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How Nonprofits Can Utilize Social Media To Do Good

Social Media Nonprofit Best Practices

Ask any non-profit what their greatest challenge is, and it’s likely that they will all talk about their relentless pursuit of donations. Now, thanks to the power of social media, the task of convincing others to open up their pocketbooks, may prove a little less daunting. Here we show you how nonprofits can use social media marketing successfully.

1. Show Donors How They Make a Difference

The beauty of social media is that it is right here, right now. Never before have some non-profits been able to connect with their donors in real time to reinforce how donations make a difference. Share updates with your donor base through tweets, Facebook posts, and live feeds. Be sure to steer them toward donating by tweeting links to your charity’s donation landing page and sharing how their donation made an impact. Acknowledging their support, especially where their friends and followers can also see it, will go a long way toward solidifying your donor and their long-term involvement.

Showing Donors of Nonprofits Appreciation


2. Encourage Storytelling

Facebook can be an ideal place to engage with followers and share stories of how your non-profit affects the lives of others. On the Make A Wish Foundation Facebook page, there are personal posts from those families who have benefited from Make-A Wish’s efforts, along with photos and stories on their Notes tab.

Make a Wish Foundation

3. Think Visual

A Pinterest study from Shareaholic reported that 21% of users have followed through with a purchase after discovering it on Pinterest. Think that only applies to retailers? Think again. Imagine how sharing some of those inspirational and emotional photos could drive donations. Get started by creating pinboards with images that relate to your cause. For example, Habitat for Humanity pins pictures of volunteers building homes across the globe, as well as graphics with information about upcoming volunteer opportunities.


Habitat for Humanity Pinterest Page

4. Use Pinterest as a Gift Shop

You can also think of Pinterest as an extension of your “gift shop”. Upload pictures of those items you “sell” to drive donations, like bracelets and bands (think Lance Armstrong’s popular yellow Live Strong bands). Be sure to include your donation landing page URL in the “Edit” section of your pins. Last of all, it’s important to keep the interaction two-way, so follow those people who repin from your board to nurture that ongoing relationship.

 Use Pinterest as a Gift Shop

5. Leverage Your Network

You know how it is — it’s all about who you know. And LinkedIn is a pioneer in leveraging social media to let you socialize with the “right” people.

LinkedIn Tips

  • Update Your Status: One of the easiest ways to get your event out there is in a status update. Be sure to include an image, description and a link to your event page.
  • Share an Article: This is a great way to share more details as well as to talk about previous events with case studies or testimonials and photos.
  • LinkedIn Groups: If you’re a part of a LinkedIn group related to your event, you can share a post with everyone in that group.
  • Direct Messaging: Send a message to your connections to promote your event.
  • Promote Your Post: LinkedIn posts and status updates can be sponsored, allowing it to be shown to anyone with specific job titles or in a certain industry or location.

6. Think Like a For-Profit

We know. We know. You’re a nonprofit, so you have a different tone and approach to things. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t utilize some of those same tactics that for-profits use with great success. Try engaging donors with a social media contest.

Nonprofit Social Media Contest

Whether it’s submitting favorite photos from one of your recent events, to making the best YouTube video that explains your organization’s cause, to who can tweet using your charity’s hashtag the most, a contest may be well received by your donor audience, increase awareness of your cause and help promote your events.

Social Media Nonprofit Statistics

Here are some interesting numbers about Nonprofits and social media.

  • 55% of people who engage with causes via social media are inspired to get more involved. (Source:
  • 50% of nonprofit communicators label social media as a “very important” communication tool. (Source: Nonprofit Marketing Guide)
  • 55% who engaged with causes via social media have been inspired to take further action. (Source: Waggener Edstrom)
  • YouTube is the number 1 social media site used by US charities and non-profit organizations. (Source: UMASS)
  • Of all social media platforms, nonprofit marketers use of Instagram increased the most in 2016 from 38% to 58%. (Source: CMI & Blackbaud)
  • 65% of Gen Y audience prefers to learn about nonprofits via their websites. Social media followed at 55%. (Source: Millennial Impact Report)

Do You Make the Social Media Grade?

See how your organization stacks up on how it’s using social media with Customer Insight Group’s free social media grader. You’ll see where you’re at the top of the class and where you can make improvements.

jill Manser