Master of Mass Communication (MMC)


Mass Communication

Document Type



As social media becomes a more prominent tool for mass communication, nonprofit organizations are using social networking sites as a means to communicate with their target audiences and recruit supporters. This study explores how nonprofits are using Twitter, a microblogging website, to communicate with their audiences during the year-end charitable giving period and investigate which messaging acquires audience engagement. This was determined by investigating nonprofit organizations’ use of Twitter’s multimedia features and the different types of message appeals used when tweeting about their organization’s year-end campaign. Another aim of this study was to identify which message appeals in online charitable giving campaigns are most successful at engaging Twitter users. A content analysis was conducted to determine which multimedia features and message appeals nonprofits are using on Twitter in their year-end tweeting. Tweets were sampled from five nonprofit organizations: United Way, American Red Cross, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Salvation Army and American Heart Association. These organizations were chosen, because of their top-rated efforts in online fundraising. The study investigated which multimedia features and message appeals were used by these nonprofits in year-end tweets and which multimedia features and message appeals stimulate the most user engagement. Interactions between an organization and Twitter users are considered engagement; thus, engagement increases awareness of the nonprofit organization’s mission. This study found that rational appeals were more frequently used among nonprofits organizations and were more likely to increase engagement than emotional appeals. The sample nonprofit organizations appeared to differ in their use of rational and emotional message appeals on Twitter. Results also showed differences in nonprofits’ use of multimedia features. Nonprofit organizations tend to use hashtags and links more frequently than photos and videos; however photos and hashtags seem to be more likely to increase engagement.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Park, Hyojung