Reasons your Nonprofit should join Pinterest

Pinterest is a social networking site that focuses on visual imagery, using virtual pinboards. You can 'pin' images and videos (or articles which contain images or videos).

Pinning images to virtual boards allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections of events, interests, and hobbies -- similar to the pages you bookmark in your web browser, except these are organised on boards with images as links.

Members can pin images about anything on Pinterest. Conversely, the site offers access to images and links to ideas, products, design, in fact, anything that can be visually represented. The site is used by many individuals but business and brand managers have responded to the large amount of traffic on Pinterest and are pinning their own images on the site as a marketing tool. Boards focus on humour, tips and tricks, and showcase cool tech gadgets to gain a following and to ensure that the images are repined on other boards or sites, thereby promoting your visuals and ensuring that your images reach a wider audience.


  • Pinterest began in 2010
  • Since 2012 daily users have increased by 145%
  • 48.7 million users by February 2013
  • Users spend an average of 1 hour 17 minutes on the site making it one of the most effective social networking sites
  • 49% of internet users in USA are members of Pinterest
  • 4th most tracked website in USA

South Africa

  • 1.6% of South Africa’s internet users use Pinterest
  • Pinterest is the 19th most popular site in South Africa 
Although, the main demographic of Pinterest users has been women between the ages of 25 and 44, there is an increasing number of unique visitors from the entire spectrum of the population.  Current users in South Africa are early adopters but the trend internationally has been very rapid growth once a small core of early adopters has begun to use the site.

Here are some reasons your nonprofit should join Pinterest and create your own boards:

A picture is worth a thousand words

Pin images that promote your nonprofit and capture the essence of your organisation visually. Eye-catching images quickly get people’s attention. People react more deeply to visual representations than to words.  Images and videos of the conditions against which you are working can be pinned on your board. Your descriptions should reflect how your pins relate to your mission and your work. Photographs and videos of the work done by your organisation provide irrefutable evidence to interested parties, donors and fellow nonprofits. Share images from events or activities. Before and after boards work well to promote work done. Invite volunteers and others in your nonprofit to post photos of resources needed, progress of the action, and achievements.

Pictures personalise

Pin photographs and videos of the recipients of the work of your nonprofit, presenting them as the real people they are, telling how they have benefitted from your work. Ideas and images that are inspirational are soon re-pinned.  Embed inspirational quotes onto your images and you, or your recipients, will soon have a committed following. 


Pinterest allows you to share images and descriptions across a range of social networking platforms. Pinterest provides a uniquely visual and accessible platform on a user friendly network.

Market your brand

Use Pinterest to market the work you do to interested people, possible volunteers, possible donors and the general public. Storytelling through pictures is key to communicating your mission. Nonprofits market themselves through educational and emotive appeals. Pinterest is an ideal platform when it comes to such appeals.

Increase web traffic

Images that you pin on Pinterest can be repinned by people who find interest or value in your images.  As your URL can be attached to the images, those who see the images will be directed back to your website, genuinely increasing traffic and thereby your standing in search engines. Use keywords in pins and boards to enhance search-engine optimisation. You can pin articles from your website, as long as the articles have an image attached to them.

Interest and inform through infographics

You can place interesting and informative facts about your nonprofit and the work that you have done, or still need to do, in creative graphic style which will both attract interest and inform people about your non-profit. Really interesting infographics help to involve and interest the public in specific projects.

Make a call to action

Pinterest is an ideal medium for running promotions and conducting competitions that can be informative, bring in funds or garner support for your work.

Be a follower

Use Pinterest to follow other nonprofits and influential people in your field.  See what they achieve and how. If they follow back, you will find yourself in a powerful group of like-minded people who can support and inspire one another.

Engage and understand the public

Use Pinterest to ensure that people know who you are, what you do and how they can support you. Use clever visuals to show what your need in respect of volunteers, resources and even funds.  Monitor responses to your visuals in order to understand how the general public views your non-profit, and why, so that you can make changes, if necessary.