The lure of the ability to tell a good story with pictures, to share your passion on a “board” and target female donors seems so tempting to nonprofits because it’s exactly what they want to do. However, as fun and great as Pinterest is, I don’t think it’s the right space for the majority of nonprofits to spend their time — and here’s why:
Limited time, money and resources.
Pinterest is another social network and just like all social networks, it takes time to build your profile and a lot of time to build your following. It also takes time to create your boards and pin things on them. There’s really no data set yet for the frequency of how often you should pin things so you are winging it. Nonprofits don’t have time to “wing it” on a daily basis. They have limited time and limited resources for social media. Often times, the person doing social media is doing two or three other jobs as well. And let’s not forget that social media is not free. These resources cost money.
Pinterest is not a social network.
Pinterest is a social bookmarking site, not a social network. It is in the same family as StumbleUpon, Delicious, and Digg. Like all social bookmarking sites, you add links and if there is an image, it will post it for you. You can have people follow you. On some you can create groupings of your links (called “stacks” on Delicious). It’s the same concept, just presented differently.
Nonprofits should ask themselves: Are we on social bookmarking sites now? If yes, then evaluate the others next to Pinterest and see which one works best for you and go with one. If the answer is no, then Pinterest isn’t for you either.
No Donations Concept.
Nonprofits exist because of donations. Currently, Pinterest doesn’t offer any way for you to collect donations on Pinterest in any way,shape or form. The best you can do is get people to spread awareness about your cause, which isn’t a bad thing. Except that people don’t want to leave Pinterest to go to a nonprofit’s website to make a donation. Do you know how compelling your images have to be in order to move someone enough to leave all of the fun they are having on Pinterest and donate? If you had images like National Geographic or the Humane Society of New York has, then maybe, just maybe, it would be a good space for you to show that off and get people buzzing about it. But you could easily put those images on your Facebook page, Google Plus page, or tweet them out. So ask yourself, is it worth the time to add another social platform to your repetoire?
Note: You can add a $ sign and amount to your image description and it will put a banner of the price in the upper left corner of your image, but in order for a person to donate – they have to click on the link. See below: