Social Media for Nonprofits 101: Important Platforms to Know

Published on 4 Jan 2024 by Auctria

If you’re one of the roughly 4.8 billion social media users worldwide, you know how easily these platforms can become ingrained into your daily routine. That’s why many nonprofits — 87% across the globe, to be exact — turn to social networks to spread awareness of their mission and boost funding.

As a nonprofit fundraising professional, you may be looking ahead to the critical year-end fundraising season and considering how you can make the most of social media this year. Campaigns like GivingTuesday in particular thrive on social media, making it essential to have a clear strategy in place for connecting with supporters on social platforms.

This guide can serve as a critical resource for understanding the ins and outs of each social media platform and how they can serve your nonprofit’s mission. We’ll cover the following sites:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • X (formerly known as Twitter)
  • TikTok
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube

Social media marketing can be a great way to supplement your nonprofit’s online fundraising strategy, but you need a thoughtful strategy to ensure you’re making the best use of your time and resources. If you’ve found that one platform simply doesn’t work for your nonprofit, refocus your attention on the sites that actually drive the greatest engagement and results. With that in mind, let’s get started.


Facebook statistics for nonprofits

  • 99% of nonprofits use Facebook.
  • There are about 3 billion monthly active users on Facebook, making it the most popular social network.
  • Facebook tends to be the most effective social media platform for inspiring donations — of the donors who were inspired to give via social media, 56% said they were most influenced by Facebook posts.

Facebook for nonprofits overview

As the most popular social media platform worldwide, Facebook is an essential website for any nonprofit looking to expand its reach and raise more through online fundraising.

Nonprofit professionals can create a page for their organization by visiting Meta for Business and choosing the nonprofit classification.

Meta, the company that owns both Facebook and Instagram, offers plenty of resources and best practices for nonprofits looking to increase their fundraising efforts on the platform. This includes creative best practices, software updates, tips for managing Facebook ads, and more.

Most important fundraising opportunities on Facebook

  • Facebook Fundraisers: These are fundraising campaigns that can be created either by your individual supporters or your organization itself. Supporters can choose to raise funds on behalf of your organization at any time, or on special occasions like their birthdays. This form of peer-to-peer fundraising is an effective, organic way to introduce your organization to a new audience and increase fundraising revenue.

  • Facebook events: Facebook events are a useful tool for notifying your supporters about upcoming opportunities to get involved, whether those are volunteer activities, fundraising events, or awareness campaigns.

  • Posts: Regularly posting on Facebook keeps your mission and fundraising opportunities top of mind for supporters. Share information about your mission, promote your online giving form, showcase photos and videos from events, and interact with supporters to foster stronger connections.

Keep in mind that Facebook Fundraisers do present some challenges for nonprofit professionals. For example, Facebook doesn’t send contact information for donors, making it challenging to thank and retain new supporters. Facebook donations are also almost always anonymous, meaning data about these gifts won’t be reflected in your CRM.

Consider these challenges along with the benefits of Facebook Fundraising to determine whether your nonprofit wants to actively promote this fundraising option.


Instagram statistics for nonprofits

Instagram for nonprofits overview

Instagram is another social media platform within the Meta umbrella. The platform tends to appeal to younger audiences, with about 60% of users falling between the ages of 18 and 34. Regularly posting on Instagram can help you connect with this active and passionate group.

Instagram is a visual platform, with photos and videos (called Reels) making up the majority of content. Nonprofits use Instagram for a variety of purposes, from marketing upcoming events to engaging with supporters via direct messages or comments.

Most important fundraising opportunities on Instagram

  • Instagram fundraisers: Nonprofits can create fundraisers that are linked in their bios for 30 days.
  • Stories: Instagram Stories are temporary posts that are available for just 24 hours. Using Stories, you can share background information about your nonprofit, provide a behind-the-scenes tour of your facilities, interview constituents, or provide a day in the life of a staff member or volunteer.
  • Donation stickers: Organizations can add donation stickers to their Instagram Stories that supporters can tap to immediately donate.

Keep in mind that Instagram’s fundraising tools present similar challenges as Facebook’s. Accessing donor data can be difficult or impossible, and there is a payment processing fee of 1.99% + $0.49 per donation. If your organization is highly focused on donor retention, Instagram and Facebook might not be the best fundraising channels to support your goals at this time.

Keep in mind that Instagram’s fundraising tools present similar challenges as Facebook’s. Accessing donor data can be difficult or impossible, and there is a payment processing fee of 1.99% + $0.49 per donation. If your organization is highly focused on donor retention, Instagram and Facebook might not be the best fundraising channels to support your goals at this time.

X (formerly known as Twitter)

X statistics for nonprofits

X for nonprofits overview

X (formerly Twitter) is a platform best known for short-form written posts. Despite recent turbulence involving changes to the platform and user experience, the number of users has been steadily increasing for the past nine years. Plus, 30% of consumers want to see brands using X more.

X remains a widely used platform for many nonprofits, with specific features that are well-suited to support fundraising initiatives.

Most important fundraising opportunities on X

  • Hashtags: Hashtags are a central element of the X experience, allowing users to browse posts that are all related to a certain topic. By including hashtags related to your mission within your post, your nonprofit can raise awareness of its fundraising efforts and connect with supporters browsing the hashtags. For example, here’s a recent post from the American Red Cross that uses #HispanicHeritageMonth:

  • Links: You can include links to your website directly in your X posts. Share links to your online donation page, volunteer registration form, and other essential landing pages that help drive engagement.


TikTok statistics for nonprofits

  • 30% of nonprofits use TikTok.
  • There are 1 billion monthly active users on TikTok.
  • The average TikTok user in the U.S. reported spending 53.8 minutes per day on the app. This is the longest time spent on any social media platform.

TikTok for nonprofits overview

TikTok is a fully video-focused platform. Its “For You” page features content specifically tailored to each individual user based on their previous interactions.

The TikTok for Good platform is dedicated to spotlighting ways that individuals and organizations have used the platform to further their charitable causes. Previous campaigns have focused on education, animal welfare, and climate change awareness.

Plenty of nonprofits have found success promoting their missions on TikTok, including the Malala Fund, Girls Who Code, No Kid Hungry, and many more. For instance, here’s a recent video from Girls Who Code discussing the success of a new program:

Most important fundraising opportunities on TikTok

  • Promoted hashtags: Get involved in fundraising on TikTok by posting videos with a promoted hashtag. Potentially, millions of people can view your videos that include hashtags and get to know your nonprofit better.
  • Influencer marketing: Influencers are social media users with many followers, typically thousands or millions. Partnering with influencers on TikTok allows you to introduce your mission to a wider audience of potential new supporters who may not have heard of you. Influencers can promote your nonprofit by sharing information or links to your online donation page.


LinkedIn statistics for nonprofits

LinkedIn for nonprofits overview

LinkedIn is a professional networking platform focused on business and employee-related content. Using LinkedIn, you can keep your finger on the pulse of what matters most to today’s employees and job seekers, especially those looking for roles in the nonprofit sector.

LinkedIn offers multiple free or discounted resources to help nonprofits leverage the platform as a hiring, fundraising, and donor stewardship tool.

Most important fundraising opportunities on LinkedIn

  • Prospect research: LinkedIn can support your nonprofit’s prospect research by supplying information about prospective donors’ job statuses and whether they’re business leaders or owners. You can sync the information you find on LinkedIn with your donor management software to develop a fuller picture of your prospects’ lives, interests, and motivations.
  • Hiring: Find new talent for your fundraising or development team with LinkedIn Jobs. LinkedIn also offers a nonprofit discount for their LinkedIn Talent Solutions products, which can help you build your brand as an employer and access better data insights to make strategic hiring decisions.
  • Employee development: Help your nonprofit’s employees maintain professional development skills with LinkedIn Learning Solutions. Access high-quality, on-demand courses and personalized recommendations depending on each individual’s goals.


YouTube statistics for nonprofits

YouTube for nonprofits overview

YouTube is a video-sharing site where any person or organization can upload videos for free. Videos feature comment sections for viewers to share their thoughts, as well as the ability to like or share the content.

Nonprofits can join the YouTube Social Impact program to access lessons and best practices for making the most of their YouTube content.

Most important fundraising opportunities on YouTube

  • YouTube Giving: YouTube Giving fundraisers allow creators to develop content in support of charitable causes. They can add donate buttons to their videos or livestreams. The program has some requirements: your channel must have at least 10k subscribers, be part of the YouTube Partner Program, and cannot be designated as made for kids.
  • Mission awareness: You can use your YouTube channel to foster an awareness campaign for your mission. For example, this World Wildlife Fund video uses compelling imagery and messaging to spread its message of improving animal and environmental welfare:

Wrapping up

No matter what social platforms you use, your social media strategy doesn’t exist in a vacuum — it’s an essential element of your larger online fundraising approach.

Therefore, Bloomerang recommends leveraging virtual fundraising platforms that integrate with a variety of additional software tools and digital platforms. If you’re looking for a new online fundraising platform for your nonprofit, search for one that integrates with your most used social media platforms. This will allow you to manage social media campaigns from a bird’s-eye view and add data gathered from social media directly into your donor database.

With your larger online fundraising strategy and these tips and insights in mind, you can ensure you’re reaching your audience effectively on their favorite social media platforms.

Special thanks to Joshua Meyer for the expert advice. Joshua brings more than 20 years of fundraising, volunteer management, and marketing experience to his current role as the VP of Demand Generation for Bloomerang. As a member of the Bloomerang marketing team, Josh manages the organization’s growth marketing efforts. Through his previous roles at the Human Rights Campaign and OneCause, he has a passion for helping to create positive change and helping nonprofits engage new donors and achieve their fundraising goals.