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7 Ways to Use Pinterest for Nonprofit Marketing

7 Ways to Use Pinterest for Nonprofit Marketing

Here’s a little known fact about SheerID; if you peruse the resumes of SheerID’s staff, you’ll notice that 2/3 of the marketing team has spent years marketing for nonprofit organizations. That’s one of the many reasons that nonprofits are especially near and dear to our hearts here at SheerID, and why we’ve come up with a business model that provides most nonprofit organizations and associations with our cause marketing and member engagement tools free of charge.

Of course, we’re also marketing geeks, so we have a tendency to get excited about new social media marketing opportunities like Pinterest. We get practically giddy when we combine the two and start thinking about how nonprofits can use new social media marketing tools to make the world a better place. It starts out as an idea for a blog post, and next thing you know, we’re publishing eBooks, writing a blog series, and creating photo galleries of our favorite nonprofits on Pinterest. We can’t stop ourselves; we’re just helpful like that.

On that note, we hope you enjoy this little presentation of eight organizations using Pinterest super effectively.

Our list includes some of the big players that media outlets like Mashable and TechCrunch have been covering because they’re just too good to ignore, but it also includes some smaller, lesser known organizations that are using Pinterest in exciting, innovative ways. So why did we focus in on these eight? Through their descriptions, pins, and boards, each one perfectly illustrates how you can use Pinterest for nonprofit marketing to support your own marketing efforts depending on the goals of your organization.

  1. InspireNational Wildlife Federation {National Wildlife Federation works to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future} :

The National Wildlife Federation has done a great job of compiling a collection of boards that are all in alignment with their mission statement, and create multiple opportunities for followers to find inspiration whether they’re crafters, outdoor lovers, parents, gardeners, or friends of animals.


  1. Strengthen Brand Identity- LIVESTRONG {We serve people affected by cancer and empower them to take action against the world’s leading cause of death.} :

Yellow and the phrase LIVESTRONG (in all capital letters) are both instantly recognizable parts of the LIVESTRONG brand. LIVESTRONG reinforces its strong branding throughout its Pinterest page and boards with yellow and black being the predominant colors, and boards with titles like LIVESTRONG Events and People Wearing Yellow.


  1. Position your nonprofit as a thought leader and expertAARP  {AARP is leading a revolution in the way people view & live life after 50} :

As one of the largest membership organizations in the world, with 38 million members, the AARP is perfectly positioned as an expert on its demographic. When you look at their Pinterest page you not only see boards dedicated to information on Social Security and How to Save for Retirement, you see boards that challenge stereotypes about what it means to grow old like 50+ Style, Health, and Music and Movies for Grown Ups.


  1. Drive traffic to your website- Official PETA  {Find us on Facebook  …. Follow us on Twitter}

PETA is doing a good job of driving traffic back to, increasing their visitors and improving SEO. There’s a fine line to walk on Pinterest between self-promotion and spam. Even though a large percentage, probably the majority, of PETA’s pins direct back to their own website, they’ve found a balance by allowing other people to contribute to their boards like on LOL, re-pinning content from vegan celebrities and authors like Alicia Silverstone, and creating multiple boards to differentiate their own content (PETA vegan recipes) from others’ content (Other vegan recipes).


  1. Foster relationships- charity: water {charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations}


PanCan  {The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is fully committed to providing the most comprehensive set of programs and services to fight this very difficult disease.}

These two organizations are fostering different kinds of relationships. The first, charity:water is using Pinterest to promote companies whose ideals are in alignment with their own through their Products We Love board where the staff pins companies they admire for their philanthropy. You could also use Pinterest in this way to support your corporate partners as part of a cause marketing campaign.  The second nonprofit, PanCan, uses Pinterest to publicly thank their dedicated volunteers on their Volunteer Stories board for National Volunteer Appreciation Month.


  1. EducateAmnesty International USA {We post on fair trade, book and movie recommendations, inspiring quotes and other good stuff that help make the world a better place.} :

When Amnesty International started their Pinterest boards, they not only saw an opportunity to promote fair trade goods, but also to inform millions of people about human rights violations, and why they should care about buying fair trade in the first place with their Human Rights Reading List, infographics pinned to a board simply titled Facts, and a Little Activists board which includes their teaching guides for elementary school children.


  1. Call to Action- Humane Society of New York { Humane Society of New York} :

The Humane Society of New York pins adorable photos of cats, dogs, and exotic animals who are looking for homes, in hopes that someone will discover their new best friend and click through to find out more information about how they can adopt that specific animal. It’s like online dating for pets! The humane society also created a board called Wish List, where they can publicize items they need at the shelter like mops, cat litter, file folders, and newspaper to solicit donations.


Hopefully, these examples have inspired you. If you need more eye candy to get your creative juices flowing, check out Nonprofits on Pinterest or come back next week when we’ll explore three ways to use Pinterest to raise money for your nonprofit organization or association.

If you can’t stand the wait, request a complimentary copy of our eBook, Pinterest: A Guide for Nonprofits and Associations which includes tips for getting started on Pinterest, more details on creating goals that are in line with your mission statement, and fundraising.