2021 Social Media Benchmarks for Nonprofits

The 2021 Social Media Benchmark report has been released and brings bright news for nonprofits. This annual report samples social media metrics across 14 industries and analyzes over 2 million posts and 3 billion likes, favorites, and comments to bring you benchmark data to help boost social media performance!

There is good news for nonprofit social media trends! In 2020, nonprofits had above-median engagement rates across all channels with performance well above the median on Facebook and Twitter. Here are some key takeaways to help you boost your social media engagement.

Post Frequency and Engagement

Post frequency was highest on Facebook and Twitter, but engagement was lower than Instagram. With only four posts per week, Instagram had the highest nonprofit engagement rate of the three channels. Across all channels, frequency and engagement were up.

TAKEAWAY: Experiment with post frequency and see how it affects your engagement. Do more frequent posts increase or decrease your audience engagement?

Types of Posts

While video is rapidly gaining popularity, it is interesting to see that photos drove the most engagement for nonprofits on Facebook and videos fell below links. Carousels were king on Instagram, performing twice as well as video. One reason for the boost in performance is because carousels are re-served to users who do not engage the first time.

TAKEAWAY: Experiment with carousel posts on Instagram. Grab some intriguing shots that tell your story and motivate people to become involved.


Are hashtags worth it? When it comes to holidays and current events on Twitter and Instagram, yes. Simply using #happynewyear boosted engagement to over 3.5% on Instagram. Many startups have successfully increased followers and engagement by utilizing hashtags effectively. It is important to do your research when using hashtags. What works on Twitter, may not work on Instagram or LinkedIn.

TAKEAWAY: If you aren’t using hashtags, give them a try! Find solid hashtags based on keywords that are relevant to your post and watch them work!

In a time where the overall effectiveness of social media has come into question, it is good to know that there is a bright light for nonprofits. Effectively utilizing social media takes time, thought, and effort. It is not just simply throwing up a post. However, if you plan well, do your research, and engage online, you can build connections that will take your nonprofit to the next level!