Nonprofits, Don’t Waste Your Time on Pinterest!

If you’ve been keeping up with the top nonprofit bloggers, you’ll notice that they are trying to tell you why your organization needs to be on Pinterest.  Normally, I jump right on the “social media is great!” bandwagon, but this time, there will be no jumping for Slade Sundar.

I’m here to tell you why you should  Not be Pinterested. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

Nonprofits on Pinterest? Nonprofits not Found!

Cats, Skirts, Bags – Nonprofits?

I had a social media fundraising epiphany while I was at the 2012 AFP Conference in Vancouver. It was impossible to avoid hockey. Everyone was watching it. The men, the women, the young, the old – It is a requirement to love the sport in Canada.  So i found a local and asked her “What is the first thing I need to learn to get into hockey?”

She said: ” You need to be an amazing ice skater before ever trying to learn hockey.”  Now, to be clear, I was referring to starting as a spectator – but what I got was an analogy for online fundraising and Pinterest:

Be phenomenal on ice skates (your website) before you ever try Hockey (Pinterest)

So with that in mind. Here are 6 reasons not to jump on Pinterest just yet:

1. Pinterest was designed for Retail. The top searches on Pinterest are related to clothing and recipes. Can your nonprofit fit well in those spaces? The majority can’t.

2. People are much less likely to search out causes on Pinterest than on Facebook. On Facebook, the power is connecting to people who are interacting with your content, and when they do, that interaction is public to their friends. If they like your page, their friends know. If they comment on your post, their friends know. Facebook is much more social, and not to mention you can actually integrate custom content and a donation form on Facebook with a powerful tool like Forte Interactive’s CampaignBuilder.

3. It is 100% visual. If it isn’t visually attractive, no one will click on it. Think about it – if you are struggling to find visuals to attract constituents on your website and on Facebook, you’ll do no better on Pinterest.

4. Pinterest doesn’t care about anything not Pinterest. Just like most social networks, it is designed to keep people on their social network, not to feed people to your site.  You must click once to get to the picture, and then click on the picture again – but honestly, why would someone? without true context to the image (other than a caption), you would have to be overtly “salesy” in the image itself to get people to click through. “Click on this image to help end hunger!” is cheesy and would prevent people from wanting to view the image in the first place.

5. Pinterest is Invite only - At the time of this post – Pinterest is still invite only.  If your goal is to easily engage new consituents, you will have trouble with an invite only network.  Google+  suffered from this as well.

6. Your website is horrible.  It’s okay. This is a safe place. You can cry if you need to! No matter what social media outlet you are using, everything will drive people back to your website.  If your website is cluttered, difficult to navigate or the content is out of date (because you don’t have a great nonprofit web solution to update it with) then you are losing donors on the most important step of the process.

Now, I’m not just being “a hater” – If your organization has completely optimized its web presence and its Facebook presence – by all means, jump onto Pinterest.

I’ll even give you some of the top resources on the web to start you off right, just to show you how nice of a guy I can be if I try…

 

S. Slade Sundar

Chief Operating Officer at Forte Interactive, Inc.
S. Slade Sundar is a senior executive, strategist, and international speaker on Millennial engagement, including topics such as recruitment, performance management, online technology, fundraising and endurance event registration strategies.

As the Chief Operating Officer of Forte Interactive, Slade leads marketing, operations, human resources, and product development, while overseeing a staff of Millennial employees. Slade helps to enable Forte Interactive’s vision, strategy, and innovation.
About the Author

S. Slade Sundar

S. Slade Sundar is a senior executive, strategist, and international speaker on Millennial engagement, including topics such as recruitment, performance management, online technology, fundraising and endurance event registration strategies. As the Chief Operating Officer of Forte Interactive, Slade leads marketing, operations, human resources, and product development, while overseeing a staff of Millennial employees. Slade helps to enable Forte Interactive’s vision, strategy, and innovation.