What You Post Matters! Tips to Grow Your Nonprofit’s Following

Marketing and Social Media

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Increasing the number of followers your nonprofit has on social media can bring awareness to your cause, result in more donations to your organization, increase event attendance, and much more.  The larger your following, the more people see your content and calls to action. So, what’s the best way to gain followers? In short, it’s all about engaging content. What you post matters.

Keep reading for four tips your nonprofit can implement today to gain more social media followers.

1) Post Videos

Across all social media platforms video is the most engaged with type of content. The algorithms used by Facebook and Instagram prioritize displaying content that receives engagement—so the more engagement a post receives the more likely it is to be seen. Posts with video have 48% more views then those without!

  • The videos you upload onto social should include subtitles because most people watch video on social without sound. Platforms like Facebook make it easy to add subtitles with their closed caption settings.
  • Most videos are only viewed for 10-30 seconds on social media, so try and hook your audience within the first 30 seconds. Try to keep your videos about a minute long (the sweet spot is around 30 seconds).
  • Make sure everyone you feature in your video has signed a release form and consents to be featured in your content.
  • Upload your videos directly onto each platform so your video plays immediately.
This video by Mercy Ships is only 30 seconds long and was uploaded with a compelling caption that prompts the viewer to go to Mercy Ships’ website to read the rest of the story.

2) Post Visual Content

After video, images are the next most engaged with type of content on social media. Adding images to your posts will increase your posts’ reach and engagement, helping more people discover and potentially follow your nonprofit. Tweets with images receive 150% more engagement than tweets without images and Facebook posts with images see 2.3x more engagement than those without (Hubspot).

  • Make sure the images you upload are sized correctly for each platform. The last thing you want is for half of an important image to be cropped in a post! Check out our social media image size cheat sheet for help. 
  • Just like if you were writing a fundraising appeal, feature images of real people who have been impacted by your organization. These photos will perform better than stock photography and will build awareness of the work your nonprofit does.
  • Don’t default to relying on the image included in a link. A full-size image uploaded with a post performs better than a post featuring a link’s thumbnail image.
This post by Global Wildlife Conservation highlights the animals being impacted by the nonprofit’s work and the volunteers who are making it possible.

3) Hold Contests

Social media contests are a great way to increase your follower count. By encouraging your current followers to tag their friends in a giveaway/contest post, you’re incentivizing engagement and driving traffic to the page where you announced your contest.

  • Create a graphic using a site like Canva or snap a high-quality image of the items you plan to give away, then share the image on your social channels with contest instructions.
  • Keep the number of steps in your contest to a minimum. Anywhere from one to three steps is the norm for social media contests. You want your current followers to not see the contest as a hassle. The more entries you receive the more engagement you’ll receive as well, resulting in more people seeing your post.
  • State when the contest ends, who qualifies to receive the prize, and how you’ll announce a winner.
  • Cross promote the contest. Share contest details on more than one social media platform to reach as many people as possible.

4) Post Relevant Content

According to the Sprout Social Index, the top three reasons people follow an organization on social is to learn more about the organization, to be entertained, and to stay up to date on news about your nonprofit. Try to craft posts that land in one of these three categories.

 When you’re experimenting with different types of informational, entertaining, and newsworthy content, analyze the results after. What posts receive the most engagement? Look for trends among your top performing posts and create content that incorporates these trends. Consider creating the following posts:

  • Volunteer and donor spotlights. Share images of your organization’s most devoted supporters along with a quote describing why they’re involved in your organization.  This sort of post informs your audience about the different ways people can get involved with your nonprofit. These posts can even include a call to donate or volunteer.
  • Feature someone who has been impacted by your organization. This post can be emotional and even inspiring—it should give your current followers a glimpse at the impact your nonprofit has.
  • Share news about your nonprofit. Are you expanding? What were the results of your latest campaign? By sharing news about your nonprofit on social media, you give your followers content they are likely to be interested in and engage with.


What you post on social media heavily impacts your follower growth. With the right type of content, you can increase engagement on your posts resulting in more people learning about your nonprofit. For more insight on creating great content that drives your engagement rate and following up, check out these blogs:

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