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TikTok is a social media platform that is becoming increasingly popular in the nonprofit space, especially for younger generations—47% of its billion worldwide users are under the age of 30. In general, nonprofit donor bases are aging, making it important to target younger generations. TikTok provides the opportunity to engage younger donors and transform them into long-term supporters.
In this guide, we’ll explore how to leverage this powerful platform to amplify your nonprofit organization’s voice. Let’s get started!
How can nonprofits use TikTok?
Nonprofit organizations can create video content and post it to TikTok to connect with a younger demographic. Some nonprofits have also found success in reaching out to influencers on the app who can act as ambassadors and speak on their experience working with your organization.
In addition to creating and posting video content, nonprofits can use a feature on Tiktok called “Donation Stickers.” These stickers are embedded into videos, and when clicked on, take viewers to a page where they can make a donation without leaving the app.
TikTok has also committed to partnering with different nonprofits to help them achieve their goals. By using TikTok for Good, your nonprofit can create a fundraising campaign and advertise it with the assistance of the platform’s account management, advanced analytics, and promoted hashtags features.
Popular types of nonprofit TikTok content
TikTok was originally known as Musical.ly and was used as a way for its users to express themselves through singing and dancing. Today, the audio used on TikTok videos can come from popular songs, snippets from TV and movies, and even dialogue from creators.
Users take a sound and record a video to match it, often using unexpected scenarios for comedic effect. Your nonprofit can create lip sync videos by finding a popular sound and recording a scenario in your nonprofit’s office, volunteer center, or any other relevant location. Consider including your beneficiaries in your TikTok for an extra personal touch.
Day in the life
Another video style nonprofits can use is “day-in-the-life” content. These videos essentially highlight a portion of or the entirety of the creator’s day. For example, fashion influencers might choose to film these during a fashion week and cooking TikTokers might showcase everything they cook and eat in a day.
Day-in-the-life videos are a great starting way to use Tiktok for nonprofits and can be leveraged to highlight a particular staff member’s, volunteer’s, or beneficiary’s role in the organization. Showing the behind-the-scenes of your nonprofit will encourage young people to join your cause and find their nearest volunteer location.
With duet videos, users respond to an existing video and add their own commentary to it. This adds more depth by transforming the existing content in often clever and unexpected ways.
TikTok Duets allow nonprofits to connect with creators by responding to videos about volunteer work or people wanting to make a difference. You can also thank creators or individuals who are showcasing their support or previous volunteer work with a nonprofit. Additionally, if another creator posts a video highlighting the issues your nonprofit is trying to address, you can duet it to discuss the work your nonprofit is doing.
Hashtag challenges occur when one user creates a unique challenge and adds a hashtag to their post to get other people to join. These challenges aren’t only hosted on TikTok. For example, the ALS #IceBucketChallenge took the world by storm in 2014, trending on multiple social media platforms and raising $115 million for The ALS Association.
Your nonprofit can come up with a creative challenge and hashtag on TikTok to rally supporters behind your cause. For example, you could choose to create a dance challenge, where you choreograph a specific dance and ask others to follow your choreography to help your nonprofit raise awareness. Remember to debut the challenge in a compelling video and make it fun for your followers to create and share!
Examples of TikTok for nonprofits
There are endless possibilities for nonprofits on TikTok. However, it can be challenging to think of video ideas when starting with a new social media platform. To help guide your efforts, consider how these nonprofits use the platform to promote their purpose:
- The Caenhill Countryside Centre, a charity that works with schoolchildren and young people to educate them on farming, animals, and the countryside, went viral by making blog-style day-in-the-life TikTok videos.
- Girls Who Code, a nonprofit focused on closing the gender gap in computer science, partnered with TikTok to empower girls to support one another using the hashtag challenge #MarchForSisterhood.
- The United Way of East Central Iowa used a lip sync TikTok video to connect with and inform donors about a successful fundraising campaign.
- The United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development launched #DanceForChange to encourage people to empower young people in Africa and other developing countries by dueting user-submitted videos as a virtual petition to increase investment in sustainable agriculture.
- UNICEF uses TikTok to inform their supporters about their programs and what they’re doing to work towards their purpose. For example, they discussed the women and adolescent health crisis on International Women's Day.
For most of its users, TikTok is a way to pass time and entertain themselves. You can endlessly scroll through the app to find creators making lip-synching videos, quick comedy clips, educational content, dancing, doing challenges, and dueting one another. If you’re looking to build a presence on TikTok, but not feeling tech-savvy or creative, it might be worth looking into collaborating with these clever content creators, especially if they share your values.
Creating great nonprofit TikTok content
Although starting off on TikTok may be daunting, it can be a fun and effective way for you to communicate with supporters. Take the time to view popular videos on the app to find challenges and sounds that you can use to engage your viewers, or use the search function to find influencers who may be interested in being ambassadors for your purpose. Once you have an idea of the platform’s landscape, you’ll be ready to create great content on TikTok for your nonprofit!