Humanitarian Relief and Development Organizations’ Stakeholder Targeting Communication on Social Media and Beyond

Abstract

Nonprofit scholars have long considered stakeholder targeting communication (STC), an important mechanism of organizational accountability to meet stakeholders’ diverse interests and needs. However, research has yet to systematically examine the antecedents and outcomes of organizations’ STC to advance a more comprehensive understanding of how organizations manage accountability demands in the digital era. To address this gap, this study proposes a conceptual framework to explain how organizations’ STC on social media (SM) is shaped by STC via non-SM channels and their external communication capacity and the resulting STC outcomes in the SM domain. Survey data from 156 humanitarian relief and development organizations on four continents showed that using non-SM channels to engage various groups of stakeholders helped build organizations’ external communication capacity, which in turn helped improve their engagement in STC on SM. STC on SM further contributed to organizations’ success in information dissemination, community building, and action mobilization outcomes on SM.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    https://community.gndr.org/s/gndr-members?language=en_GB.

  2. 2.

    The first-order constructs were modeled as formative indicators of the second-order constructs. For example, three groups of stakeholders (backstage, frontstage, and border) were combined to form the second-order construct—SM STC. More details are available from the authors.

  3. 3.

    GoF=sqrt(average(AVE)*average(R2)) = sqrt (0.60*0.25) = 0.39 (Tenenhaus et al. 2005), which was calculated based the first-order level model.

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Acknowledgements

This project was partially supported through the first author’s 5K Grant from Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. The first author was affiliated with NTU when the grant award was received. National Chiao Tung University’s Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences also sponsored the process of data collection for this project.

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Appendix

Appendix

External Communication Capacity (Based on Shumate et al. 2017)

  1 2 3 4 5
1. Information technology is regularly used for communicating with external stakeholders (i.e., donors, media, and other organizations)      
2. Our organization has developed cause-related fundraising activities      
3. A public relations strategy is in place      
4. Information about organizational activities is regularly disseminated to the public      
5. Our organization has the ability to develop key messages for potential supporters      
6. Our organization has experience with developing communication campaigns      
7. Our organization has established media relationships      
  1. Items 2 and 6 were removed in this study due to low loadings

SM-Specific Outcomes (Lovejoy and Saxton 2012)

  1 2 3 4 5
Information
 1. Disseminating information (e.g., about the organization’s activities, highlights from events)      
Community
 1. Giving recognition and thanks to stakeholders (e.g., donors, supporters, or volunteers)      
 2. Acknowledgements of current and local events (e.g., holiday greetings, or community)      
 3. Responding to public messages directed to the organization      
 4. Response solicitation (e.g., polls, contests, direct questions)      
Action      
 1. Promoting an event      
 2. Donation appeal (e.g., direct requests for a donation, support of companies making)      
 3. Selling a product or service (e.g., gift shopping)      
4. Calls for volunteers and employees      
 5. Asking followers to join the organization’s account on another social media or vote for the organization      
 6. Asking followers to support lobbying and advocacy for a cause      
 7. Helping followers to learn how to help (e.g., providing information about how to make donation or offer other form of support)      
  1. Items italicized were removed due to low loadings

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Lai, CH., Fu, J.S. Humanitarian Relief and Development Organizations’ Stakeholder Targeting Communication on Social Media and Beyond. Voluntas 32, 120–135 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-020-00209-6

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Keywords

  • Accountability
  • Stakeholder theory
  • Social media
  • Communication capacity
  • Information and communication technologies (ICTs)