Pinterest’s star is rising. Visually stunning, interactive and unique, nonprofits should take note.

It’s even replacing Google as the search engine of choice for some people.

Pinterest may not be a good fit for all organizations. But if you have some great stories to tell, a solid content strategy, a nice collection of your own photos – and women are an important target for you – it may be your darling.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a virtual scissors, pinboard and cataloging tool for web content. Back in the heyday of print media we clipped magazine articles, recipes and photos that we wanted to save and depending on our organizational aptitude, threw them in a box, album or drawer.

Pinterest is that virtual box, helping you cherry pick and organize the things you care about, and share them with others. People use it to compile desiderata, make wish-lists, plan trips, organize events, start collections and plan projects.

Whatever your passion, there’s a place for it on Pinterest. Animals? Social justice? World hunger solutions? All are wondrously pinable.

Why Pinterest for Nonprofits?

1. Pinterest is on fire

  • Pinterest has accumulated over 40 million active monthly users.
  • Pinterest has surpassed Twitter in terms of U.S. adult Internet users (21% versus Twitter’s 18%).
  • Pinterest is a powerhouse for driving traffic to your website, if used right.

2. Pinterest is favored by women

  • As a general trend, women use social media sites more than men, but on Pinterest the gender gap is more pronounced with 82% of active users of the female persuasion.
  • According to numerous studies, women at all income levels are more likely than men to donate to charities—in some cases, nearly twice as likely.
  • Women tend to be more loyal as donors.

3. Pinterest keeps your content alive

  • Pinterest is aspirational, rather than heat-of-the-moment. Similar to a bucket list or vision board, Pinterest is geared to planning and sorting what you like.
  • Unlike Facebook, which operates in the here and now with ever changing status updates (and where your content is dead within 12 hours), your content stays alive on Pinterest for much longer. People pin and repin, and it doesn’t matter if your post is 6 months old. Someone can still come aross it and repin again.
  • This means all that time you put into crafting a beautiful image with an inspiring message pays off on Pinterest. If you create something that really resonates, it will keep giving for months.

All of these qualities make Pinterest a fantastic place to embed your organization and tell your story with panache. What moves you, inspires you, what do you want to see happen in this world?

If you’re already feeling smitten with Pinterest, let’s start pinning!  But first read How to Set Up Your Nonprofit on Pinterest and 11 Best Practices for Using Pinterest so you’ll hit the ground running.