Pinterest for Nonprofits

A How-to Pin for Nonprofits

A How-to Pin for Nonprofits

As part of FLC’s Social Media Month, FLC has put together tips and strategies for using social media platforms as a nonprofit organization. If you’ve missed the first two webinars, check out the Twitter webinar on Thursday, November 21 at 12 p.m. This week we provided a webinar on the 3rd most popular social media site in America: Pinterest!

Pinterest is an image-based social media site that was created in 2010 where users can share photos with their followers and create collections of photos based on a theme. Each individual image is called a “pin” and the collection on which the pin is posted is called a “pin board.”  A user that follows another can decide to share a specific pin with their followers and “re-pin” it to one of their boards. Finally, there are “likes” and “comments” that function the same way as they do on Facebook. Pinterest users are more often than not women. They make up 80% of the 700 million users on the site.

Pinterest is beneficial for nonprofits for several reasons. Pinterest is known for having outstanding SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This allows for an accounts pin board to be found from an ordinary Google search even when the person who searched it doesn’t use Pinterest. The site also directs back pins to where they first were originated, so it’s a good idea to pin content that originated on your website or blog—this will take a user who clicks the pin to be brought to your organization’s site.

Driving traffic back to your website so that people can read about your mission and what your organization does is one of the biggest reasons why businesses use Pinterest. In fact, Forbes has found that Pinterest pins can significantly drive sales. Why not drive donations too?

There are some things to keep in mind when you’re beginning to choose content for your Pinterest. Above all, remember that Pinterest is a photo-sharing site. Articles and blog posts aren’t going to be as popular here, so if you want to post a blog on Pinterest, make sure to have some sort of image that people would want to re-blog. Photos of a tutor or student who has completed their GED are also good ways to supplement a blog post.

Other useful content to post are Infographics and Inspiring Quotes. Infographics are basically a graphical representation of statistics about a certain theme. You can find inspiring quotes with a simple Google search, and then use to make them look more appealing. Infographics can be found at or The latter allows you to create a basic account and try your hand at making literacy infographics. Useful Pinterest accounts to follow include Larry Ferlazzo, GCFLEarnFree, and ABC Life Literacy.

Here are some good strategies to use when you first start pinning:

  • Research Keywords
  • Follow Other Literacy/ Education Organizations
  • Plan:
    • Peak times- 2pm to 4pm or 8pm to 1am
    • Don’t forget the weekend
    • Diversify target audience with several Pin boards
    • Promote and Integrate with Social Media
    • Get followers to your Pinterest
    • Link Facebook/Twitter Accounts

Funding and Workshop Opportunities

Here are a few funding and  workshop opportunities that were recently brought to our attention from the VISTA state office.

1) IRS Exempt Organization’s day-long interactive workshops

  • Designed to cover the nuts and bolts of tax exemption for small- and medium-sized charities and nonprofit organizations. Hosted by universities and academic centers, and written and produced by the IRS Office of Exempt Organizations, these workshops are designed for administrators, volunteers, and staff members who are responsible for the tax compliance of their organization.
  • Twenty workshops are scheduled for the remainder of the fiscal year.  For dates and locations, visit EO’s Calendar of Events on
  • For more information, please contact: Pilar Jarrin, or at (202) 283-8946.

2) US Department of Health 

Promise Neighborhoods Program Planning Grant Competition CDFA 84.215P

  • Description: The purpose of this award is to significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of children and youth by increasing the number of organizations involved in child and youth issues, building continuum of cradle-through-college-to-career solutions, integrating programs, developing local infrastructure, and learning further about the Promise Neighborhoods program.
  • Link to Full Announcement: Link to Full Announcement
  • Last Day to Apply: Last day to submit Notice of Intent to Apply is July 27, 2012.

3) Title: Obesity Policy Research: Evaluation and Measures

  • Description: The overarching goal is to inform public policy and research relevant to (1) diet and physical activity behavior, and (2) weight and health outcomes of Americans. This grant opportunity encourages applicants to:  (1) conduct evaluation research on obesity-related natural experiments (defined here as community and other population-level public policy interventions that may affect diet and physical activity behavior), and/or (2) develop and/or validate relevant community-level measures (instruments and methodologies to assess the food and physical activity environments at the community level).
  • Eligibility: Non-profit organizations with or without 501(c)(3) status are encouraged to apply. The opportunity is also available to various governmental entities, local organizations, for-profit groups and small businesses.
  • Link to Full Announcement: Link to Full Announcement
  • Last Day to Apply: February 7, 2013

4) MLK Day of Service Grant Opportunities

Literacy Organizations and Pinterst

If you haven’t already done so, you should consider opening up a pinterest account for your organization. Pinterest allows users to share images with one another. If you already have a personal account, you probably see many food recipes and cute DIY home decorations. Pinterest for a nonprofit is similar, but you can use it in a variety of ways. Here are things you can post/have boards of as a literacy organization.

  1. Resources!
    • Post your favorite resources for everyone to share. Make sure they have a picture on the website, and make notes of why it’s your favorite place in the comment section.
    • Or, post a picture of something that worked really well with your students.
  2. Infographics
    • Images and statistics are powerful. When you combine them in an infographic, you can help make people understand why your cause is important.
  3. Inspiration
    • Post inspirational quotes from famous authors and people of history about literacy. Remind people what makes reading important and all the reasons why they love about it.
    • You can also post success stories of students! Show people the difference you make every day.
  4. Showcase what you love!
    • Make it personal. Have your staff share books they are reading or their favorite new gadgets in the industry. This makes it personal and relatable.
  5. Highlight your community
    • Let people know why your partners are so great! This is the place to say that a certain bank has been awesome enough to run a financial literacy class or that the local clinic donated supplies for your health literacy program. It’s an easy way to help out those who have helped you.

Check out these articles for more help!

10 Strategies for Nonprofits on Pinterest
8 Strategies for Launching a Brand Presence on Pinterest

Top Stories in Literacy: April 9

Top Stories in LiteracyMore adults earning college credit for “life experience”
Getting credit for life experience such as working in jobs, starting businesses, serving in the military and volunteering time is attractive to adults who want to go back to school but feel overwhelmed by what it entails.

Jobs are there, for the right skills
One of the populations that holds the greatest promise is adults who started college but never finished. Many of these are people who are unemployed or underemployed and require new skills and training. According to the Stronger Nation report, there are now 2,136,681 adults across Florida that have completed some college but never earned a degree.

The Financial Literacy Movement
Some have blamed economic policy makers on Capitol Hill, while others like the Occupy Wall Street protesters have channeled their anger toward large corporate executives. However, a growing number of people point to the education system, in particular the lack of financial literacy education in the United States for our economic crisis.

Information Superhighway ‘Bypassing Adult Learners’
This British report concludes that although the internet has helped generations of young adults, adults continue to be disengaged from this learning opportunity.

The cost of high turnover in fundraising jobs
The average amount of time a fundraiser stays at his or her job: 16 months. The direct and indirect costs of finding a replacement: $127,650.

Reflections from the 9th Annual Leadership Institute

This was my first experience at an FLC Leadership Institute. Attendees drove in from Tallahassee, Melbourne, and everywhere in between for two days of professional development and networking. It took place at the beautiful Capt Hirams in Sebastian, where our room overlooked the Indian River. Speakers covered board development, creating a framework for a program, marketing, volunteer recruitment, social media, advocacy, career pathways and fund development. Basically, anything your organization could possibly be interested in or need help with.

The most exciting session was on developing a framework for your adult education program, presented by Carmine from the Literacy Cooperative. The Literacy Cooperative of Greater Cleveland works to improve literacy levels among children, youth and adults in Greater Cleveland. They produce several publications and curriculum guides, which I highly recommend checking out, but they also provide materials to help nonprofits. The Framework for Program Improvements in Adult Literacy is a realistic guide for practitioners, grant makers and policy makers. It includes research-based practices, factors that impact learning outcomes, and a self-assessment tool. Practitioners can use it to address the needs of adult learners. Organizations can see what they need to do to address workforce and literacy goals, address support services/case management, improve learner persistence, increase instructor professional development, and identify the entry level of learners in comparison to their other clients. Grant makers will see realistic goals and deadlines for these tasks. Instead of assuming something unrealistic, like having someone with a 2nd grade reading level complete the GED in a year, they can see other ways of measuring progress that will be beneficial to the students, the literacy organization, and the grantor. This tool helps the communication confusion and barriers.

Conference attendees broke off into groups and discussed how they could implement this curriculum/framework. Everyone had different resources to share for student assessment and career/college readiness! A few of these were (reading assessment), (free online ESOL course), and Wonderlic gain test (student assessment). The Literacy Volunteers of Gadsden County spoke about a program they use where GED students take college-like online courses as part of their prep curriculum. This program gets student’s prepared for the GED, prepared for college, and improves their digital literacy.

Most of the attendees were executive directors and board members. As a participant who is a bit further down the totem pole than an ED or CEO, I learned a lot about what is going on in the adult literacy field. After talking with several people, even those who have been in the field for 20 years, I found out that they were also very excited about what they had learned.

Top Literacy Stories: January 16

Jacksonville mayor to announce week-long financial literacy program
Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown today will announce a week-long series of free financial literacy events in May to improve the financial management skills of the community.

The Charter Schools Agenda in Tallahasee
One of the bills, SB 1162, creates “family charter academies,” a new class of publicly funded, privately run schools, that would allow parents to attend school with their children. Bringing an integrated approach to adult education, the schools would “assist adults and parents in setting and obtaining goals for helping their children with homework, obtaining a job, enrolling in vocational training, or earning a GED certificate.”

Audits on heart and joint procedures chill Florida doctors
A story from this week’s Tampa Bay Times notes that Medicare audits in FL are on hold. Pre-payment review of high-dollar procedures that tend to be over-done in Florida hospitals created an outcry from doctors

How Nonprofits Make Data Fun and Informative
Whether they are bringing attention to an important cause, explaining their internal operations, or demonstrating the impact of their work, nonprofits can use infographics to present data in a way that is far more engaging and efficient than what could be conveyed with words alone.