The Newest Fundraising Engine: Pinterest

Pinterest is now the third largest social media site and the 16th most popular site on the web according to Social Raise, a Chicago-based firm that helps nonprofits to use digital experiences to raise funds, awareness, and impact.

SocialRaise’s Kevin LaManna provides 7 tips on how nonprofits can start using Pinterest to raise awareness, impact and fundraising.

  1. Engage. One of the most important aspects of a digital fundraising campaign is juxtaposing storytelling and technology. Pinterest is a fantastic resource for visual storytelling; it helps to engage donors, and engagement drives fundraising.
  2. Make non-visual things visual. People are inundated with facts and figures. Many nonprofits have successfully transformed data into a visually compelling infographic to allow people to easily digest the information.  Post infographics on Pinterest to provide a visually appealing data gallery.
  3. Brainstorm fundraising ideas.  If you’re looking to have a successful fundraising campaign, it’s powerful to get buy-in from your constituency at an early start. Instead of having a top-down fundraising strategy where the nonprofit is telling constituents how to fundraise, ask your base to “pin” pictures of interesting fundraising ideas.
  4. Social fundraising at its best. Pinterest gives organizations an opportunity to engage in an online visual conversation. If you’re raising funds for any cause, ask your volunteers to get a ‘photo of the day’ that represents your campaign. It goes back to engagement. The more they’re engaged, the more they’ll be willing to contribute to your fundraising campaign.
  5. Highlight your volunteers. Your volunteers are working hard for your organization. They’re in the trenches and can vouch for why their funds make their respective nonprofit tick. Take a 30 second clip of a volunteer’s testimonial in a video, post it on YouTube, then put it on Pinterest. Your video is now part of your visual storytelling.
  6. Highlight your success while pinning others. The same application as highlighting your volunteers can work for the individuals that your nonprofit is helping. Create a Pinterest board for a very specific cause “Labrador Rescue in Chicago” and then “Like” other posts that may spark interest in your post. This will notify that user and start a conversation.
  7. Increase your exposure.  If you have a focused fundraising campaign, tag your posts to be relevant to your cause. As people are looking for your organization, this will improve search engine optimization. When you’re thinking of your Pinterest board names and descriptions, this is something that should be at the forefront. The more people can find your organization and understand your cause, the better for your fundraising campaign.

Pinterest should not be the sole fundraising tool, but rather one tool in a myriad of fundraising tools used in the digital space. A solid digital strategy also should include other social media outlets, mobile, web alongside a carefully planned and executed marketing strategy to get the word out about your campaign.

How is your organization using Pinterest to raise funds?

Shannon McGarry
Project Specialist
Campaign Consultation, Inc.


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Shannon McGarry

Shannon McGarry is Project Specialist at Campaign Consultation, Inc. and an advocate for systemic, holistic approaches to building the capacity of nonprofits and community organizations. She has worked with nonprofits to strengthen and diversify their funding streams, expand and mobilize their membership base, and build sustainable programs. Read more.

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