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Making Pinterest® work for nonprofits

Making Pinterest® work for nonprofits

Pinterest’s popularity in Canada continues to rise – particularly among high-income Canadians. In fact, 34% of Canuck Pinterest users earn over $100,000 per year. This highly visual, interactive, virtual bulletin board may present great potential for nonprofit organizations to share visual content and drive Web traffic. 

Pinterest, like other social media networks, is not the place for blatant self-promotion. Rather it is to tell your story by showcasing the spirit and lifestyle of your organization, in turn growing a base of followers consisting of potential donors and volunteers. Read on for some helpful, budget-friendly tips to make Pinterest work for your nonprofit.


Creating your Pinterest boards

Rally your team to help build a Pinterest board worth viewing. After all, who is more passionate and knowledgeable about your cause than the people who work for it? Pinterest boards should be named and should include descriptions that contain keywords for search engine optimization (SEO). Encourage employees to pin photos of volunteers at work, project progress and needed donation items.

Keep in mind that when creating your Pinterest boards, imagery should be compelling and representative of your organization. Since nonprofits connect through passion, and because Pinterest is so visually oriented, sharing the right kind of content can move mountains to showcase your cause and convince others of its worth. If you don’t have a budget for photography, you may want to try using the free app Instagram® to apply various filters to transform ordinary photographs into beautiful ones. Consider holding an internal contest for the most captivating photo to encourage employees to create stunning images for your pinboard.  Rewards could include a logo’d picture frame, travel mug or a free lunch.


Follow and be followed

Grow your content by following other Pinterest users with similar interests. Look for influential people and other nonprofits that pin worthwhile content and then choose to either “Like” or “repin” their items that appeal to your organization. You can also engage in conversation by utilizing the pin “Comments” section. And don’t forget to include a Pinterest share button on your website and in your promotional materials to encourage others to follow your boards and repin your content.

Using Pinterest to fundraise
Pinterest makes fundraising simple with the “Gifts” tab feature. Simply pin an item for sale and add the “$” symbol followed by the price of the item. Pinterest automatically adds a banner displaying the cost in the upper-left corner of the pin. The item is also automatically added to the “Gifts” tab on the Pinterest homepage. This could be a great way to sell your organization’s promotional items such as t-shirts, totes, water bottles and more.

Using Pinterest as an extension of your organization is a great way to communicate to others what you’re all about. Nonprofits have so many great stories to tell and Pinterest can be a great place to share those stories along with your organization’s vision, mission and passion. 

Sieben, Darby. "Pinterest: A Canadian Look @ the Web’s Hottest Social Site."  Web. 3 Dec. 2012.

Haydon, John. "12 Ways to Use Pinterest for Your Nonprofit." 12 Ways to Use Pinterest for Your Nonprofit. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2012.

Edgington, Nell. "Social Velocity Blog." Social Velocity Why I Love Pinterest and Nonprofits Should Too Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2012.

Petronzio, Matt. "Trending Stories." Mashable The Social Media Guide. N.p., 2 Mar. 2012. Web. 30 Nov. 2012.


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