Pinterest for Nonprofits? …. 5 Tips for Raising Money with “Pins” | npENGAGE

Pinterest for Nonprofits: 5 Tips for Raising Money with “Pins”

By on May 8, 2012


Pinterest for Nonprofits

Pinterest for NonprofitsI have to admit when the whole Pinterest thing started, I thought to myself, “Oh great, now the internet is making me feel guilty about not putting my kids pictures in cute little scrapbooks.”

I just couldn’t see the business application.

Nor could I see how the nonprofits I work with would have time for yet another social network to their already hard enough social media struggle.

Really, Pinterest for Nonprofits?

Yet, where there is a will, there is a way. And Opportunity International found a way.

By launching a very creative campaign designed around “pay to pin”, the group hopes to raise money to help their mission of providing small loans to poor women overseas. This – and some of these other ideas – may set a blueprint for how other nonprofits can use this exploding technology.

Here are 5 Ways You Can Raise Money with Pins.

Once you’ve read these make sure to check out the full story on Opportunity International.

  1. If you are a humane society: Pin pictures of animals available for adoption. You could broaden this to include pins of people playing with their pets, new adoptions, shelter staff and volunteers, etc. Get creative by learning how to tell your story through pictures.
  2. Do you have a thrift store: Put your sales items up every week. Research is showing that Pinterest users have above average incomes and are mostly women between the ages of 25 – 54. Wow – talk about demographic specific. AND the new social network is projected to account for 40% of all social media purchases. Start pinning your sale items on a regular basis.
  3. Looking for a way to thank your volunteers and donors? Pin a thank you page. Take pictures of all your staff holding thank you signs to create a collage. Then have the last pin link to a donation or new event page.
  4. Run anyone? If you have team fundraisers as part of your race event, you can pin pictures of those teams with a direct link to their fundraising site. What a terrific way to support the efforts of these people who are supporting you!! That’s just one example. If you take 10 minutes to think about it for a minute I bet you could come up with at least 5 more awesome ways to use Pinterest as part of your fundraising event.
  5. Dance anyone? Or golf, or eat? Events are always great picture opportunities. Also a good place to post pictures of your auction items PRIOR to the big day. Just be sure to get permission to post and cite your sources. This is a great way to thank your donors … and encourage others. Looking for a unique way to promote your corporate partners? I think you may have found it.

Pinterest is pegged as a place to share things that interest you. In the beginning, founder, Ben Silberman, asked followers to “avoid self promotion”, but that didn’t last long.

Pinners no longer frown upon self-promotion or any other promotion for that matter.  So go forth and create a new landscape. I’m anxious to hear how it goes!


Debbi Stanley is manager of the Blackbaud client success team. As certified fundraising executive, Debbi has raised more than $15 million for nonprofit agencies and is a recognized expert in strategic, succession and resource development planning. During her nonprofit career, she served in many positions including development director for health and human services agencies and she was a successful consultant teaching nonprofits approaches to organizational development that properly leverage resources for project sustainability. Her expertise in situational leadership and her knowledge of funding strategies has helped hundreds of nonprofits do more for their communities. An avid fan, Debbi is blessed to have two sons who are great athletes at both forms of football – the American and the International version.

Comments (15)

  • eyebrand says:

    Great ideas- Thanks for posting.

  • paulawhidden says:

    Hi Justin, 
    You have listed some great ideas.  I especially like the thank you photos. It’s a great way to link back to your main website if they are already posted.  I think you could also use Pinterest as a way of providing tools for those served by the nonprofit, connecting other websites for easy access. What non-profits do you know who use Pinterest successfully beside Opportunity International?

  • At RSPCA Australia we have started to use Pinterest for our Hens Deserve Better campaign ( ) to show the beauty of hens and to get them out of cages. 

  • Claire says:

    Thankyou for a wonderful article…I love the bit about posting animals up for adaption..

  • Lindseylee21 says:

    This is awesome, I’ve been trying to figure out if my org had anything interesting enough to post in Pinterest and this definitely inspired me! I have spent the last couple of hours setting up our new Pinterest page and already have four boards full of content. Thank you!!

  • We like the suggestion of using it to thank volunteers.

  • Bioscir says:

    Hi!  i need a little help here…i am new to pinterest (just signed up yesterday) and i have my own pinterest page now.     I’ve been asked to help create a pinterest page that would help spark interest for a chorus in the area but i haven’t been able to create a separate page.  Everytime i log on, it goes directly to my personal page.  Can I set up a different one????

    • Debbi Stanley says:

      I would request a different account so that it can be “owned” by the chorus.  You need to send a new request to the guards (ha, ha) at Pinterest for another account.  That would be the cleanest approach

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