TikTok Tips: 3 Things Non-Profit Marketers Should Know

It’s not breaking news that TikTok has successfully implanted itself into the cultural conversation. In the past few years, we’ve seen it transform from a niche app for younger generations to a massively popular platform that has become a major competitor for social media giants like Facebook and Instagram. When a new platform has such a meteoric rise, it can be overwhelming for non-profit marketers to think about incorporating it into their existing social media strategy. If you’re one of those social good marketers you’ve probably asked yourself: How should we use it? Does it make sense for us as an organization? Do we even have the resources?

We’re here to reassure you that incorporating TikTok into your non-profit marketing strategy is not as daunting as you might think. There are actually many benefits of using the platform that could be significant for your non-profit organization. In this blog post, we outline how non-profit marketers can use TikTok to elevate their social impact messages and engage donors.

1. TikTok’s Audience is Bigger Than Gen Z

One of the most powerful aspects of TikTok is its ability to reach a younger generation of donors. 59% of Gen Zs report having been inspired to donate to a charity through a message or image they saw on social media. Combine these two facts and, as a non-profit marketer, you’re thinking, “I need to be on TikTok to reach the Gen Z audience.” You’re on the right track, but there’s even more potential for you to tap into.

While 43% of TikTok users are aged 18-24, the platform has seen consistent growth across all demographic segments, with its general userbase starting to age up. As a result, the content you see on TikTok today is a far cry from the dance challenges of yesteryear. Today, TikTok houses all types of content, from comedy to social justice education to all kinds of how-tos and tutorials, catering to multiple demographic groups.

2. TikTok offers Tools to Help Non-Profits Engage Donors

More good news for non-profit marketers is that TikTok has prioritized the development of features that cater to non-profit fundraising. In fact, TikTok reported nearly 75,000 donations had been made to various organizations through the platform’s in-app giving tools in 2021. The following are examples of tools TikTok has made available for social good marketers looking to fundraise on the platform.

Raise awareness with Profile Markers
People have the ability to feature a non-profit they’re supporting on their individual profiles, making that non-profit more visible to their followers. This is a great tool for awareness, evangelization, and small-dollar fundraising. Learn more about this tool and how it works here. We’re definitely encouraging our clients to think about creating entire campaigns centered on this tool. If that feels too big too soon for you, then think about it for your executive team, board members, or even your employees. Start where you feel comfortable.

Use TikTok’s profile marker tool to raise awareness about your non-profit

Fundraise with Donation Stickers
TikTok also allows users to embed interactive Donation Stickers into their videos, guiding viewers directly down a donation path. If you’re familiar with Instagram, you’ve probably seen a similar feature. Hopefully, you’ve experimented with it (if you haven’t, we’ve got a blog full of easy tips for you). Think of this like a “Donate” button. The tool allows you to add a donation sticker (again, call it a button if that’s more intuitive) directly into the video you’re posting. So, say you’ve got a video featuring your program operations team in the field. Use a Donate Sticker in your video to encourage viewers to become supporters.

If your non-profit doesn’t have its own TikTok profile, that’s okay. Even if you aren’t on TikTok, there’s a good chance that your supporters are. So take steps to get your organization set up so that your supporters can help fundraise on behalf of your non-profit. You can learn how to set up your non-profit TikTok profile here. 

Donation stickers can help non-profit’s fundraise on TikTok

3. TikTok Rewards Quality, Not Quantity

One of the reasons TikTok is attracting so many people in the first place is how the social media platform’s algorithm prioritizes quality, engaging videos over content associated with accounts that have millions of followers. There are accounts with fewer than 1,000 followers that are able to garner thousands and thousands of views. That’s not the type of thing you see on Instagram or Facebook. TikTok is unique in the way it determines which pieces of content it elevates. The more a video is engaged with, the more TikTok presents that piece of content to people—this is such a refreshing approach!


This #GivingSzn we thank you for your ExtraordinaryGenerosity. #TikTokPartner

♬ original sound – No Kid Hungry
No Kid Hungry does a great job using TikTok to engage and educate its supporters

What does this mean for you as a non-profit marketer? It means that it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a huge audience on TikTok. As a non-profit, you can still create content that is authentic to you, showcases your philanthropic work, and educates people about your social impact. As long as there’s an audience for your message, TikTok will help your message reach that audience, not find ways to minimize your presence on people’s feeds.

So how do you know if there’s an audience for your message?

Pay attention to what’s trending on TikTok (i.e., checking out which sounds, songs, and hashtags are popular). If there’s an authentic connection (a point of alignment between the cultural moment and your non-profit’s story or social good mission), then go for it! This is a great strategy for joining and helping shape conversations at scale. You can learn more about how to identify which hashtags to use here, and ways to discover trending TikTok sounds here.

Take Your Non-Profit TikTok Strategy One Step at a Time

As you consider adding yet another platform to your digital marketing mix and try to anticipate the extra time and resources that might require, take a breath. Start by looking at your non-profit’s existing social strategy and reflect on how you can repurpose content you already have (ahem, Instagram Reels). You don’t need to go all in on the first day. Once you’ve initiated your presence on TikTok and started to cultivate an audience, you can evaluate and decide how best to expand your strategy by creating content specifically for TikTok. For now, we encourage you to start by taking the steps we’ve outlined above to set up the building blocks of your non-profit’s TikTok strategy.

One last thing: There are a lot of great resources out there for beginners on TikTok. If you’re interested, we recommend Hootsuite and Later as places to begin.

This article was written by Gina Graves.

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