Pinterest and the Potential for Online Donations

Convio, along with CAREUSE, published a report last week that outlined multi-channel marketing and the value of each approach, individually and together. Not surprisingly, it found that the dual channel donors give the most, an average of $123.29 annually. This is 46% more than only direct mail donors.

The more interesting aspect of Convio’s report was their breakdown of donation habits by gender and demographics. What they discovered was that women tend to donate online more often than men (56% of online only donations are from women). Take this fact, coupled with First Giving’s recent findings that on average, women donate more often than men (66% of all direct online donations through First Giving are from women), and it quickly becomes apparent that women are a very critical demographic to target for online donations.

Furthermore, these recent findings emphasizing the habits of women donators open up several possibilities when one considers the rapidly expanding popularity of the social media site Pinterest. As many know, Pinterest is the first social media platform that is largely dominated by female users (68.2% of all users are women) and has quickly grown into one of the largest platforms over the past year. Women seem to be drawn into the visual and easy-to-share nature of the platform, which is apparent in much of the content being shared.

Examining these two findings, it quickly becomes apparent that the next logical step would be for nonprofits to try and leverage the popularity of Pinterest and its majority female-user base as a means of raising awareness and gathering donations for their causes. If women as a whole donate more often online, it only makes sense to focus on targeting the platforms that best cater to their needs. The potential for turning the work your nonprofit is doing into a visually captivating narrative is tremendous and could open the possibility for a major increase in online donations.

To be successful in spreading awareness through Pinterest, a nonprofit must adjust the method of explaining their work to better fit the style of the platform. The most successful content on the platform are the visually captivating ones that often tell a story or explain how to do something. A nonprofit must transform its good work into a fascinating story that is told visually. A good place to start would be through a picture of the people who have benefited from your work. The possibilities for successfully spreading awareness to your cause are endless.

The only major drawback to Pinterest is that the platform is technically a social bookmarking site, meaning that it is a simply of a method of redirecting someone to content on another website. What this means is that you cannot just create a profile and expect people to find and follow you on their own. Pinterest requires users to be proactive in creating, organizing and sharing content. This can be rather time-consuming and may not garner results immediately.

Although this is a major drawback, Pinterest is still very much in its infant-stages and the potential for a nonprofit to take advantage of it to tell their story is tremendous. It is just a matter of understanding how the platform works and utilizing its features best to spread awareness to your cause and raise online donations.

How is your nonprofit utilizing Pinterest for awareness and online donations? Is it worth the time and effort? 


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