Should Your Nonprofit Organization be on Pinterest?

Since launching in 2010, Pinterest has become one of the biggest social sharing networks with 72.8 million monthly active users. Making up 30% of social media users, Pinterest has firmly established itself as a dominant storytelling platform able to keep up with the likes of Facebook and Twitter. It provides a forum where people can share and collect the things they love by pinning them to a multitude of digital bulletin boards that reflect varying interests. See an outfit you want to recreate, pin it. Find an awesome recipe you want to use next week, pin it. Read an interesting article you want to reference later, pin it. Pinterest’s multifunctionality allows it be the perfect medium for different people to come together and showcase their hobbies and personality.

Now you’re probably thinking “yea I get that Pinterest is a great platform for sharing cute pictures and stuff, but how does it apply to my nonprofit?” We understand that the idea of translating your organization’s content into pinnable images seems pretty far-fetched but we promise it’s not. Actually, the only thing you need to pin something is a working URL (even though we strongly advise against this since Pinterest is a visual platform and all), so don’t miss out on placing your content on a social network designed to drive engagement and increase traffic to your website. Remember, this traffic can lead to people taking meaningful actions like signing up for your newsletter or donating to your cause!

Now that we’ve established that you’d be a dope to miss out on such a major marketing opportunity, let’s discuss how to maximize your Pinterest account.

Place “pin it” buttons throughout your site

Someone’s scrolling down your website and an interesting headline grabs their attention. They read the article, feel inspired, and think lots of other people should know about it. Right under the article, they see a convenient “pin it” button. Thinking about their “inspiring articles” board that’ll be perfect for your content, he/she decides to pin it onto their own account. Not only is your article now exposed to this person’s 200+ followers (with the possibility of being repinned to hundreds more!) but those that click the article are led back to your website and can learn more about your cause. Making it as easy as possible for people to share your content is key.

Make your content shareable! Place convenient pin it buttons throughout your site. #nonprofit Click To Tweet

Set up boards that reflect your organization

Your Pinterest account should reflect the personality of your nonprofit. That being said, your boards should be based on topics and interests that align with your organization’s values, mission and services. You don’t want to be too self-promotional! Remember, talking about yourself all the time is never the best social media method. You want to post content that shows off a different side of your organization. For example, if your organization is based in Manhattan, instead of having boards dedicated solely to your original content, create boards about your favorite places to eat in the city or the best parks in your neighborhood.

Create strong visually compelling content

  • The first thing users see is an image, so it’s important that it’s capable of grabbing their attention. Remember, you want to get people to click on the pin and go to your website so they can eventually get behind your cause.
  • No one’s stopping at a pixelated stock photo that can easily be found on Google. Create custom graphics using tools like Canva that make your content look unique and appealing.
    • Not a designer? Don’t worry, get started with more tips here.
  • Keep in mind, people love infographics. An infographic is a high quality image incorporating different information about a certain topic. They allow you to share hard data in a visually appealing way.
  • Make sure to also include your logo on each image. You want everyone to know who made the awesome content.

Follow like-minded accounts  

Pinterest can be a major hub for networking so it’s important to be social and build relationships. Make sure to follow back like-minded pinners that frequently engage with your content. It’s always good to share the love! You should also try seeking out accounts that post similar content and repin some stuff. It gets tiring trying to fill up your boards all by your lonesome and you’ll get more repins if you repin more. Some awesome nonprofits that have successfully used Pinterest to increase their impact include charity: water, the ASPCA, and Breakthrough.

Take advantage of Pinterest analytics

The more you know about your account the better. Pinterest Analytics allows you to tailor your content to garner the most engagement. Maybe infographics tend to get more comments than your other content or videos tend to get the most likes. Maybe one month you gained an unusual number of followers. Analytics allows you to figure out why and duplicate your successes while helping you avoid previous mistakes.

But maybe Pinterest isn’t right for you

All nonprofits aren’t the same so we wouldn’t advise every single one to start a Pinterest account. Although it serves as the perfect forum for arts organizations like Art in Action, maybe your nonprofit isn’t really that visual. You should only be on Pinterest when you know you’re capable of creating content that is not only worthy of being repinned but is an accurate reflection of your organization’s mission. You don’t want to compromise your image just to follow a trend. Also, with limited time and resources, make sure you are putting your energy into the platform that is giving you the biggest return on your time invested. For many organizations, Twitter and Facebook are crucial places to hone communities of supporters and participate in industry conversations. Make sure you’ve mastered the most crucial platforms before investing in Pinterest. Analytics will tell you which is a better use of your time.

Trust your analytics to tell you which social media platform is right for your #nonprofit Click To Tweet


If you put in the effort, Pinterest can be a marketing gold mine. No other social network allows you to put out original content that can be circulated for months on end. Free advertising capable of reaching hundreds- maybe thousands- of valuable users, what’s better than that?

Now that you understand how to maximize your Pinterest account, start making these changes and watch how your website traffic can grow! And if you have yet to venture into the social media platform that drives more referrals than Twitter, sign up now! If you need any more help, don’t be afraid to reach us as [email protected].

Get to Pinning!

Want to learn more about social media for nonprofits? Check out our newest Whole Whale University course! We’ll teach you how to drive nonprofit impact using engagement data and how to be your own social media guru.