Growing up, a good amount of my spare time was spent flipping through magazines and clipping out images to tack onto the overstuffed cork board hanging on my brightly colored wall. This collection of pretty pictures, far side comics and other random things was a creative outlet for my pre-teen self (I think they call them tweens now?). Now, like most things, this exact same activity can be accomplished online without the mess of scissors and glue. Pinterest, the virtual pinboard, allows individuals to collect images that are connected to content online. Pinterest serves as a one stop shop to find inspiration on wardrobes, DIY projects, travel and more.

22% of adults use Pinterest, while the primarily users are well educated women. Users span across a full range of ages, falling most heavily on younger generations ages 18-44. Females donate 64% of all charitable gifts and they make 85% of all consumer purchases in the U.S., so Pinterest is a great avenue to reach this powerful female market. Did I mention that a majority of Pinterest users make more $75,000+ a year? Those are some solid demographics for potential donors! For more Pinterest (and other social media) demographics, check out this site.

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Pinterest allows nonprofits to speak with a target market in a creative way. The question now is how do you make your posts *POP* on potential donors Pinterest streams.

  1. Be Visually Appealing. Just like on Instagram or Facebook, users on Pinterest are speeding through the images posted in their feed until they find one that pops out as “pinnable.” When posting images to your boards you want to make sure that the photos are high quality, relevant and interesting. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Make sure you are saying something that connects with your followers.
  2. Engagement is Key. Similar to any social media network, you must interact with your followers in order to retain relevance and attention. Pinterest has a lot of opportunity for engagement by following other users’ boards, repinning their pins and commenting on images that they pin. As you repin, you should curate the images into your own boards such as DIYs, event photos, history of your organization and other topics that pertain to your cause.
  3. Demonstrate Your Well Rounded Social Media Presence. Connectivity defines the times. You should utilize very chance you have to connect with your followers on a more personal level. The amount of social media networks may seem overwhelming, but once you have allocated your time to each, you will see that it is not so difficult. Pinterest will only require an hour or so each week since you don’t want to overwhelm users with your content. Followers will appreciate your presence on the different sites.
  4. Tell Your Story. By pinning your own images of past fundraising events, the history of your organization or infographics on the best strategies for fundraising, you can connect with your followers, tell meaningful stories and even coach your peer-to-peer particiants. It is important to highlight what makes your mission unique. You can do this by making cause specific boards and pins.
  5. Fundraising Potential. One of the best factors of Pinterest is its connectivity to other sites. Clicking on a pinned image will take the user back to the original page. This means that you can pin event photos from your website and Pinterest users will be directed back to your event site or general website. This year, Pinterest is planning to launch a buy button directly on their website in order to encourage users to buy the clothes, objects or artwork they are pinning. Although a donation button has not yet been discussed we can only imagine that is right around the corner and could be a really great opportunity to acquire new supporters and gain more donations.

Once you have established your organization’s brand on Pinterest you can use the tool Tailwind to measure your success on the site. Want to see some organizations that are totally nailing it on Pinterest? Check them out! Also, sometimes Pinterest perfection just isn’t realistic for some of us less-than-crafty people, but don’t worry, you can use Pinterest fails to your advantage too. I find Pinterest fails to be one of the best sources of comedy out there on the internet today and I’m crafting some ideas on how to use those to your nonprofit’s advantage so stay tuned!

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