Nonprofit Pinterest Promotion

This post by Ben Tedore

Posted in Advertising, Communications, Marketing, Technology, Tools, Trends
By Rachel Harper- Marketing Intern at the Nevada SBDC

As a Marketing intern, I spend a lot of time researching what’s new and trending in terms of marketing. Currently, Pinterest is increasing in popularity, so now is the time to hop on the bandwagon. Though not yet as popular as Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest has grown drastically within the past couple of years. However, it has a very specific audience. According to Forbes Magazine, it is mostly composed of college-educated females 25-34 years old. This narrow segment isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This demographic is known for its purchasing power, which is why many companies try to use Pinterest to market themselves, including nonprofit organizations.

Nonprofits market themselves to consumers in a variety of ways, but often through educational and emotive appeals. Pinterest is a great gateway when it comes to these two appeals. Firstly, the biggest difference between Pinterest and other social networks is that it uses pictures, not writing. This visual aspect allows users to connect to Pinterest in a different way. For nonprofits, this means they can post pictures that are inspiring, sad, helpful, informative, etc. Pictures often evoke more emotion than writing. pigFor example, The Humane Society might say that factory farming is bad because pigs (and other intelligent animals) are thrown into tiny pens where they don’t have enough space to turn around, suffering until they are led to slaughter, assuming they don’t first batter themselves to death against their pens. That’s a brutal sentence, but you can’t quite see every detail. The picture on the left, however, might really make you think twice next time you’re craving bacon. And if that’s not bad enough, a pinned video of factory farms will probably push you over the edge.

Another visual tool is known as infographics, which allow an organization to show a large amount of data in an easy- to read and visually appealing format. Inforgraphics allow people to grasp a concept more easily than reading a paragraph of text. Pinterest also allows for links back to websites or social media when clicking on a pin. This can be a great way to get people straight to an ‘action’ stage. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals posts pictures of their store items on Pinterest. When clicked on, these lead you straight to the item you were looking at and you can add it to your cart with one click.

Finally, I have also made a short list of tips that nonprofit organizations should implement in order to be more effective in Pinterest marketing. When making this list, I referenced two blogs: John Haydon’s “12 Ways to Use Pinterest for your Nonprofit” and Mashable’s “10 Strategies for Non-profits on Pinterest” when assembling this list.

  • Create purpose-driven boards– for example “Rescued Animals”- a board of happy endings
  • Use interesting, appealing images– this is common sense, but important
  • Realize who your audience is– it’s mostly educated women, so post accordingly
  • Follow similar organizations– they might follow you too, giving you more presence
  • Follow influential people (people who have lots of followers)- if they follow you back, their followers will see you
  • Use keywords in pins and boards– great for SEO (search-engine optimization)
  • Make sure people know where/how to donate– give them a clear call to action or there  won’t be any

For more information on Nonprofit Marketing, visit my blog at


Forbes Magazine: “Monetizing Pinterest? Pinbooster Has it Covered”

Mashable blog: “10 Strategies for Non-profits on Pinterest”

John Haydon’s blog: “12 Ways to Use Pinterest for your Nonprofit”

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