Introduction to Social Media Marketing for Nonprofits

Written by: Kija Chronister & Matt Smith

As a nonprofit organization, you know that every dollar counts. You also know the importance of building and maintaining relationships with your donors and supporters. So how can you do both in the most efficient and effective way possible? The answer is social media marketing.

Social media marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your target audience and build relationships with them. It allows you to connect with people who are passionate about your cause in real-time, and it gives you the ability to track your engagement and measure your success. Best of all, it’s totally free to get started!

Choose the Right Platforms

The first step in getting started with social media marketing for nonprofits is to choose the right platforms. From Facebook pages and Instagram accounts to professional LinkedIn company pages and TikTok, there are a ton to choose from which can be overwhelming. The truth is you don’t need to be on every channel, at least not when you’re just getting started. It all depends on where your target audience is. 

  • If you’re a people-focused nonprofit, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the best channels to start with. These platforms are best for visual and video content to highlight the incredible people your organization supports.
  • If you’re a business-focused nonprofit, LinkedIn is your best channel followed by Facebook and Twitter. Linkedin is best for sharing business development or corporate news that would resonate with your bigger donors and partners.

Setting Up Your Channels

Most social media platforms offer special features and resources for nonprofits.

Facebook & Instagram

Since Meta owns both Facebook and Instagram, the parent company offers a whole suite of tools to support nonprofits and their fundraising efforts. Some Facebook features include adding a Donate button to your Facebook page and individual posts. While on Instagram you can add a Donate sticker to your Instagram stories as a different way to engage with your followers. It’s easy to apply and once approved you’ll unlock so many opportunities to set up your nonprofit pages for success.


Video is one of the most compelling ways to tell nonprofit’s stories which is why YouTube created its own Nonprofit Program. If eligible, you can utilize Link Anywhere cards to drive traffic to specific landing pages, optimize your content, receive dedicated technical support, and more.

Create Engaging Content

Once you’ve chosen your platforms, it’s time to start creating content. When it comes to social media, content is king. You should be creating goal-oriented content that will move your audience from aware to your biggest advocates. When it comes to nonprofits, there are 4 buckets most of your content can fit into:

Inspire Action

Rally people behind your nonprofit with concrete actions they can take to support your cause. Promote marches, protests, marathons, and other events. Encourage followers to call politicians, pressure or boycott bad actors, or simply adopt more mindful behavior. And of course, run fundraisers to collect donations.

Share Your Impact

Show people what your nonprofit can accomplish. Build momentum by celebrating victories, big and small. Let your contributors know you value their contributions and see how their help has made a difference. Share achievements, gratitude, and positivity, and you’ll attract more support down the line.

Build Communities

Grow your base and recruit potential volunteers, speakers, advocates, and mentors. Social media can be a powerful community-building tool for nonprofits. Create channels and groups where people can engage, share resources, and stay informed about issues that matter to them.

Promote Awareness

Education and advocacy are the first steps to affecting change. Share your nonprofit’s message on social media. Communicate your mission to new followers and spread the word about new initiatives, campaigns, and issues within your community. And connect with the people who need support.

Analyze Your Results

Finally, don’t forget to analyze your results so you can see what’s working and what isn’t. Most social media platforms have built-in analytics tools that will give you insights into things like engagement rate, reach, impressions, and clicks. Use this data to fine-tune your strategy and ensure you’re getting the most out of your social media marketing efforts.

Outline Policies & Guidelines

Nonprofits are often run by lean teams and supported by a network of volunteers with varied backgrounds, schedules, and skill levels. That’s why it is best practice for any nonprofit to have social media policies and guidelines outlined to provide structure and maintain flexibility.

With clear guidelines in place, it’s easier to onboard new volunteers and deliver consistency no matter who’s running the accounts. A social media policy for nonprofits should include:

  • A directory of team members, roles, and contact information
  • Security Protocols
  • A crisis communications plan
  • Relevant copyright, privacy, and confidentiality laws
  • Guidance on how staff and volunteers should behave on their own accounts

In addition to social media policy, it’s worthwhile to draw up social media guidelines. These can be combined or treated as separate documents but should equip teams with the information they need to succeed and prevent your nonprofit from straining limited resources. Your nonprofit social media guidelines may include:

  • Social media style guide that covers visual and brand voice
  • Social media best practices with tips and tricks
  • Guidelines for dealing with negative messages
  • Mental health resources

Contact our team of experts to see how we can support and grow your social media marketing strategy. We would love to take your non profit’s marketing to the next level!

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