How To Use TikTok As A Nonprofit

by Ray Delgado  |   |  Strategy  |  0 comments

3 min to read ✭ In this post, you will learn how to use TikTok as a marketing channel for your nonprofit and a list of best practices to do so.

What Is TikTok?

TikTok is a social media platform for sharing short video content that has exploded in popularity since it was introduced in 2017, with huge growth during the pandemic when people were looking for something, anything, to fight their boredom. TikTok is where it’s at for content creators who are serving up short videos between 15-60 seconds long that feature them dancing, singing, telling jokes, sharing funny moments and telling stories.


Ask Our Team About TikTok


Like YouTube, TikTok users push their creativity to new levels to gain more followers, which can earn them more advertiser dollars. And viewers love it because they don’t have to invest a lot of time watching content they’re unsure of because they’re likely to come across videos that are already made popular by other TikTok users so they know they’re getting something good.

The cream rises to the top on TikTok much more quickly and easily than on other platforms, creating a feel-good experience that keeps more eyeballs glued and engaged. TikTok’s algorithm is also incredibly effective in curating content for users based on what they watch.   

TikTok averages about 850 million active users worldwide per month and the vast majority of them are young, with over 41 percent of users between the ages of 16 and 24. Users spend an average of 52 minutes on the app every day and they are more engaged than other platforms, liking and sharing content they care about. And you know what that means: happy users make happy donors who are much more likely to support a cause they feel good about. 


Benefits Of Using TikTok For Your Nonprofit

Many nonprofits struggle to identify compelling strategies to identify and engage the next-gen of donors and TikTok is certainly worth some exploration. If you’re ever going to experiment on a social media platform, TikTok is the place to do it because it is geared toward short, compelling messages that have authenticity at their core.  This is where you want to experiment with new ways of messaging, putting your best, most passionate team members in front of an iPhone to talk about your impact and how your work is building community. 

As you start to get better at creating content that’s resonating with viewers, you can then double down on what works and extend your brand awareness and donor base. While TikTok was once known for dance-along videos in its infancy, anything can trend these days, including educational and how-to videos that nonprofits can excel at.


Things To Know Before You Start Using TikTok for Your Nonprofit

It’s important to study TikTok before jumping into content creation. The platform is driven by trending content that changes daily and it excels at creating an atmosphere of memes/inside jokes that you would only understand if you use the app. Knowing how things trend and why will be important as you start to build your ideas list and figure out which hashtags to use once you’re ready to post. Remember that you’re looking for trends that will bring eyeballs to your post so it’s worth doing your homework so you don’t waste your time. Spend a few days looking at TikTok to understand how it works and ask critical questions about why certain content succeeds or doesn’t.



Authenticity is key on TikTok because nearly all videos tend to be very casual, and far less curated than the content you’d find on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. Think short, compelling, urgent, emotional, or funny soundbites. This isn’t the place for the glossy four-minute overview video that is placed on your homepage. This is your “elevator pitch” where you only have a few sentences to get your point across. 

Tiktok moves fast and you’ll have to try and keep up with it. Hopefully, you’re enjoying the experience as much as others do and this isn’t a work task you must do but rather something you enjoy doing. The more you use TikTok, the more you’ll understand how it works for your promotional purposes and you’ll be able to spot moving trends and jump on board. 

Anyone can go viral on TikTok, regardless of the number of followers they have. That’s the beauty of this platform: anyone with a good video can go viral if you tap into the right trend and people share your work with others. 

Once you’ve spent some time playing around on TikTok to build your understanding of how it works, you may want to dig a little deeper to research how its algorithm works. In short, TikTok is studying how you react to videos, what you like and what you don’t like and what videos you create and what you share. 


How To Use TikTok As A Nonprofit

Ready to get started? Remember that this is where you experiment and there is no such thing as failure when you’re getting started on TikTok. Have fun, see what works and do more of that.


Post Often: The More Posts The Merrier

Post all the time if you’ve got the content for it. This app favors the noisy ones. You’ll have to compute your cost/benefit analysis of seeing if the time you’re spending gathering content is worth the effort of posting on a daily basis but if it is, post as much as you can. If you’re scheduling video recording sessions with anyone on your team, have five to ten videos in mind for them so you can save them in the story bank and maximize their time. And when you get really good at building your content stream, look into using a posting tool to schedule the content dissemination on TikTok.   


Get In On The Trends

As we mentioned, this app is heavily powered by trends, which are a collection of viral short videos that use popular features, songs, sound effects, and/or hashtags. More than half of TikTok users are using the app through any given trend at any given time and people express themselves through their various interpretations of them.


Once you start to understand how TikTok trends work, you’ll feel comfortable copying someone’s video and then adding your own twist to it. Yes, this is encouraged! TikTok is all about good content and what you think about that content so copy away and have fun sharing your reactions. 


Provide Value To Your Viewers

So maybe your nonprofit isn’t going to be the funniest or most outrageous on TikTok and that’s okay. You’ll find your own personality with time and you should be encouraged to be casual and approachable with your content.


Chances are you’re going to try and be educational or inspirational with your content and show your values. This type of content performs best for nonprofits. Tips, advice, how-tos are all great.


Look at your organization’s mission and values with your team and ask them to brainstorm some possible content ideas. What can you inform someone about? What solutions can you provide? What’s your theory of change? What excites you about your work? What impact are you having?


Start With A Strong Hook

People have short attention spans and you’ll need to capture them in the first 5 seconds with a hook or question or tease. Caption your posts with your hook, similar to how you’d title a report or a headline. Once you’ve hooked them, keep them watching by making sure your video is not too long (10-15 seconds long is recommended) and keeps the energy up.


Use The Right Hashtags

Choose a mix of relevant hashtags and trending hashtags for your video. It’s a good idea to keep a glossary of relevant hashtags for your line of work that you can pull from and add to based on changing trends. This will save you time as you’re creating new posts and wondering what hashtags to use with it. For trending hashtags, don’t forget to visit the Discover button, then Trends, to see what’s currently trending and why. Hitch your content to whatever is most relevant.


Engage With Other Users

Leave comments, like videos, respond to comments, do whatever you can to be active on this site. Just keep in mind that the algorithm is tracking your engagement so stay focused on content that is relevant to your goals. “Stitch” or “Duet” other creators’ videos and let them know what you think about their work. It will encourage them to reciprocate and you’ll be building your brand. Create ‘reply’ videos using comments left on your posts to show your followers that you’re listening to them and appreciate their engagement. People like to know their comments are taken seriously. 


Switch To A TikTok Pro Account

Once you’ve gotten started on TikTok and see its value of it, you should upgrade your account to a pro account. This video will walk you through it. A TikTok Pro account gives you access to an analytics tool that will give you useful insights about your audience, reach, and videos performance. With this tool, you can see your weekly and monthly views, follower growth, and trending videos.


Take Advantage Of TikTok’s Free Resources For Nonprofits

TikTok wants to make this easy on you and get you using and enjoying its platform so they have some pretty good resources that will help you as a creator. The TikTok Creative Center has great resources worth exploring that will get you up to pro-level in no time. Be sure to check out their tutorial center in particular. 


If you’re looking to expand your network and potential donor base, particularly among younger audiences, you should check out TikTok and start experimenting. And most importantly, have fun with it and you’ll see the rewards!

Ray Delgado

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ready to grow your nonprofit?

Our team of purpose-driven digital marketers would love to learn more about your mission and chat about how your nonprofit can drive more online supporters, volunteers, clients & donors.