The Blog

Using Social Media as a Catalyst for Your Not-for-Profit

Today we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of advancing civil rights for Americans during a time of oppression and lost hope. Dr. King would have been 85 last week and since his time, the push for a better life for people all over the world has made great strides. In a world of instant connections, technology has helped several not-for-profits excel.

You may recall seeing stickers, signs and hashtags plastered on social media sites last year insisting you to help #StopKony. Kony 2012 was an Invisible Children (IC) campaign unveiling the abduction of thousands of African children by warlord Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. IC took to YouTube to share the story via video and within two days had more than 43 million views. As Forbes points out, the call to action from the video was simple: sign a pledge, get the bracelet and action kit and donate to stop Kony. Despite the political arguments and consequences of the campaign, it went viral quickly.

Much like Invisible Children, The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) gained attention about their “Too Young to Wed” campaign through viral video. When organizations successfully spark interest through video, viewers are prone to turn to websites for further information. Too Young to Wed’s website design creates a strong brand persona and avoids text saturated pages. Today’s generation spends about ten seconds on a page before deciding to navigate away, so compelling photographs that tell the organization’s cause are important, like this one:


Stay relevant by riding the wave when it comes to Internet fads, but quickly know when to transition before you sink. Our Time gets this. Devoted to giving a voice for Millennials in the broad world of political issues, this not-for-profit combines Internet trends like memes and E-cards with to the point bits of information for their Tumblr posts.  Your organization’s demographic may not understand the jargon used within your industry. Research how your audience is speaking to each other and create content based off that. Combine it with what’s popular on the web and voila, instant online engagement.

Are you doing something for the community today in honor of Dr. King or have a specific not-for-profit organization you think deserves a pat on the back for their use of social media? Start a conversation with me on Twitter, @whatupTUT, or leave a comment for us below!