Initial Thoughts Regarding Nonprofits & Pinterest

In what seems like an endless sea of people re-pinning cute outfits and photos of animals, the first time I logged on to Pinterest I thought, “This is not for me.”

But, I gave it a shot anyway, despite my initial lackluster feelings for the website.

I realized that the more boards I followed, the more I could avoid the outfits and artsy-inspirational quotes that continuously appeared on my home page. Finally, the things I found interesting (quirky artwork,  healthy recipes and fun craft ideas) were waiting for me whenever I logged on.

Although my feelings for have Pinterest grown in leaps and bounds, I was skeptical the first time I came across a nonprofit using the social media website.

This specific nonprofit is a nation-wide organization, doing amazing things throughout the country. I had high hopes, but I was quickly disappointed.

As I fumbled around their page, clicking on their various boards, I was (for lack of a better word) bored.

Nothing on their Pinterest was new or exciting, everything was just a re-post of material already on their Facebook, a collection of photo albums from various fundraisers and events.

I realized I was not the only person who shared these feelings, reflected in their low number of followers.

This Pinterest account lacked two main things;

-Interaction: What are people suppose to do with photos from their fundraisers? How would Pinterest users benefit from sharing them with their own followers? The photos didn’t have anything to do with the issues the nonprofit is actively trying to fix, the only time they mention their mission is in the small information box at the top of their page. How is this Pinterest account spreading their message?

-New and consistent information: Based on the times that each of their boards were created, someone just created all of the boards one day and has only returned two or three times to post new things. What is the benefit in flooding your followers with information one day every four weeks? Returning to my first point, without new information, there is little opportunity for interaction between the organization and their followers.

But hope is not lost- The deeper I dive into the nonprofit-Pinterest waters, the more I’m realize that this site could be very beneficial when used the right way and a bundle of nonprofits are already using the social media site to their advantage.

Stay tuned for future blogs about specific nonprofits that are using Pinterest in fun, engaging and interesting ways!

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4 thoughts on “Initial Thoughts Regarding Nonprofits & Pinterest

  1. Check out the City of Salisbury’s Pinterest. Our first board was collecting pictures from our community around an iconic playground in the area. This participation will be turned into real time engagement when the playground needs renewing in the next two years and for its 30th birthday later in 2012. Since then we have added boards about what we do as a council and had done fun too.

    • Thank you for the comment! I absolutely love the St. Kilda Playground board. It is great that you were able to involve the community and get a wide variety of photo-responses. The playground looks amazing, I love the water slide and draw bridge! I can’t wait to see what happens when the big birthday comes up, I’ll definitely be tracking it via Pinterest. I am also a huge fan of the Living Legends board, what a fun and unique way to spread the stories of outstanding individuals within your community!

  2. Thank you Caitlin. As with many we are still learning the possibilities of Pinterest but as a Community Engagement Officer I would like to get more out of it as a visual tool. The St Kilda Playground turns 30 in October so keep watching and glad you like what we have done so far.

  3. I think that a majority of Pinterest users are using the website as a visual form of social media because it is so photo-centric. There are plenty of other ways to received word-based information on various projects happening within specific communities and organizations, but Pinterest is great for people who are more visually-oriented because sometimes people want to stop reading an article or blog and just see a photo instead!

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