Pinterest for Nonprofits

In my view, Pinterest has become one of the “big three” social media platforms that nonprofit organizations should be active on (Facebook and Twitter being the other two).  Honestly, I think that Pinterest is usually a must for any organization that wants to build internet traffic, increase awareness about causes and otherwise reap the benefits of the social web.

Pinterest for Nonprofits? Five Reasons why:

First, to increase web traffic. Simply, Pinterest can generate a lot of visits to your organization’s website.  AllRecipes.com’s Pinterest story offers a dramatic example of the traffic potential; They noticed a huge surge in referral traffic from Pinterest and then added a “Pin It” button on each of their recipe pages. Further, they designed a new page template in which the Pin It button was featured prominently and more importantly, made it super easy for users to share recipes.  The results were dramatic:

Within three months, more than 50,000 recipes were pinned resulting in 139 million Pinterest impressions, and clicks on Allrecipes’ Pinterest content increased more than 900%.  See the complete AllRecipes.com Pinterest Case Study for more info.

AllRecipes.com on Pinterest

Second, to educate and increase awareness. Pinterest is a great forum to inform people about your organization, causes, campaigns, etc.  However, be careful to avoid blatant promotion. In his excellent post, “12 Ways to Use Pinterest for Nonprofits“, John Haydon states: Like the other social media networks, Pinterest is not a place to blatantly promote your organization. You will turn people away if you constantly push your cause. Instead, pin images that capture the lifestyle and essence of your organization while building a community of potential donors and volunteers who share the same interests.

An extremely cool and clever example of a successful Pinterest campaign used to educate and increase awareness is this campaign from UNICEF.

Third (as an extension of the first two benefits), to increase your following.  Simply, organizations that are actively pinning will be able to gain new followers.  If you are active and pinning interesting stuff, there will definitely be Pinterest users who will see your pins and develop an interest in your organization.

Fourth, to engage and understand.  This quote from the Huffington Post article, “Pinterest for Nonprofits: 7 Organizations to Watch,”  sums up this benefit nicely: “In the end, nonprofit Pinterest users might learn a thing or two about their audience, and a large audience will get the chance to learn about the organization.”

Finally, to fundraise.  Pinterest lends itself well to cause marketing; An article from SelfishGiving.com tells how Elizabeth Arden and the nonprofit Look Good Feel Better worked together to execute a fundraising campaign and gives 4 specific and straightforward steps on how to fundraise with Pinterest.

I understand the benefits of Pinterest for Nonprofits.  Now what?

If you are not already on, sign up for Pinterest today!  If you are eager to get started but at a loss on what to post on Pinterest, here are 42 great creative Pinterest ideas for nonprofits that should give you a great start.

I’ll be following this up in a few days with a post on some examples of Hawaii organizations that I think are using Pinterest well that should hopefully give local organizations some inspiration.   If you or your organization needs help on how to best utilize Pinterest, contact me and I’ll be happy to give you some ideas. Mahalo for reading… now get pinning!

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