Why Your Non-Profit Should Use Pinterest and Instagram

A nonprofit organization has to communicate what its mission is, how it plans to achieve objectives, and why donating money to its cause is so important.

You can can spend hours writing thousands of words but there are times when that really isn’t necessary. The old adage, “a picture is worth 1000 words” is very accurate in this day of social media. A nonprofit organization can deliver a strong message to the right people by using Pinterest and Instagram.

The demographics

The figures cannot be ignored: A study on the use of social media by the Pew Research Centre shows that women are five times as likely as men to use Pinterest, and that Instagram is preferred by Blacks and Hispanics. (More about the study at MediaBistro)

Pinterest has more than 11 million registered users and Instagram has around 100 million monthly active users. Additional demographics point to Instagram being a favorite with the 18 to 29 year age cohort, and Pinterest being often used by people with more than $100,000 in annual income.

A nonprofit organization has to be aware of the demographic groups it chooses to target and Pinterest and Instagram should not be ignored. The same people who use either are likely also on other social media platforms, and they could easily become followers of established nonprofit account on other sites as well.

Pinterest logo


     Instagram logo


Shaping your group’s message on Pinterest and Instagram

Pictures tell the story on either platform. A nonprofit can best use Pinterest and Instagram by posting pictures and visuals that highlight its mission and activities. Interesting pictures of events can grab a person’s attention and are better than just using statements.

To establish a connection with a visitor, the nonprofit can post pictures of what goes on behind the scenes. Funny pictures of staff members at office parties or events, or ones that show delivery of service can warm the heart of your supporters or potential supporters.

It is a serious rule of social media that content is king and neither site need be limited to just photos. Content can be posted but the important thing is that it should be interesting to look at, with information that is educational, useful and sharable. Using graphics and short paragraphs with bullets quickly convey your non-profits’s message.

(Check out Unicef’s Instagram and Pinterest pages.)

Both platforms also have functions that can maximize their use. Instagram Direct will allow you to choose a specific person to receive a special message along with the photo. This can help with targeted fundraising and a picture along with a message adds special emphasis to what is being communicated. The same can be done on Pinterest with Pinteresting.

These are both means by which a personal relationship of sorts can be developed between the followers and your nonprofit organization. If it is done on a regular basis and when time comes for launching a fundraiser, your followers don’t have to be educated on the mission or the objectives. In fact, they may have already developed a connection with the nonprofit organization to the point where they are willing to donate without a lot of prompting.

Tools for spreading your message on Instagram and Pinterest

Instagram is a photo app and you can only post via a mobile Apple device or an Android device; however, you can still view any account on a PC as well. Instagram is set up to easily share pictures on the go or during an event.

Instagram is also an excellent way to connect with other social media networks. You can share with Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr as well as Flickr, Foursquare, Hipstamatic and more. The popularity of Instagram cannot be denied: it grew 23% in 2013. That is almost four times the growth rate of Pinterest in the same year.

You can also connect to Facebook or Twitter with Pinterest, but Pinterest will use the personal profile for Facebook connection. Other social media platforms can also be connected by using a Pinterest button on the other accounts.

It is possible to post on Pinterest with via mobile devices in addition to a traditional PC. This ability to post via PC can be important to start up nonprofits that might not have mobile devices available.

The ability for your message to be spread across a lot of channels through Pinterest and Instagram is a definite advantage for any small nonprofit organization engaged in a fund-raising campaign.

Use your imagination

Fundraising and attracting a follower base is serious business but that does not mean it can’t be fun at the same time. Pinterest and Instagram allow a poster to be extremely creative which is excellent for any marketing. Followers want to see pictures that are attention grabbing and share worthy. Sharing and re-posting images results in new visitors and followers to your non-profit’s social media accounts.

The question at this point would be which platforms should be used or should perhaps both be used? That is really up to the decision-makers of the nonprofit organization. What is essential, though, is to take a look at the demographics. What group do you want to target? It may be a situation where in a given campaign emphasis placed on one platform while the other just received routine posting maintenance.

Pinterest and Instagram have the potential to spread the message and attract potential donors with visuals. People enjoy looking at pictures and if used properly these same photos may convert them into active followers.


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  1. Posted by Your Nonprofit Story: Blockbuster or Dud? 12th August, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    […] And don’t forget that powerful images can have gripping impact when shared on Pinterest or Instagram. […]

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    […] discount Pinterest and Instagram. Both have the potential to send your communications far and wide and attract prospective donors. […]



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