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How to Fundraise Using Pinterest

Ok, so last week we looked at ways to inspire, engage, and educate the public using Pinterest.   Now we’re going to get down and dirty and talk about what every non-profit actually wants to know- “Can you use Pinterest to raise money?” The answer is yes. Yes, it is possible to fundraise through Pinterest, BUT (did you see that coming?), honestly, Pinterest is probably never become your organization’s top fundraising source. Nonprofits who are already actively attempting to use Pinterest to raise money for their organizations are giving it mixed reviews.

We still think it’s worth trying, as long as you don’t sink a ton of time or resources into it. Here’s why- Pinterest is more likely than any other social network to drive revenue.

  • 20% of Pinterest users who have pinned an item have gone back and purchased it later, a high conversion rate for social media
  • Shoppers who come to your website from Pinterest spend 10% more than visitors from other social media networks
  • Eventually, Pinterest is expected to account for 40% of all social media purchases.

If you’re ready to give it a go, let’s look at how successful nonprofits are currently using Pinterest effectively to rake in cash.

1. Create an online fundraising catalog- SFMOMA’s Museum Store {The West Coast’s first museum devoted to 20th century art.}
If you already sell swag  on your website like t-shirts, books, posters, stickers, or branded items, Pinterest makes it extremely easy to promote your merch. Selling more merchandise helps you raise more money for your organization. All you have to do is pin an image of your goods  and type a product description and the price in the description box. When you type a “$” symbol, Pinterest automatically adds a grey banner to the left hand side of the image, and the item will be added to the Gifts tab on Pinterests’ home page. Easy peasy.

2. Sell Virtual Goods- Camfed {Campaign for Female Education}
Operation Smile {Healing smiles & changing the lives of children born with facial deformities.}
Opportunity International {Opportunity International provides microfinance loans, savings, insurance and training to over 4 million people working their way out of poverty.}

Even if you don’t offer actual merchandise, with a little creativity, you can still offer an online catalog on Pinterest. Camfed, Operation Smile, and Opportunity International have all made boards that offer virtual goods.

Camfed offers Mother’s Day eCards. When you click on a pin, you are taken to a donation form on their website where you can send your mom an eCard in exchange for a donation. Don’t you think that would give your mom the warm fuzzies?

On Operation Smile’s Creative Fundraising board, you can “buy” bottles for as little as $10, or if you’re feeling more generous, you can even sponsor a surgery for $240.

Opportunity International designed an awesome virtual quilt for Mother’s Day, and allowed supporters to build their own tribute patch honoring their mothers in exchange for donations.

Hundreds of organizations offer supporters opportunities to sponsor an animal in a sanctuary, “adopt” an endangered species, plant a tree in someone’s honor, or give a dog house to a chained dog in need. Any of these could be pinned to Pinterest as virtual goods and included in the Pinterest Gifts tab by a clever organization.

3. Promote Existing Fundraisers- charity: water { a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations}
If you already host a walk-a-thon, a race, or even a knit-a-thon, you can help individuals and teams collect sponsorships using Pinterest. Pin a photo of the walker, runner, team, or knitter and link it to their personal fundraising website or page. They can repin it to make sure their families and friends see it and donate. On their Creative Fundraising board, charity:water has supporters who are raising money by doing everything from dyeing their mustaches blue to selling pine cones! Tagging the posts with a keyword or using a hashtag symbol, #( the same way you would on Twitter) can make these pins even easier for supporters who want to donate to find using Pinterest’s search engine.

And there you have it, 3 easy ways to fundraise using Pinterest.

While we’re talking about grassroots fundraising, I feel compelled to mention that SheerID has dreamed up another fundraising channel you might find interesting. If you’d like to learn more, visit this web page or give us a call. Our services and tools are nearly always free for nonprofits and associations. You can even request a complimentary copy of our eBook, “Pinterest: A Guide for Nonprofits and Associations”.

If you implement any of these suggestions on Pinterest or see a really awesome example of cause marketing using social media, send it our way. We just might end up featuring it in a blog post, on Twitter, or on our own Pinterest boards! Happy pinning.

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