Which social media channels should your non-profit use?

Social media is changing at such a rapid rate that it can feel impossible to keep up. Don’t worry, your organization doesn’t have to be active on all social media platforms to be successful. Make the most of your social media presence with these tips!

First, identify your goals

Take a look at your overall communications objectives to see how social media can play a part in supporting your goals.
Is your organization….

  • Trying to reach younger or older audiences?
  • Trying to attract people to attend your events or visit your website and make a donation?
  • Hoping to raise national awareness about your cause or start a local movement?
  • Looking to recruit a team of loyal volunteers or a new board member with several years of experience?

Decide where do you need to be

Once you decide who you want to reach and what you’re aiming to accomplish, you can pick the best platforms for your organization. Each platform you add to your social media toolbox requires dedicated maintenance, so plan according to your available resources. Here’s what each platform does best and who you can expect to reach:

(Source: Sproutsocial)


  • Largest age group using the platform: 25-34 (31.5%)
  • Gender: 43% women, 57% men (no data for other genders)
  • Great for creating events, interacting with other pages, setting up groups, connecting with local
  • followers, and sharing links back to your website
  • Built-in scheduler that allows you to manage your Facebook and Instagram accounts together
  • Thorough analytics to track your digital reach


  • Largest age group using the platform: 25-34 (31.2%), with 18-24 close behind at 31%
  • Gender: 48.4% women, 51.8% men (no data for other genders)
  • Great for sharing captivating images and informal behind-the-scenes content, and creating awareness by using hashtags to connect with people interested in your mission and activities
  • Stories are a great way of informally interacting with your followers by polling them, quizzing them, and asking them for feedback
  • Reels (short vertical videos that can have multiple clips, sound, effects, text, and music added to them) are increasingly popular and are a fun and easy way to reach a large audience


  • Largest age group using the platform: 10-19 (25%)
  • Gender: 61% women, 39% men (no data for other genders)
  • Fun way to express your organization’s brand creatively. Videos can then be shared on other
  • social media platforms
  • Lots of trends to follow
  • Best for spontaneous videos
  • Can be very time consuming, especially for new users


  • Largest age group using the platform: 18-29 (42%)
  • Gender: 38.4% women, 61.6% men (no data for other genders)
  • Best for short and time-sensitive messages
  • Incorporated scheduler lets you plan your tweets in advance
  • Note: there is a lot of uncertainty following Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, with many brands and influencers deciding to leave the platform altogether


  • Largest age group using the platform: 25-34 (58.4%)
  • Gender: 48% women, 52% men (no data for other genders)
  • 63% of LinkedIn users access the network weekly, and 22% daily
  • Best for professional content and reaching a corporate audience, such as board members and donors
  • Excellent for sharing news about your impact and for sharing job postings


  • Largest age group: 15-35 (highest reach)
  • Gender: 46% women, 54% men (no data for other genders)
  • Major video sharing platform with over 2 billion monthly active users
  • Curate your home page to showcase your work and sort your videos into playlists.
  • Allows you to host longer videos, trainings, and webinars, and then you can link to them from other social media platforms.

How much time will this take?

It’s a good idea to have someone on staff devote at least 10-15 hours per week to work on social media and properly manage your online community. This person would ideally be responsible for planning content, researching and collecting information, creating visuals and videos, scheduling posts, responding to comments and questions, as well as following and interacting with other accounts. It’s better to use one platform well than several poorly, so don’t spread yourself too thin.

Great, now what?

Once you’ve selected your social media platforms, take the time to set up your pages or profiles properly. A well-thought out and complete profile will be favored by social media algorithms and will reach more people. Make sure to keep your branding consistent.

Then, start planning your content. Start with a yearly overview of everything you’d like to cover each month, then focus on a few weeks at a time. Identify a few different topics you would like to talk about on social media (your impact in the community, call for donations, upcoming events, spotlighting volunteers, …) and then cycle through those topics by using a variety of images, videos, and links. One tool we really enjoy using at Phil is Canva, which allows you to easily and intuitively create high-quality content that’s perfectly sized for each social media platform. It’s free for nonprofits!


If you are interested in learning more about social media plans and strategies, and how to create interesting content for your social media channels, Phil can help!