If you’re a busy staff member or volunteer for a nonprofit organization, running a Pinterest account might seem like just one more thing to do. But this fast-growing visual social network can be a powerful tool for spreading your message.

The visual content that Pinterest highlights is the wave of the future in social media. And it tells your story and creates emotional connections in a way that words alone cannot. Your Pins also have a longer life than your posts on other social networks — that’s a big deal when you have limited time or staffing for social media and want to get the most mileage from every piece of content you share.

Need some inspiration? Check out these five nonprofits using Pinterest strategies that can work for groups of any size.


ASPCA on Pinterest

The ASPCA writes Pin descriptions that encourage involvement.

Pinterest strategy to steal: Use calls to action.

You’d expect the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to have Pinterest boards full of heartwarming animal pictures, and it does. ASCPCA engages users even more by consistently including calls to action — such as how to take part in an ASPCA campaign — in Pin descriptions.

Calls to action can travel farther around Pinterest when images are repinned. Follow the ASPCA’s lead by writing Pin descriptions that give users the next steps for getting involved with your group. You could direct them to news, tell them about an upcoming event, or give information on how to donate.

2. The Michael J. Fox Foundation

Michael J. Fox Foundation on Pinterest

The Michael J. Fox Foundation shares infographics about Parkinson’s disease.

Pinterest strategy to steal: Provide useful, practical information.

The Fox Foundation shows a deep empathy for Parkinson’s disease patients and their families by collecting information that explains Parkinson’s, tips for living with the disease, and even advice for caregivers. Much of this content is in the form of infographics, which work well on a visual site like Pinterest.

Your organization can curate infographics related to your cause from other sources, or even create your own.

3. National Wildlife Federation

National Wildlife Federation

The National Wildlife Federation has a variety of boards on popular Pinterest topics, like crafts and kids activities.

Pinterest strategy to steal: Know what Pinterest users love.

The National Wildlife Federation’s boards hit lots of popular topics on Pinterest: amazing photography, cute animals, DIY and crafting, and family and educational activities. All the thought given to what content works best on Pinterest has paid off: NWF has more than 15,000 followers.

Want to try this strategy? Research popular Pinterest topics and look for areas of natural overlap with your nonprofit’s mission.

4. Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network gives supporters ways to show their advocacy.

Pinterest strategy to steal: Create visual tools for advocates.

This organization’s Pinterest page gives supporters lots of ways to show their advocacy. One board features graphics that pancreatic cancer patients or their family members can share on social media to let others know whom they are “Taking a Stand” for. Those graphics, and the other highly shareable images that the network pins, feature the organization’s signature awareness color, purple.

New design tools make it easy to create images like these that your own supporters will love to post.



UNICEF taps its archives for Pins with nostalgic appeal.

Pinterest strategy to steal: Give new life to old images.

The United Nations Children’s Fund chronicles its current work with beautiful and dramatic photography. But UNICEF, which was founded in 1946, also uses its rich archives to create a distinctive Pinterest presence on boards such a Vintage UNICEF and UNICEF Posters & Stamps. Your nonprofit probably has a wealth of pictures tucked away in filing cabinets or photo albums that you could turn into eye-catching Pins. Making smart use of your archives keeps your boards supplies with fresh content and appeals to the many users who search Pinterest for nostalgic images.

Ready to start pinning? Check out our slideshare “10 Ways to Get More Repins on Pinterest” for even more ideas on engaging your Pinterest fans and growing your following.