Although businesses differ from philanthropic organizations, one thing they have in common is the goal to attract followers who are genuinely interest in their products or services. Much like corporations, socially-savvy foundations are turning to social media to spread their messages, attract support, and raise funds.

Glasspockets, a Foundation Center initiative behind philanthropic transparency, surveyed 1,153 of the largest foundations across the U.S. and discovered that nearly half (522) of them use social media. Among those, 65 percent use Facebook, 40 percent use Twitter, and 32 percent use YouTube.

The top three foundations on Facebook have more than four million total Facebook Likes, collectively. On average, the top three organizations on Twitter are followed by 9,633 people, and the top foundations on YouTube have almost 65,000 subscribers, collectively.

It’s also worth noting that 61 percent of the organizations using social media find it useful in furthering the work. Those that are using the medium use it for things like promoting the work of the foundation (67 percent), promoting the work of the grantees (49 percent), keeping up with news and trends (45 percent), and soliciting proposals (18 percent).

Despite those numbers, only 29 percent of the foundations using social media have developed a formal strategy. A good social media strategy has clearly defined goals, tailored content to fit different audiences, messages that are aligned with your missions, and support from key stakeholders.

The infographic below highlights more interesting data, including examples of foundations that have adopted social media as well as tips for jumpstarting your foundation’s social media initiative.

[Via: AllTwitter, Image credit: DFID]