Posted by on May 23, 2014 Views: 6330

Leveraging Social Media to Showcase Impact in the Nonprofit Sector

It’s no surprise that social media is big and it’s here to stay. While we know you’re probably already using social media to the hilt, we want to help you maximize your potential on dynamic platforms and highlight your amazing work. Since the GreatNonprofits mission is to help nonprofits showcase stories of impact, we thought what better way to do this than by surveying our nonprofits to see how they are using social media to showcase their reviews and ratings. Read on for more. If you can’t find yourself below, but are marketing yourselves well on social media, click here to tell us about it and we’ll share your story.

Using Twitter to Showcase Impact

Twitter is the third most commonly-used social media site in North America (according to eMarketer’s users), only behind Facebook and YouTube. And the numbers are big! As of September, 2013, Twitter had 1 billion registered users and 36 million monthly visitors.  Here are some quick tips to maximize Twitter use for your nonprofit: set up lists to streamline followers, make your tweets personal, listen to see what people care about, use hashtags, etc. The key is to engage your followers. Twitter’s own advice is listed here, and here are 20 tips from npEnage.

Below you’ll find screenshots of how are GreatNonprofits users are leveraging Twitter to: invite reviews and showcase good reviews. We also included an example of how we retweet your information!

Using Facebook to Showcase Impact

Facebook is the most popular social media site in North America (as measured by internet users visiting the site, from an eMarketer study).  One out of 6 people (or 1.23 billion monthly active users) use Facebook across the globe. And while there has been talk about changing algorithms and the increasing difficulty in gaining visibility, Facebook is still a big player and people spend a whole lot of time on Facebook: the average user spends 7.75 hours/month on Facebook, or 39 days per year.

In this Mashable article, Libby Leffler talks about how nonprofits can best engage with Facebook. We also have examples of how our users are using their GreatNonprofits testimonials and endorsements on their timelines, banners, in Facebooks posts and more. See below.

A typical way to showcase your work is through Facebook posts. Dogs on Development recently posted their 2014 designation as top rated while Neighborhood Ride and others used Facebook posts to solicit reviews. Other nonprofits are using Facebook to thank volunteers. For example, Give Kids the World goes to GreatNonprofits to understand which volunteers are getting the top reviews, and then posts a thank you to Facebook and tags the volunteer. What a great way to show appreciation!

JustGive updated their cover page to include testimonials from GreatNonprofits and Reel American Heroes Foundation proudly displayed the 2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit Badge (big and bold) on their nonprofit page (we LOVE that!).

And finally, Humanity’s Team, posted their 2014 top rated badge right below their cover page; a perfect spot to add a third party endorsement.

Using Google+ to Showcase Impact

Google+, while similar to other social media sites, has the benefit of integrating social components into all of Google’s services (search, Gmail, Maps, Calendar, etc) which creates a cohesive and comprehensive user experience.  Six ways nonprofits can use google plus is covered in this article, including using Google hangouts for a free webinar platform, increasing the visibility of your blog posts with authorship, getting found in local search and building communities.

There are many useful posts on Google’s own page for nonprofits – here, including samples or invites to hangouts, pro-bono coaching, invitations to fundraising events and more. Be sure to check them out. We’ve put a few examples below of how our partner – Guidestar – using Googl+ and samples on hangouts and other events.

Using LinkedIn to Showcase Impact

LinkedIn is one of today’s hottest online platforms to spread awareness about your nonprofit and get help for your nonprofit.  With the launch of, many nonprofits are using LinkedIn to post volunteer positions and seek board members.  That said, LinkedIn also has a plethora of tools that are designed to showcase your nonprofit; specifically you can build a LinkedIn company page and write posts to showcase reviews to interested professionals, donors, supporters and collaborators.  Specifically, we’ve seen some nonprofits leverage LinkedIn to showcase achievements, through quick statuses, blog posts, interactive media such as videos and slideshows, and links to relevant articles. In addition, you can link your reviews and discuss recent initiatives through LinkedIn groups with individuals with similar interests and experiences.

See an example below of how the ACEP showcased their top rated status on LinkedIn and read more here.

Using Pinterest to Showcase Impact

Pinterest is an interest-based social network with a traffic of over 12 million unique monthly users, and one of the top ten most commonly used social media tools. By setting up “boards” with common themes, you can “pin” links to items or articles showcasing your work. You can also add a “Pin It” button to your website page to allow visitors to share your content on their boards as well. Read on for more tips or best practices infographics, or check out Pinterest’s own guide for businesses.

Using Instagram to Showcase Impact

Instragram is the largest mobile social network, with an average age group of 18-29. It’s primary use is to share photos or 15-second videos with captions, but gathering more followers for your page can also lead to more volunteers and donors. This article explains how Instagram can be used for fundraising purposes, such as live reporting from events, using popular hastags, and liking the photos of like-minded individuals. Posting screen shots are also a great way to share Greatnonprofit reviews on another social media platform.

Using online PR to Showcase Impact

Public relations is such a big topic that we’ll dedicate a separate blog post to this topic given we have several board members with this expertise.  That said, once the GreatNonprofits Top-Rated Awards program kicks off, we see several nonprofits using PR as a way to showcase their reach.  Below are a few examples of how our nonprofits are using online public relations to showcase impact.  You can also find a free guide here that has press release templates and more.

Using E-mail to Showcase Impact

Emailing is still one of the most revolutionary ways to reach out to supporters and followers, and what better way to show off Top-Rated status than to showcase it in a e-newsletter!


Here’s to social sharing for a better world!

Check out my scoop it page for reference articles!

In my spare time, I like to collect articles on how to leverage social media for nonprofits.  Check out some of my scoops here, including these articles, “10 amazing nonprofits to follow on Instagram” and “Three Time Saving Tips for Nonprofit Social Media Marketing”. And, as mentioned, if you have ideas, feel free to contact us.  You can email or send us a notice: or @tverner on Twitter!

This article was written by Tara Verner and our volunteer, Janani Ramachadran.