Social Media for Non-profits: Top Tips for Success

Social Media for Non-profits: Top Tips for Success

Non-profits offer both challenges and advantages for anyone who knows social media.

NGOs are most often run by small teams of volunteers, with limited resources and budgets. With the social media algorithm dictating that organic reach is plummeting in favour of ad spend, social media can sometimes seem like a lost cause.

Thankfully, there are tools and resources available for non-profits on social media. Most platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube offer support for eligible non-profits. They’re not helpful though if you don’t know where to find them!

Learn how to set your non-profit social media strategy up for success. Get your message out and make every effort count with these timesaving tips.

Download this e-book from Hootsuite.

Promote awareness

Communicate your mission to new followers and spread the word about new initiatives, campaigns, and issues within your community. And connect with the people who need support.

Build communities

Social media can be a powerful community building tool for non-profits. Create channels and groups where people can engage, share resources, and stay informed about issues that matter to them.

Inspire action

Rally people behind your non-profit with actions they can take to support your cause. Promote marches, protests, marathons, and other events. Encourage followers to attend fundraisers to collect donations.

Share your impact

Show people what your non-profit can accomplish. Celebrate victories, big and small. Let your contributors know you value their contributions and see how their help has made a difference. Share achievements, gratitude, and positivity, and you’ll attract more support down the line.

Social media tips for non-profit organisations

Follow these tips from Hootsuite to support your non-profit organisations’ social media goals.

1. Set up accounts as non-profits

Most social media platforms offer special features and resources for non-profits. Facebook and Instagram allow non-profits to add “donate” buttons and run fundraisers from their accounts. YouTube offers Link Anywhere cards, production resources, dedicated technical support, and fundraising tools.

Make sure to enroll as a non-profit in order to access these benefits.

Here are platform-specific links for nonprofits:






2. Add donation buttons

If your non-profit collects donations, make sure you’ve added donation buttons on Facebook and Instagram.

How to add a donate button to your Facebook Page:

  1. Go to your non-profit’s Facebook Page.
  2. Click Add button.
  3. Select Shop with you or make a donation. Pick Donate and click Next.
  4. Click Donate through Facebook. (You’ll need to be enrolled with Facebook Payments for this to work.)
  5. Select Finish.

How to add a donate button to your Instagram profile:

  1. Go to your profile and open the menu.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Tap Business then Donations.
  4. Turn the slider on beside Add Donate Button to Profile.

While you’re adding buttons, add links to your social media accounts to your website, newsletter, and email signatures. Make it easy for people to connect.

3. Take advantage of free training and resources

There are lots of free resources available on social media for non-profits.

Facebook and Instagram nonprofit resources:

YouTube non-profit resources:

Twitter non-profit resources:

LinkedIn non-profit resources:

Snapchat non-profit resources:

TikTok non-profit resources:

Hootsuite non-profit resources:

4. Develop social media guidelines and policies

Non-profits are often run by volunteers with varied skill levels.. Social media policies for non-profits allow organisers to provide structure.

With clear guidelines in place, it’s easier to onboard new volunteers and deliver consistency no matter who’s running the accounts.

A social media policy for non-profits should include:

  • A directory team members, roles, and contact information
  • Security protocols
  • crisis communications plan
  • Relevant copyright, privacy and confidentiality laws
  • Guidance on how staff and volunteers should behave on their own accounts

In addition to social media policy, it’s worthwhile to draw up social media guidelines. These can be combined or treated as separate documents. Here’s what your guidelines may include:

Guidelines should equip teams with the information they need to succeed and prevent your non-profit from straining limited resources.

5. Create a content calendar

content calendar is a good way to keep your nonprofit team on the same page. It also allows you to plan ahead so teams with limited resources aren’t stretched too thin or left scrambling to put things together at the last minute.

Anticipate key events that are important for your cause.

Take a look at Twitter’s Marketing calendar or Pinterest’s Seasonal Insights Planner. Note the keywords and hashtags so you can benefit from increased reach during these events. #GivingTuesday is an important social media for nonprofit event, too.

Develop a social media content strategy that compliments your organization’s objectives. Decide when it might be best to run campaigns and fundraisers.

Determine your posting frequency and start scheduling content. If possible, aim to post consistently.

6. Share stories about people

People connect with people. It’s as simple as that.

Studies repeatedly confirm that posts with pictures of people in them tend to receive more engagement.

These days people increasingly want to know who’s behind the brand and logo. That’s true of non-profits, too, especially since building and maintaining trust is imperative. Show your audience who founded your non-profit and why. Introduce people to your volunteers. Tell the stories of the people and communities you’ve been able to support through your work.

7. Post shareable content

Create content that people will want to share. What makes a post shareable? Offer something people will find valuable. Never underestimate the shareability of strong visuals—especially video.

Statistics and facts often reveal the cold truths behind certain issues. Infographics can help you tell the story behind the numbers.

Strong call to actions and motivational quotes work here, too. Want to rally people behind a message? Imagine your post as a protest sign.

8. Run a hashtag campaign

With the right hashtag and non-profit social media strategy, your organisation can shine a spotlight on important issues.

Choose a hashtag that drives your message home and is easy to remember.

9. Launch a fundraiser

Step up your social media marketing for non-profits with a fundraiser. Fundraisers have always been possible on social media, but now with several fundraiser tools in place, it’s even easier to collect donations.

On Facebook, verified non-profit organisations can create a fundraiser that lives on their page. Other features include a Facebook Live donate button and a fundraiser thank you tool.

Instagram also supports Live Donations, for fundraisers that you can run yourself, or other accounts can run on your behalf. You can also create donation stickers for Instagram Stories, and allow people to share them.

TikTok now has donation stickers, too, but for now they’re only available for certain organizations.

10. Signal boost with tags and partners

Partnerships should be a core part of your non-profit social media strategy. Why? The best way to reach more people on social media is with more people.

Join forces with like-minded non-profits, or team up with corporate partners and influencers.

Tag-to-enter contests can be an effective way to reach more people as well. Run a challenge or giveaway and ask participants to tag friends for a chance to win.

Need a little more of a boost? Consider social media advertising.

11. Host an online event

Events are an important way for non-profit members to come together, organise, share knowledge, and affect change. Social media is no longer just a place to promote these events. It’s a venue for hosting events, too.

Many events that would have once been held in person have gone virtual, opening them up to much broader audiences. Just about every platform, from YouTube to LinkedIn to Twitter supports live events, from webinars to dance-a-thons. These events can be streamed across multiple channels, and include live chat and fundraising.

12. Take advantage of Facebook Groups

With the increasing push towards Facebook Groups on users’ newsfeeds, they’re becoming more popular and with more visibility.

If you have groups targeting a geographical area, interest or other target audience then periodically use these groups to promote your content.

Credit: Hootsuite

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