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The Opportunity for Nonprofits on Pinterest

Kirsten McNeill is a Coordinator on the Content & Community team at Social Media Group.

I’ve covered how B2Cs and B2Bs are using Pinterest, which leaves only one more. Are nonprofits on Pinterest and if so, how?

They definitely are and there is plenty of opportunity for them! Nonprofits and cause-related organizations can use Pinterest to gain awareness if they can tell the story of who they are and what they support through a series of images. These images can come from a variety of sources such as the organization’s website or user-generated content from their social networks. They can even come from within Pinterest from other pinners’ that may have pinned their own images involving the organization.

Let’s take a look at some nonprofits on Pinterest that are doing it well. Operation Smile, an organization working to heal the smiles of children born with facial deformities, is dedicating its boards to pinning before and after images of children they gifted with free surgeries. To go along with the before and after images, they also have a board that tells the individual story of each patient. The visual nature of Operation Smile’s cause makes Pinterest the perfect fit to showcase their story and bring awareness to the difference they are making!


Last month, Opportunity International, providing loans, savings, insurance and training for people working their way out of poverty, used Pinterest to host a Mother’s Day Social Good Campaign. Followers could make a minimum donation of $5 and they could then leave a mark for their mother on the ‘Global Opportunity Quilt,’ designed to look like a Pinterest stream. This was a great campaign for Opportunity International because it enabled them to tap into Pinterest’s highly female demographic and reach those women that they are trying to serve.

One last example of an organization succeeding on Pinterest is PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. They are using their boards to promote awareness and as an easy outlet for their supporters to find information by pinning products that are vegan and don’t test on animals. By pinning products from supporting companies, followers will know which companies are behind the cause and can be confident they are still supporting PETA when purchasing from them. Another useful board for followers to reference is PETA’s recipe board, where they pin vegan and vegetarian recipes, which allows followers to support PETA in their everyday routines.

Each of these organizations are telling their story through its own images as well as others’ and doing so provides a more intimate look at what the organization supports and the culture behind that. The opportunity is not only to create awareness but also presents the chance to get to know more about the community that surrounds and supports an organization. It is a great way to connect with them and develop relationships by pinning and commenting on their images.

Are you a nonprofit on Pinterest? How are you getting involved?