When I blogged about Pinterest back in June, I marveled at how quickly it was growing. Pinterest’s growth has anything buy slowed, with pageviews increasing 2000% from June-October 2011. Today, I’m still marveling at Pinterest’s popularity and have a growing appreciation for how nonprofits are using Pinterest to share stories and illustrate the depth and breadth of their causes. Which raises the question, why does Pinterest make sense for nonprofits?
Demonstrating a Need
Aggregating content from a wide range of sources allows nonprofits to demonstrate a need without constantly saying they are experiencing increased demand for their services. If you are a conservation organization, pin articles that talk about the importance of and need for conservation. Show people how great the need for your services is by showcasing third party sources advocating for your cause. Leveraging third party sources can also help to build affinity relationships among other nonprofits that are using Pinterest to demonstrate need in other communities.
Pinterest offers nonprofits a tremendous opportunity to connect the dots between cause and effect. If you represent an animal shelter, something as simple as making one board of animals up for adoption and another for adoption success stories, can show people the impact your organization is making. If you represent a food bank, why not compile photos, blog posts and media coverage detailing all of your food drives for one board and feature another showing all of the people that are impacted by your service? It’s meaningful and will resonate with many.
A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words
As social media continues to decrease people’s attention spans, pictures become even more valuable. An 800-word article may be difficult to digest on a pc, never mind a smartphone, but a photo is much more palatable. While the ultimate success would be someone clicking through to see the original pin in its entirety, and reading any accompanying text, even viewing the initial thumbnail can make an impact.
Just as retweeting an interesting blog post or entertaining YouTube video increases exposure, repinning helps spread the word about important causes. Repinning can also help build community. If your nonprofit is on Pinterest, as are your volunteers, there is an opportunity to repin relevant information from one another and further cultivate that relationship.
Oftentimes, we will hear nonprofits say that supporters and clients alike don’t fully realize the depth of their services. Pinterest provides a tremendous opportunity to showcase different facets of an organization. The National Wildlife Federation has done a great job showcasing the various facets of their organization through Pinterest. The Federation’s use of Pinterest also demonstrates that content curation can be as powerful as content creation.
As Pinterest continues to grow, it will be interesting to see how other nonprofits harness the platform to demonstrate a need and showcase their impact. (How) do you see Pinterest fitting into your nonprofit’s social media and communications strategies?