Using Social Media for Non-Profit Goals

Some environmental organizations are well established in the world of social media, using various platforms to achieve their goals of information sharing, behaviour change, and fundraising.

Sharing information and behaviour change

For many environmental groups, information sharing and behaviour change are the main goals of the organization, and fundraising supports those goals. Organizations use platforms like Twitter, Facebook and blogs to encourage this kind of behaviour change among individuals. The David Suzuki Foundation’s Queen of Green blog makes small changes accessible to the public, and strives to answer common questions that people ask and offer tips and recipes, on a variety of environmental topics. By tweeting regularly, they are able to share tips in a quick format, and also draw people to the blog. The blogs, Twitter, and Facebook accounts all tie nicely into each other and each adds more value.

The Sierra Club of Canada uses social media to shed light on national and political environmental issues effectively. Regularly tweeting and posting information on political environmental actions and news releases, the organization aims to “empower people to protect, restore and enjoy a healthy and safe planet.” To achieve these aims, they also are working to inform the public on issues related to the environment. Their social media also includes a blog from their executive director, which adds a very personal perspective to the organization.

Building a loyal fan base

By using social media in this way, we can see that some of the larger environmental organizations are effectively sharing information and encouraging behaviour change. This also leads to the goal of fundraising. By using social media to build relationships and trust, they are developing audiences who are engaged with the organization and missions. This leads indirectly to fundraising. Although not everyone who follows organizations will donate to them, by focusing on the relationship building, they are more likely to create a loyal group of fans who will donate regularly and share the mission of the organization with others. This kind of long-term loyalty is the kind of “customer” that an environmental non-profit organization wants.


Social media can be a very effective and strong tool for non-profit organizations that use it well. Because the key for these organizations is relationships with the public, for behaviour change and fundraising, sharing information in their field is perfect for social media.

Some environmental organizations are well established in the world of social media, using various platforms to achieve their goals of information sharing, behaviour change, and fundraising.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Great post on using social media for non-profit organizations!

    What do you think are pitfalls of most companies when it comes to this? Understandably, the rules of social media usage can be applied to a variety of industries, but what are some specific do’s and don’ts more prevalent with non-profit organizations? I would love to hear more about this as my Dad works with one and they would love to integrate social media into existing communications plan.



  2. I think the best uses of social media by non-profits are ones that engage their audiences, answer questions directed at them, and help find answers. For example, I often tweet at organizations when I have questions (i.e. where can I recycle bottle caps), and good social media users will respond with answers quickly.


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