May 31, 2011; Source: Georgetown Center for Social Impact Communications (PDF) | Nearly 30 percent of African Americans and 39 percent Hispanics say they are more likely to support a cause through social media; 24 percent of Caucasians agreed.

This is one of several findings from the new report, “Dynamics of Cause Engagement Study,” published by Georgetown University and Ogilvy PR. Jointly conducted in 2010, it examined trends in fostering engagement with social issues for adults age 18 and over. Over 2,000 people were interviewed for the report.

Other study findings include:

  • Social media plays a greater role for African Americans and Hispanics than Caucasians. Traditional sources like newspaper, television and friends are still the most important engagement building tools for all groups.
  • Whites are less likely to use Twitter in general. Twenty-five percent of African Americans and 19 percent Hispanics use this medium compared to nine percent Caucasians.
  • African Americans and Hispanics believe that getting involved is important in building a community. These groups also feel it is important to get their own families involved. A lower percentage of Caucasians communicated these priorities.
  • More African Americans and Hispanics than Caucasians are likely to be involved in key issues like domestic violence, bullying, childhood obesity and diabetes.
  • African Americans and Hispanics are more likely to donate online vs. Caucasians.

Study findings on generational involvement will be released on June 13, with a report on behavioral changes being published June 30. —Nancy Knoche