With the popularity of Pinterest surging at present, the adaptability of the site has really been highlighted by the increased variety of users signing up. In particular, there have been growing numbers of charities joining the site and utilising it in quite imaginative ways.
The photo-sharing site, which recently became open to all, is being realised as potentially becoming ‘a great source of donations’. This is due to the site being dominated by females (70%) mostly between the ages of 25-44, a demographic which is often hard to target. Campaigns on Pinterest could subsequently bring increased success for the charities tapping into this and also help to further their message and support base.
Some have suggested however, that Pinterest can only lend itself to certain charities due to the visual nature of the site. However, as is being shown, numerous charities are making use of it and finding a variety of original ways to portray themselves. Recently, the Blurt Foundation has made use of the site to try and remove the stigma surrounding depression. Whilst the subject can be difficult to convey, co-founder Jayne Hardy believes that “images can be more powerful than words”. The decision to turn to Pinterest was an obvious one for the charity and has really helped to raise awareness. Through their use of the site the foundation were featured on the Total Politics blog for their depression in politics series.
Numerous other UK charities are now utilising Pinterest as it becomes an essential part of social media campaigns. Jordan Harling (Reason Digital) has noted that the goal for charities is to ‘use Pinterest to connect people and communities based on their social interests and motivation to do good’. By being creative, charities can gain attention and stand out from the crowd. The network can also be beneficial through linking up with other social media platforms and blogs for instance. So by grabbing the attention of the user on Pinterest, they could then be directed to the charity site and even make a donation. Even if a donation were not to happen, the charity has successfully disseminated its message and may gain support through this in the long run.
Some notable charities using Pinterest include water, a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Their boards contain images from field trips, fundraising campaigns and photos of the day, which prominently feature water. The WWF are another significant group to have taken to the site. Understandably they use a lot of images of animals but they also include boards devoted to supporters and ‘tips to go green’.
Consequently, despite it being relatively new and unfamiliar, Pinterest is fast becoming a key avenue for charities. As well as helping to generate donations, the site is allowing charities to broaden their message and potential audience. In terms of visuals, these charities are also doing a great job in pinning creative, interesting content. This is sure to develop in the future as the site advances and understanding increases.