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dc.contributor.advisorGriffiths, Maryen
dc.contributor.advisorJiang, Yingen
dc.contributor.authorGeary, Robert Edwarden
dc.description.abstractThe thesis analyses how Rotary International (RI), a non-profit organisation with a community service focus, uses Facebook to influence membership recruitment and retention; and along with user findings, presents an evidenced argument about the current lack of success. First-hand observations, as a visitor to community organisations in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia had suggested that many had an ageing and declining membership, and thus a sustainability problem. Anecdotal evidence suggested that generational differences were making traditional club structures and communication channels less attractive to younger members, and that social media might provide the interactive format and informal context needed to recruit and retain younger members. A subsequent extensive review of the scholarly literature revealed that few were reporting on Facebook uses in community organisations. The resulting project used staged progressive focusing with content analysis of RI district and club newsletters and Facebook pages providing sub-questions for investigation. The online survey, conducted over four months, used a restricted number of self-selected respondents from RI clubs with a Facebook page in one of the three South Australian districts. Survey responses were statistically analysed, providing details of fall-off, demographics, Facebook usage, including generational differences, social capital development, recruitment and retention. Thirteen informants then participated in semi-structured, face-to-face interviews, exploring key survey themes, as well as changing membership profiles, members’ needs, the development of social capital, and the potential of Facebook to change recruitment and retention rates. Interviews were transcribed, coded, and analysed using NVivo. To allow further exploration of issues relating to Facebook page content and the lack of interactivity, each informant was asked to provide Facebook export data, including all posts made over the duration of the surveys and interviews. A typology was designed to describe these posts, and used as the basis for further NVivo analysis. The research found that the initial content analysis of each eligible club’s Facebook page (n=72 in 2013), completed prior to the online survey, showed that the number of contributors and the level of interactivity were low. However, the Most Popular Age (MPA) of those engaging with their club’s Facebook page, was almost 20 years younger (35–44 years), than the average club member (55–64 years), thus providing a potential source of younger members for recruitment. Most respondents noted that their club’s Facebook page had no role in their own recruitment, which predated its establishment. It was found that few clubs were using their Facebook pages in the interactive, community-building manner that might have been expected; and that the branding of organisational Facebook pages, with logos, was counter-productive, resulting in lower levels of engagement. However, those engaged with club Facebook pages were younger than the average RI member. This study argues this group provides the potential for rejuvenation by recruitment and retention. The argument concludes with practical recommendations for future uses of Facebook in community organisations.en
dc.subjectFacebook; Rotary International; community; engagement; recruitment; retention; organisational decline; generational differences; social capitalen
dc.titleCommunity organisations, social media, and membership: exploring facebook’s potential.en
dc.contributor.schoolSchool of Humanitiesen
dc.provenanceThis electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
dc.description.dissertationThesis (M.Phil.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2015en
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