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Taming the Social Media Beast: A Nonprofit's Guide

Practical tips to help you connect with and retain your nonprofit's social media audience without getting bogged down. Whether you're new to social media or looking to revamp your strategy, the key is to focus on a few effective tactics to make the process more manageable.
Practical tips to help you connect with and retain your nonprofit's social media audience without getting bogged down. Whether you're new to social media or looking to revamp your strategy, the key is to focus on a few effective tactics to make the process more manageable.
Practical tips to help you connect with and retain your nonprofit's social media audience without getting bogged down. Whether you're new to social media or looking to revamp your strategy, the key is to focus on a few effective tactics to make the process more manageable.

Creating content and posting on social media for your nonprofit can feel like taming a wild beast, especially for organizations with limited resources. But fear not—you're in control, and with the right strategies, you can master this ever-evolving digital landscape.

The average social media user juggles seven platforms, from Facebook to TikTok, each demanding its own approach. As daunting as that may seem, this blog post breaks down practical tips to help you reach and retain your audience without getting lost in the minutiae. Whether your organization is tip-toeing into social media or needs a total makeover, it’s a manageable task when you lean into a handful of effective strategies.

Let’s dive in:

Who Are “Your People”?

The foundation of a successful social media strategy lies in understanding who your audience is. Knowing your audience and what they want to see is key to creating content that they will like, comment on, and share.It’s also critical for planning how to turn followers into supporters and donors.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to take a look at your existing supporters, donors, and social audience. If you aren’t sure, consider doing quick, informal surveys at events or via email. While it won’t give you hard data, it can still provide valuable insights into what your audience enjoys and how they engage online.

You can also use social media analytics tools to gain insights into your current followers and identify potential supporters.

For more information on Instagram analytics, click HERE.  

For more information on Facebook analytics, click HERE.  

For more information on TikTok analytics, click HERE.

“Nope” Is Okay

You can’t be everything to everyone. If a particular platform is not a fit for your audience and your nonprofit brand,you don’t need to frantically launch a presence there. Running too many social media channels will lead to overwhelm and fatigue and result in neglect. It is better to well-rounded content on fewer social media platforms than it is to have multiple social media platforms that look like they are abandoned.

Voice Lessons

Social media provides a platform to share a personalized and unique perspective of your organization. Be sure to spend time on your profile because it is what people initially respond to. You want clear and concise information on your profile that makes it easy to say yes to following your account.

A well-crafted profile can set the tone for potential followers, providing them with a snapshot of your mission, values, and the impact of your work. Include a compelling bio, high-quality profile and cover images, and relevant links to your website or other important resources.Utilize keywords that resonate with your audience and succinctly convey what your organization stands for. Highlight your achievements and make your mission statement prominent to inspire confidence and interest. By investing time in creating an engaging and informative profile, you can attract and retain a loyal and supportive online community.

Look Around

You might be surprised at what’s of interest to others. Nonprofits have many interesting content opportunities on social media. Here are some types of posts you can share to engage your audience and advance your mission:

1. Success Stories and Testimonials

  • Impact Stories: Share stories of individuals or communities who have benefited from your nonprofit’s good work.
  • Donor Spotlights: Highlight the contributions of key donors and how their support has made a difference.

2. Educational Content

  • Infographics and Fact Sheets: Provide easy-to-digest information related to your cause. (Use Canva to easily create this content.)
  • How-To Guides: Create and offer step-by-step guides or tips on issues relevant to your mission.
  • Research and Reports: Share findings from studies or reports that support your cause. You can set Google Alerts for your issues relevant to your mission. For instructions on how to set up Google Alerts, click HERE.

3. Behind-the-Scenes

  • Daily Operations: Show day-to-day activities within your organization.
  • Event Preparations: Offer a glimpse into the preparations for upcoming events or initiatives.
  • Staff and Volunteer Highlights: Introduce your team members and volunteers, sharing their stories and roles.

4. Calls to Action

  • Fundraising Appeals:  Encourage donations with compelling reasons why support is needed for your     nonprofit.
  • Volunteer Opportunities: Inform your audience about ways they can get involved.
  • Petitions and Advocacy:  Mobilize your followers to support legislative changes or community actions.

5. Events and Announcements

  • Event Invitations: Promote upcoming events and fundraisers.
  • Live Updates: Post real-time updates during events to engage those who can’t attend in person. Make these updates lively and fun, so they won’t want to miss out on your next event!
  • Milestones and Achievements: Celebrate significant milestones for your nonprofit and share progress updates.

6. User-Generated Content

  • Reposts from Followers: Share content created by your supporters, such as photos or stories. Make sure you are asking volunteers and other supporters to tag you when they  share content on social media.
  • Contests and Challenges: Host social media challenges or contests to encourage engagement and participation.

7. Inspirational Quotes and Messages

  • Quotes from Leaders:  Share inspiring quotes from leaders related to your cause.
  • Motivational Messages: Post messages that motivate and inspire your followers to support your mission.

8. Interactive Content

  • Polls and Surveys: Engage your audience with questions and polls to gather their opinions and insights.
  • Q&A Sessions: Host live Q&A sessions with staff members or experts in your field.

9. Partnerships and Collaborations

  • Collaborative Projects: Highlight partnerships with other organizations and the outcomes of these collaborations.
  • Guest Posts: Feature content from guest bloggers or influencers who support your cause.

10. Seasonal and Timely Content

  • Holiday Greetings: Post messages related to holidays and how your organization celebrates or works during these times.
  • Awareness Days: Participate in relevant awareness days and campaigns to highlight important issues.

11. Visual and Multimedia Content

  • Photos and Videos: Use compelling visuals to tell your story, showcase events, and highlight your work.
  • Live Streams: Go live to share events, updates, or interviews in real-time. Don’t worry about being perfect! Just go for it. You can do it.

By mixing these types of content, you will keep your social media channels vibrant, informative, and engaging, ultimately building a stronger connection with your audience which will bring you more supporters and donors.

Social Media Is An Organic, “Living” Thing

Never be afraid to change.

When it comes to your profile, swap out your cover or profile photo frequently. It needn’t always be your logo. It can be a photo of a recent event…a photographic collage of clients, staff or Board members, or even a meaningful, metaphorical banner that aligns with your mission.

Never miss the chance to create a Facebook Event for anything your organization has organized or is staging. Invite the maximum permitted daily. This is free to do, and it can be very impactful. For instructions on how to create a Facebook Event, click HERE.

Batch and Schedule Your Posts

Planning social media content helps thwart hurried,last-minute posts. Create a simple calendar of what needs to happen and when. Always aim for quality over quantity and take time to perfect your content with collaboration from your Board and staff.

We have a FREE social media content calendar for you to make things easier. Click HERE or on the image below to get it now. 


You should engage in regular "housekeeping" efforts to maintain a strong and effective social media presence for your nonprofit. Here are some key activities:

1. Profile Maintenance
  • Update Information Regularly: Ensure that your contact information, bio, mission statement, and links are current and accurate.
  • Refresh Visuals: As stated above, be sure to update profile pictures, cover images, and any other visual elements to keep them in line with your branding and recent events.
2. Content Audit
  • Review Past Posts:  Regularly review older posts to ensure they are still relevant and reflect your current messaging.
  • Re-purpose Content:  Identify high-performing content that can be updated or re-shared to maximize its reach.
3. Engagement Management
  • Respond to Comments  and Messages: Regularly check for and respond to comments and direct messages to maintain engagement and show that you value your  followers' input.
  • Monitor Mentions:  Keep an eye on mentions of your organization and engage where appropriate to build relationships and manage your reputation.
4. Analytics Review
  • Track Performance  Metrics: Regularly review analytics to understand which types of content are performing well and which aren’t.
  • Adjust Strategy:  Use insights from your analytics to refine your content strategy, posting schedule, and engagement tactics.
5. Security Checks
  • Update Passwords:  Regularly change passwords and ensure they are strong to protect your accounts from unauthorized access.
  • Review Account  Permissions: Check who has access to your social media accounts and adjust permissions as needed to maintain security.
6. Platform Updates
  • Stay Informed:  Keep up with changes and updates to social media platforms to take advantage of new features and avoid any pitfalls. Check our blog frequently for social media updates to makes this easier for you. We know     you are busy, and we are here to help you!
  • Adapt Strategies: Adjust your social media strategies to align with new platform features or algorithm changes.
7. Content Planning
  • Maintain a Content  Calendar: Keep a content calendar updated with upcoming posts, events, and campaigns. (Remember, we shared where you can get our FREE social media content calendar for nonprofits ABOVE.)
  • Plan Ahead: Schedule posts in advance to ensure consistent activity, especially during busy periods or holidays.
8. Hashtag and Keyword Optimization
  • Update Hashtags: Regularly review and update the hashtags you use to ensure they are still relevant and effective.
  • Optimize Keywords: Use keywords that resonate with your audience and align with current trends in your nonprofit field.
9. Collaboration and Training
  • Team Coordination: Ensure your team is aligned and aware of your social media strategy and any upcoming campaigns.
  • Provide Training: Offer training for team members on best practices, new tools, and platform updates to keep your social media efforts effective.

Regularly engaging in these housekeeping activities can help nonprofit you maintain a polished, effective, and secure social media presence, ultimately enhancing your ability to connect with and inspire your audience!

Spoiler Alert: Some Folks Just Aren’t Nice

Sometimes you will encounter tricky situations and they might become public, or you might just run across a troll who likes to post mean things. When this happens, don’t quarrel, dispute,disparage or otherwise engage with criticism. Instead, invite the individual toDirect or Private Message their concerns to you so you can address them. Professionally managing unpleasant feedback is essential. Being proactive will ward off further negative reactions. Consistency and timeliness is important, so always respond to comments (good or bad) as soon as possible.

If things get really ugly, feel free to report thetroll to the social media channel they are trolling you on. You can also block them.

 The Bottom Line Is…

Relax. Social media isn’t about mastering every algorithm; it’s about mastering your rhythm. Think of it as having a conversation with your community—be genuine, be passionate, and let your mission shine. You don’t needt o be a tech wizard; you just need to be yourself. Connect with the people in your city, state, or county by sharing your unique story and inviting them to be a part of it. Remember, you’re not just building followers; you’re building a community of supporters who believe in your cause. So, take a deep breath,have fun with it, and watch your nonprofit’s impact grow, one post at a time.

When we said handful, that’s what we meant. There’s plenty more information on this topic and so much more inside o four membership platform. Click HERE to find out more.


Taming the Social Media Beast: A Nonprofit's Guide
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