At the beginning of 2020, a video app called TikTok exploded in popularity because it provided a way for people to connect during the pandemic. After amassing over one billion active users worldwide, TikTok is now used for much more than dance challenges and quick recipe videos, including its TikTok for Good program, which helps nonprofits reach a new generation of supporters.
Nonprofits and cause-driven organizations just like yours are now marketing on TikTok to help raise awareness and support for their missions! Like any other marketing tool or social media platform, TikTok’s value is in its storytelling ability. If you’re hesitant or skeptical about adopting TikTok as a marketing tool, here are some key things to consider when using TikTok for your nonprofit.
Decide if TikTok is the best platform for your organization and try these best practices to grow your donor reach.
- Determining if TikTok for Good is a tool you should use
- How your nonprofit can use TikTok for marketing
Determining if TikTok for Good is a tool you should use
What is TikTok for Good?
TikTok for Good is a program that TikTok created to help nonprofits like yours reach its users. The goal is to encourage its users to impact the world in a positive way by helping others. To sign up, contact TikTok with your organization’s information. Ensure you have completed your Tiltify profile and your Benevity Causes profile to get access to all the tools TikTok offers, including donation stickers, promoted hashtags, account management, and advanced analytics.
How do you use TikTok for charities?
When using TikTok for Good, create videos that engage your audience. Show viewers behind-the-scenes videos of the work your organization does. Or post expert advice about your cause. Live streaming is another option to connect with your audience and can also double as a fundraiser. TikTok is an amazing platform to inspire others, and there are many tools to help you tell the story of your nonprofit and how you’re changing the world.
Is TikTok good for fundraising?
Because TikTok is such a diverse platform, it is fantastic for fundraising. There are so many different sides of TikTok that will help you connect with many different audiences. The platform is perfect to share fundraising challenges for your supporters to participate in and share with other users. Once you’re a part of TikTok for Good, you and other users can add your donation sticker to videos. TikTok users will also be able to set up profile fundraisers in their bio that link to your organization.
Does the tool help you reach your target audience?
If you’re considering creating a TikTok account for your nonprofit, it’s important for you to evaluate if you’ll be able to reach your target audience on the platform. TikTok’s user base is young. Around 80% of all TikTok users are between the ages of 16 and 34, and the average user spends 89 minutes per day on the app. Our Generational Giving Report found that Gen Z prefers to give via social media apps, making TikTok a great place to go to reach that young user base and inspire them to give!
If you work with youth or are a youth-service organization, TikTok for Good could be a terrific tool for you to reach teenagers and young adults and encourage them to engage with your cause. Or, if you want to diversify your donor and volunteer base and attract younger supporters, TikTok could be a great platform for your organization. On the other hand, if most of your supporters and volunteers are over 30 years old, you may want to direct your energy to managing social media platforms with an older user base.
Do you have the time to devote to it?
A good social media tip for all platforms is to be intentional! You’d rather have only two social media accounts that you post on regularly than five social media accounts you sporadically post on. Posting a video around one to three times per day on TikTok is considered best practice. Consistency is key when growing your TikTok account.
If you’re unsure if you have the time to manage a TikTok for Good account for your nonprofit, create a draft content calendar. Label each day on the content calendar with the names of the platforms you’ll be posting on, what you plan on posting about, and any photo or video you’ll need created for the post.
If you begin to feel overwhelmed or have to post less on other platforms you currently manage, it could be a sign that you don’t have enough time to prioritize another platform.
To keep from getting overwhelmed, there are a couple of tricks you can use for easy TikTok for Good content. If you’re already posting videos on other platforms, you can repurpose them by uploading the saved video directly into TikTok. Not having to make unique content for every single platform you post on will give you time to create new, fresh content. Using TikTok’s slideshow option is another way to post consistently on TikTok without getting overwhelmed. There are lots of trends that use photos or quick three second clips if you’re looking for fast and easy content.
How your nonprofit can use TikTok for marketing
Brand or cause awareness
TikTok is all about short videos. When the app first launched, users could only post up to 15-second clips. Now, you can post videos up to ten minutes long! Think of your longer videos as an elevator pitch. You can create videos that talk about your work and how your nonprofit meets the needs of your community, but keep it relatively short.
If one video can’t cover all the incredible work you do, don’t worry! Create a series of videos highlighting different aspects of your organization. Remember, posting at least one to three videos per day is considered best practice.
To give your videos the best chance of landing on users’ “For You” page, create high-quality content that is meaningful and looks good visually. TikTok’s algorithm is subject to change, but using SEO best practices will help optimize your videos for TikTok’s system. Ask your supporters questions to keep the engagement going in the comments section. Include captions for increased accessibility when your videos involve a voiceover or any kind of speaking, and highlight relevant information in your videos with bold onscreen text to catch viewers’ attention. Luckily, TikTok provides a built-in, editable subtitle feature that will help you keep your videos accessible and provide relevant information to the algorithm.
Use three to five pertinent hashtags per video to help your content’s visibility. There are hashtags for different causes, and you can create your own hashtags for both your organization and any campaigns or challenges you make. Or participate in a promoted hashtag through the TikTok for Good program. TikTok’s algorithm prefers quality use of tags, so don’t go overboard.
A great example of hashtag use comes from Comic Relief US. Comic Relief US uses TikTok’s hashtags to promote their Red Nose Day and inspire others to participate in their campaign by posting behind-the-scenes footage of previous years’ celebrity features.
Take advantage of TikTok’s different features to provide supporters with updates on your organization and spread awareness for your cause. TikTok Stories, which functions similarly to Instagram Stories, is great for posting short, timely update videos or polls to engage with followers and keep your organization active. Plus, TikTok videos and stories can be shared directly to your Instagram if you connect Instagram to your TikTok profile.
Educating your target audience with TikTok for Good
To inspire action, one of the first things you must do is educate your community on your nonprofit’s mission. What problems does your nonprofit tackle? Why are these problems or needs in your community important? Include short stats in your TikTok videos that demonstrate the importance of your work or the severity of the problem you’re addressing.
For example, UNICEF uses TikTok for Good to share awareness and statistics about the humanitarian issues they work to fix for children and families around the world. In this example, they stitch a video as part of a TikTok trend to share a fact about literacy rates.
Reaching out to influencers that have a personal connection to your cause or have a passion about your mission is another way to increase education about your organization and the work that you do. Influencers usually have a larger audience than nonprofits and can share your organization with their audience to widen your donor reach.
Engaging with your target audience
Social media is all about (you guessed it) being social. One of the main ways you can keep social media social is by engaging with your audience. Engagement can involve responding to comments on your posts, liking and sharing content posted by your partners, tagging your donors or volunteers in posts, and more! On TikTok, one of the main ways you can engage with your audience is through user generated content (UGC).
Interacting with other users’ videos helps boost your content and theirs! It’s a win-win situation that uses the algorithm to your advantage. TikTok has many functions that share other creators’ content with your audience, and some give you the ability to add your content to those videos too!
To share UGC with your audience, click the Repost button to boost the video to your followers, and add a comment when you repost to share your opinion on the video. Another option for reposting is to save or download another creator’s video to your device and post the video on your organization’s account with the original creator tagged and credited. Giving Tuesday often reposts videos from other creators with this method, showing the work they are accomplishing during Giving Tuesday on TikTok for Good.
Stitches and duets allow you to add your own video content to another video. For stitches, clip an attention-grabbing portion of the video you want to share, and then record your own content to expand on the other video’s topic. Duets let you record content that plays simultaneously with another user’s video, placing your content next to the other video.
Utilizing TikTok’s templates and various trends will also increase your engagement on the app. TikTok offers many templates to use in-app, and it also provides the option to link with the CapCut app to take advantage of trending templates that are linked into TikTok videos. CapCut can also double as a simple, free video editor, keeping your content budget-friendly. Many of these templates also take advantage of trending audio snippets, and all you need to do is source photos or short video clips to put into the template, making it quick and easy to create highly visible content.
Using these templates and trends can also add a lighthearted touch to your content to keep your followers from getting overwhelmed with information or serious topics. The American Heart Association used a viral template in this TikTok to promote healthy sleep habits with a bit of humor.
Another way to engage your target audience when using TikTok for Good is by going live. If you have over 1,000 followers and are 16 years of age or older, you can set up a live stream on TikTok. Going live is great for behind-the-scenes glimpses into your nonprofit’s work, Q&A sessions, panel discussions, and more!
To expand your reach and engage with new audiences, you can add co-moderators to your live session (you can invite up to 20 moderators at once!). Once you go live, all of your followers will receive an in-app notification and a push notification (if they have push notifications enabled) to their phone.
To go live on TikTok do the following:
- Tap the plus button at the bottom of the screen (the same button you’d press to record or upload a TikTok video).
- Under the record button, you’ll see options like “Camera”, “Story”, and “Templates”. Scroll to the left to select the “LIVE” option.
- Next, you’ll be prompted to create or upload a cover photo for your live stream and a title. Your followers will see the title and cover image in their notifications, so make sure it intrigues them and encourages them to join!
- Add any effects you’d like to use.
- Press the “Go LIVE” button.
Repurposing your videos
Video is the most engaging type of media across social media, so your TikTok videos don’t have to exist just on TikTok. You can repost your TikTok videos on Instagram as Reels or Stories and even share your TikTok videos on Facebook and X. YouTube Shorts is another great place where you can repost your TikTok for Good content. Just be sure to only use videos with original sounds and audio to prevent copyright claims on your Shorts.
However, if you’re going to share TikTok videos on other social media platforms try to stick to sharing your own content (not UGC) so you can provide relevant information specific to your organization on sites like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and X.
One tip for reposting TikToks to other media platforms is to save a copy of your original video without the TikTok watermark like American Red Cross did with this Instagram reel they reposted from TikTok.
TikTok videos can double as tutorials which you can pin to the top of your TikTok profile for supporters to find quickly! In the video below, Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary shows viewers the process of adopting a cat from their organization. Safe Haven pinned this video to their TikTok profile to make it easy to find for anyone interested in adopting a new furry friend.
TikTok for Good is a great tool for engaging with your audience and highlighting the important work your nonprofit does! In addition, the app’s rapidly increasing popularity and global reach means marketing on TikTok won’t disappear any time soon. For more marketing and social media tips, check out the following resources:
- 13 Tools to Help Your Nonprofit Create the Best Social Media Campaigns Ever
- How to Connect with Your Donors on Social Media
- 5 Reasons Your Nonprofit Should Invest Time in Social Media