Sarah P. Maxwell, Julia L. Carboni


Do foundations effectively use social media to engage stakeholders? Do usage and engagement vary by foundation type? This article has been written to stimulate discussion and research about social media use and user engagement by foundations beyond measuring social media presence. We analyzed Facebook usage and stakeholder engagement for three types of foundations: community, corporate, and independent grant-making foundations. We found that although community foundations are more likely to have a social media presence, corporate and independent foundations are more likely to use Facebook and to effectively engage stakeholders. Findings illuminate the need to understand social media usage and engagement in addition to presence. We discuss potential benefits of social media use and provide practical communication management recommendations for nonprofit practitioners.