TikTok for Charity: the Ultimate Guide

 
TikTok is the hottest trend right now. Since Covid-19 hit, more and more people are downloading the app to their phones. If you haven't already gotten TikTok, you should! Not only is it super entertaining, but there is a whole section on TikTok for charity.  

For those unfamiliar, the platform consists of creating videos dancing, lip-syncing, acting, singing, cooking, drawing, and so much more in a minute or less. I downloaded the app a few weeks ago and have become hooked! There is something for everyone on TikTok, even nonprofit organizations.

Many nonprofits are using TikTok as a way to fundraise and grow awareness for their cause. If you have a large following of donors between the ages of 16–24 or want to build on that demographic, TikTok can be a great tool. Begin by looking at your donor data and mission to find out if TikTok is right for you. Your donor CRM can upload, organize, and deliver data-driven insights that can help you make educated decisions on where and how to engage and convert your supporters. 

So if you have been struggling with the platform, have no clue where to start and are begrudgingly reading this on your board members' orders to "connect with the kids" don't worry, I got you covered. By the end of this article, you will not only know how to use TikTok but become a pro at making captivating content that will engage your audience and get views circling back to your page. 
 
So in summary, here are the topics this guide will cover: 
 

Table of Contents 

[Tip #1] TikTok Demographics: who are you reaching with the platform and why you should make an account.
[Tip #2] Using the app and the technical side of creating a TikTok.
[Tip #3] Going Viral: What makes a TikTok good, and how can your content go viral?
[Tip #4] Marketing: How to promote your nonprofit and turn views into donations.
[Tip #5] Did you succeed? How do you measure success on the app? 

Can Nonprofits Fundraise on TikTok? 

1.5 billion people and growing are on TikTok, making it one of the most downloaded apps in recent years, beating Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Meaning if you're not using the app, it might be time to do so. Depending on your organization, you could be missing out on a huge demographic. 

41% of TikTok users are between the ages of 16–24, so there is a decent mix of millennials and Gen Zer's. People in this age demographic care a ton about activism, social issues and value content that is not only entertaining but inspiring. 

Now you may be thinking that even if you were to join TikTok and make killer content that there are billions of people on this app, how will you stand out? Well, 90% of users spend an average of an hour watching content per day. That's 50 videos a day, or more. Using the tips and tools below, you'll be able to use the app to your advantage and get your content seen. 
 

Beginners Guide to Using TikTok for Nonprofits

Watch our Beginner TikTok Tutorial below to learn how to navigate the app's technical side and create your first video!


Some creator tips: 

  • Keep a consistent brand image by using similar colours and fonts.
  • Repurpose your TikTok content by downloading to your device and posting on your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram story.
  • Spend time watching TikToks and interacting with other accounts. 
  • Use hashtags! They are the best way to show up in searches and on the "For You" page. Diversify your tags to describe your location and video description.
  • Be genuine, don't try too hard to relate to a younger audience. Focus on telling your story and creating content that you would enjoy.
  • Duet accounts and tag relevant organizations or people.
  • Promote your account on multiple channels like Instagram and Twitter.
  • Follow trends and use popular audio sounds. The best way to figure out what's hot or trending is to use the app yourself! Even scrolling through your For You page for 10–15 minutes will give you great insight into what's popular. 
  • Have fun!

TikTok For Charity

Many people don't know this, but TikTok has a whole section dedicated to inspiring a new generation of change-makers! Their TikTok for Good page even has a contact form that you can use to get in contact with them. 

There have been plenty of campaigns like TikTok's partnership with the Red Cross for the #ForClimate campaign to raise awareness and share knowledge on climate change. Or my favourite challenge, the #PetBFF campaign, encouraged users to post videos with the hashtag and TikTok would donate a dollar for every video created to its animal protection partners.  

Those are a few examples of their more substantial partnership challenges, but there are a ton of amazing organizations on the app to inspire you. Here are a few content ideas, along with examples from different nonprofit accounts. 

What Makes Content Go Viral? 


 

 

Educational 

Pretty self-explanatory, educational content will educate on a topic or support an idea. Many TikToks share recipes, tutorials, and demonstrations on almost anything. Informative content is a great option for nonprofits to use in their strategy, acting as a reliable resource on information related to their cause. 

UNICEF partnered with popular TikToker Charli D'amelio and created a viral video for #SaferInternetDay!

@unicef

YES, @charlidamelio! ##SaferInternetDay ##ENDviolence

♬ What the Hell - Avril Lavigne
 
They were also among the first accounts to start creating videos on how people can protect themselves from the coronavirus.
 

Trends and Challenges 

When scrolling through your "For You" page, you may notice that some videos follow the same style or sequence. Challenges are videos with a similar format but have different content. For example, the #WipeItDownChallenge involves people wiping a mirror to the song Wipe It Down by BMW Kenny. Then as they're wiping, it cuts to a shot of them in different makeup or clothing changing back as they continue to wipe. 

The British Red Cross did an excellent job of joining that trend! They followed the format of the challenge but also added an informational twist: 

 

Funny 

Funny content comes in the form of one-liners, skits, and images. Humour can sometimes be hard to land, and you want to make sure you aren't coming off as a "boomer" to your demographic. But it's always better to experiment and see what works than not to post at all! 

@misfitranch

Ohhhh Eclair, our forever hungry ???? goat ???? ##fyp ##animals ##funny ##misfitranch ##hungry ##quarantine

♬ Hungry Like the Wolf - Duran Duran 

Pull at the Heartstrings 

Many Animal rescues and SPCAs are getting in on creating adorable animal content. I mean, how can you go wrong with a cute cat video? TikTok is a great place to shine a spotlight on your furry friends, and mixing animals with popular trends is a great way to get eyes on your account and maybe even go viral!

@aspca

Post a video of your pet using the hashtag ##PetBFF and TikTok will donate $1 to the ASPCA! ???????? ##fyp

♬ Cute - Tik Tok
 
One of the most viral nonprofit TikToks on the app is the first video posted by UNICEF of a mother reuniting with her child. UNICEF's video is a terrific example of a heartwarming video that also tells a story. It not only stands alone as a great piece of content, but they let viewers know with the caption that they help thousands of people make it home like the family shown in the video. 
 
@unicef

The moment Khamisa held her children again. We’ve helped reunite over 6,000 families since war began in ##SouthSudan. ##homecoming ##TogetherForUNICEF

♬ Coming Home - Part II - Skylar Grey
 

Lip Syncs and Dances

TikTok is full of music and audio tracks. You can also search by song, so by having content with music, you are also increasing your chances of discovery on the app. Mix lip-syncing with text to create educational videos that compliment a song, like how this flight attendant uses a lip-sync to give facts on her job.
 
@flyingmissdaisy_

I’ve tried to answer some questions that I’ve been asked on my recent videos##fyp ##cabincrew ##flightattandant ##crewlife ##foryoupage ##questionchallenge

♬ follow meee taytlaurel - taytlaurel
 
Dance videos work similarly. Do Something did a great job with this by 
having one of their interns perform a popular TikTok dance as a way to share that they need denim for their clothing drive. 

@dosomething

Join our Teens for Jeans campaign by donating your denim!???? ##fyp ##xyzbca

♬ Attention by Todrick Hall - xoprinceali

Going Viral 

As with a lot of things, TikTok preferences are very subjective. There are tons of content types, but your viewers should leave your video feeling they gained something. So your content should either be telling a story, sharing information, making people laugh, or wowing your audience. 

Take for example The American Red Cross's video below. It's an excellent example of an informational TikTok with a call to action:
@americanredcross

Volunteers are urgently needed at blood drives right now! ##randomthings ##stayhomestaystrong ##voiceover ##keepingbusy ##COVID19 ##volunteering ##blooddrive

♬ Tadow - Masego & FKJ
 
The video above is among one of their most popular, and here's why:
  • The way they displayed the text at the beginning of the video follows a format popular on TikTok communicating that they understand the platform.
  • The tips are helpful and genuine.
  • They use appropriate hashtags and captions that compliment the content of the video and is relevant right now.
  • Everyone loves free t-shirts!
They didn't try to cram a ton of information at once, and it was simple but effective. There isn't a one size fits all solution to making viral content, but there are ways to increase the your chances of being seen on the app. 
 

How to Use TikTok as a Fundraising Tool

Research shows that 60% of Gen Z prefer to donate to charity through social media. So by having an active TikTok account and providing a link back to your donation form in your bio, you are increasing the chances of people not only finding but giving to your nonprofit. 

Make sure your donation form's optimized for mobile because TikTok is a mobile app. Donor Engine's donation pages are fully responsive, so if you are struggling to create an excellent mobile donation page, reach out to us! We'd love to help. 

Don't be afraid to add a call to action in the caption or post promoting a campaign, event, or petition. If you communicate your need well in your content, viewers will be more than happy to support your cause. Try a variety of styles and messages to see what works best for your organization. 

There are many ways you can measure your success in a quantifiable way: reach and engagement. 

Reach and Virality 

These metrics include
  • Total video views.
  • Original audio plays and,
  • Number of times your organization's unique hashtags are used.
Just like with Instagram, creating a hashtag for your nonprofit or campaign is a great way to track your engagement and support online. Always search before launching your hashtag to make sure no one else is using it!

Engagement

These metrics include
  • The total amount of hearts or likes you have on a video or your account.
  • Number of duets.
  • Total number of comments and,
  • The quality of comments, are they positive or negative? 
To calculate your engagement rate add the number of likes, comments, duets, and shares you have and divide by the number of followers. Multiply by 100 to get your percentage. An ideal place to aim is to get around 1-4% engagement. 

Nonprofit Organizations On TikTok That You Should Follow 


Many organizations are already using the platform, so I listed some of my personal favourites below to inspire you! 

Conclusion 

TikTok isn't all that intimidating when you break it down. There're already plenty of nonprofits on the platform who are also figuring out how to navigate the app. By doing your research and creating fun, engaging, and genuine content, you will be able to introduce your organization to a whole new audience!
 

Here are the top 6 takeaways from this guide: 

  1. To create better content, you have to use the app! Even looking at your feed for 5–10 minutes a day will help you get familiar with the most popular trends and topics.
  2. The devil is in the details. Remember to use hashtags, update your bio, and provide a link to your website. You can even use sites like linktree to direct users to multiple websites, social media accounts, or campaigns. 
  3. Track your progress. Read the comments and use the engagement formula (# likes + # comments + # duets + # shares / # of followers) x 100 to get your engagement rate. Aim for a number between 1-4%
  4. If at first, you don't succeed, try, and try again! Test out different types of content, hashtags, and audio to see what works best for you. Follow similar accounts and influencers to get inspiration.
  5. Don't be afraid to ask for help! See if an intern or volunteer is familiar with the platform and is willing to offer advice or even run your TikTok campaign. What better way to connect with the app's audience than to make content with someone already familiar with it!
  6. Include a call to action, whether it be a link in your bio or an ask in a video. If you are communicating the importance of your cause, people will want to get involved, so don't be afraid to be direct! TikTok is a great way to promote any events, fundraisers, or petitions. 

Like any other form of social media, if you tell your organization's story, you can't go wrong! Happy fundraising, and for more information on growing your donor base reach out to us at donorengine.com.

 



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