash tag tied to a topic or campaign

  • Number of participants in a Live Twitter Chat Session

  • Time of day that the most followers took some kind of action

Your Website

Your website is your brand and your voice. Creating compelling digital content builds relationships with your visitors so that they become volunteers, donors and advocates.

  • Basic traffic and session numbers

  • Amount of time visitors spent on a particular page

  • Where visitors came from – did they click through from a particular campaign you ran on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?

  • Number of visitors who subscribed to your newsletter

  • Number of visitors who donated

  • Number of visitors who abandoned the process of signing up for a newsletter or donating mid way through the process

  • Where do visitors live?

  • What the ages and genders of visitors?

  • Where did visitors enter the site and where did they exit?

  • What stories, blogs or other features are most popular?

  • What search queries do visitors enter?

  • The number of visitors are using a mobile device (phone) to access your site

  • The number of visitors coming from a particular search on Google (for SEO strategies)

Social media presents many opportunities for nonprofits to tell their stories and engage readers in powerful ways. We’ll continue to explore how you can develop strategies to best position your message and your own particular mission for making our world a better place.

Jayne Dutra is passionate about social advocacy for underserved populations and the community at large. She believes in building public engagement to bring awareness and improve conditions for all citizens. She can contribute help with social media, digital content strategy, graphic design, grant writing or data analytics.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Me
  • Twitter Social Icon
bottom of page