Should You Include Google+ in Online Fundraising Efforts?

google plus
Image by Sean MacEntee

The short answer to the titular question is no, not yet.

That is unless your network is part of the early adopter community in the social media and technology sectors. Otherwise, it is highly unlikely that you have significant networks on Google+, and online fundraising will not be as fruitful as it would be on more mature networks.

Given the amount of hype about Google+, this advice may seem contrarian. But it pays to dig deeper into available statistics:

  • While there are more than 25 million people on Google+ so far, statistical use has been wavering.
  • According to Comscore data, the Google+ community is a cosmopolitan lot, stretching across the globe. What is uniform is industry — technologists, social media. Also, age and gender seems to be comprised of older male millennials.
  • Nonprofit organizations seeking to activate Google+ networks are limited to individual profiles, as formal business pages have yet to launch.

Since “social fundraising,” comprises building teams and getting friends and acquaintances to invest in your cause via online networks, it is highly unlikely that such networks are on Google+. Thus, online fundraising via Google+ is likely to be a futile effort. Content publishers and marketers have more to gain from the social network thanks to its search engine optimization strengths.

Google+ as an online fundraiser may change as the network goes public and continues to grow. To date, its growth has been astronomical in nature, and the early adopters seem to love it. While Google+ may not be the right place for change agents today, it is worth keeping an eye on as this could evolve into a major public network in the course of a few months.