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Having a solid social media strategy is crucial for any marketing team. However, choosing the best social media sites for nonprofits tend to be more difficult. Many marketers know that Facebook and Instagram are all the rage, but do they work the same for nonprofit organizations?

The short answer is yes.

We recently ran a study into the state of small business and, while a significant number of our participants were in retail and marketing, there were a decent number of participants that worked in nonprofits.

When we asked our pool of participants where they saw their most significant opportunity to build brand awareness, social media took the cake.

Small businesses, nonprofits included, rank social media as their best opportunity to build brand awareness.

Check out the rest of the guide here.

Why social media matters

If email marketing is the most effective of all digital content, then why should nonprofits utilize social media in their digital marketing strategy?

Social media allows nonprofits an additional channel to connect with and build relationships with their target audience. People turn to social media for quick information, making it a great tool for communicating one-on-one with your audience, especially when they have questions that need addressing.

Possible donors want to know the people behind the nonprofit, so having a social media presence can also build trust amongst your audience members.

Social media pages allow your audience to contribute and get questions answered easily.

Source: American Red Cross/Facebook

The best social media sites for nonprofits

When trying to determine the best social media sites for nonprofits, there’s no one correct answer. What it all boils down to is where your nonprofit’s audience is hanging out the most.

However, several social media platforms are worth looking into. Read on to learn about the top four.


With around 500 million daily active users, Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms being used by brands worldwide. With that many active daily users, it’d be difficult to ignore the potential that Instagram could provide a nonprofit, as far as brand awareness.

With 64% of Instagram users falling between the ages of 18 and 29, this is a platform that suits the average nonprofit demographic, and for those that target ages 30-49, this is still a viable option, considering that particular age range makes up 40% of all Instagram users.

Instagram is one of the most frequented social media platforms, making it a top contender for nonprofits.

Source: American Red Cross/Instagram


Once known as the Facebook for professionals, LinkedIn has been gaining traction when it comes to marketing efforts for brands in many industries, including nonprofits. In fact, Classy ranks it as one of the top three best social media sites for nonprofits.

LinkedIn is an incredible source when it comes to building your nonprofit’s credibility. Those who turn to this platform are looking to connect and develop their professional networks, and nonprofits could benefit immensely from partnering with business leaders worldwide.

While the value of a LinkedIn “share” may not be equal to that of a Facebook “share,” it counts where it needs to: in overall credibility.

Anyone can share a Facebook post, and it doesn’t hold much weight when it comes to building your credibility. However, when a business leader shares your post on LinkedIn, your audience knows you mean business.

LinkedIn is quickly becoming a favorite social platform for nonprofits.

Source: American Red Cross/LinkedIn


As far as the top social media platform for adults goes, Facebook takes the cake, with a total of 68% of adults using the platform, only being topped by YouTube. If your nonprofit is looking to target a more mature audience, this is where you’re most likely to find them.

Facebook may seem like a slightly outdated platform to many, but it shouldn’t be discounted. In fact, it’s not only one of the easiest platforms to navigate, but, when it comes to regular communications between nonprofits and their audience, it’s hard to beat Facebook’s messenger app.

Facebook’s fundraisers feature also makes it easy for people to create fundraisers for their favorite nonprofits, allowing them to share amongst their friends and make donations directly through Facebook.


It may shock some to see Reddit listed under the best social media platforms for nonprofits due to their strict community guidelines against promoting for monetary gains. However, what most neglect to investigate is the possibility of raising awareness on the platform.

Globally, Reddit is the #19 most visited website, while, in the United States, they rank at #6. As of 2018, there were approximately 330 million Reddit users. That’s a lot of eyes that could be looking for your nonprofit.

While promoting for monetary gains is frowned upon, there’s a time and place for everything, and nonprofits tend to be the exception to the rule, especially if they’re active within the community and providing valuable content to the platform’s users.

Reddit is less popular due to their strict regulations on promoting for monetary gains. However, there are exceptions for worthy causes.

Source: Reddit/Red Cross

Other noteworthy social media platforms

While these are 4 of our top choices for best social media sites for nonprofits, there are still plenty of other platforms worth considering, including:

  • YouTube
  • Snapchat
  • Twitter
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest

Choosing the best social media sites for your nonprofit

Just because there are so many social media sites out there, that doesn’t mean you should set up a profile with each and every one of them. Instead, you want to focus on one or two options that would best suit your social media strategy.

So how should your marketing team go about choosing the best social media sites for your nonprofit? By taking the following three steps:

1. Define what role social media will play in your nonprofit’s marketing strategy.

Simply having a social media profile doesn’t mean the work is done. Your nonprofit needs to have a social media strategy that integrates with your overall marketing strategy. What’ll you be using your social media for?

  • Driving donations?
  • Customer service?
  • Spreading brand awareness?

Remember, not every social media platform is created equally. So, once you’ve narrowed down the role your social media will play in your larger marketing strategy, you can start narrowing down your list of possible platforms.

2. Define your nonprofit’s target audience.

In order to pick the right social media sites that’ll garner your nonprofit the best reach, you need to be able to define your nonprofit’s target audience. When defining your target audience, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which gender is most affected by your organization?
  • What age range will your nonprofit cater to
  • Does your ideal donor have a certain job title?
  • Does your ideal donor have a certain level of education?
  • Does your ideal donor make a certain salary?

Questions such as these will help you visualize who your target market is. Another way to help you define your target market is to check out who your competition is targeting.

Once you have this information nailed down, you’ll be able to target specific social media sites that cater the most to your audience members.

3. Set SMART goals for your social media strategy.

As with any other aspect of your team’s marketing strategy, you need to make sure you’re setting SMART goals. These are goals that are detailed down to the letter.

SMART goals are detail-driven, ensuring your ability to reach them in a timely manner.

Source: Content Marketing Institute

Once you’ve got your goals defined, you can better target how your social media presence will fit into your overall marketing goals.

Wrap up

Having a solid social media strategy means you know which platforms are best suited to your nonprofit and where your audience is most likely to be hanging out.

If you’re unsure of where to begin, we suggest researching the following social media platforms to see if they fit into your SMART goals and overall marketing strategy:

  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Reddit

Need help building your nonprofit’s social media strategy? Be sure to check out our quick guide on how to create an effective social media strategy.

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This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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