8 Social Media Trends for Nonprofits in 2024

May 8, 2024
7 minutes
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On social media, some things are forever, like those embarrassing photos your ex posted at that toga party during senior week. But in terms of over-arching trends, nothing lasts, so it’s important to be vigilant about all the latest and greatest social media maneuvers. If your nonprofit wants to stay top of mind and ahead of the curve, here’s what you need to know about social media in 2023.

(Special thanks to Melissa Leventhal for contributing to this article! Go like and follow our social accounts—FacebookInstagramTwitterLinkedIn, and TikTok—for more fundraising ideas, nonprofit trends, and awesome examples!)

1. Avoid issue burnout

This is one that we highlighted back at the end of 2023: "2024 is going to be a year for the books—it's an election year, and our world is facing many grave challenges." 

When we think of traditional donor fatigue, we generally look at it from the perspective of one nonprofit reaching out too often or from the perspective of donors being overwhelmed by asks from multiple nonprofit organizations. In recent years, though, we've seen the rise of a different type of donor fatigue, one that has always been around but intruded less on our daily lives. So since we're all complicit, let's work the problem together. 

What you need to know

  • 55% of individuals who engage with nonprofits on social media take action and 59% of those donate money (NonprofitSource).
  • The average person on an average day spends 34 minutes socializing and communicating in person (American Time Use Survey). That means folks are spending wayyy more time on social media than socializing IRL.
  • In 2022, nearly 40% of Gen Z preferred TikTok over Google for searching for information (Sprout Social), and roughly 43% of Gen Zers begin their online searches on TikTok (eMarketer).

What you need to do

Funraise Co-founder and CPO Tony Sasso has all the advice you need to avoid donor fatigue

Focus your communication on Impact (with a capital I). People want to help, but it’s hard to understand how a single person can help with existential crises occurring all around. Revisit your organization’s story and pitch. Simplify it and make it easy to understand the impact of each gift. Make it unbelievably clear how a supporter is ending a pain or accelerating change with each interaction. This communication should happen both before and after a gift."

In practice, what this means is that when you make an ask or show impact, get right to the point. People's hearts and minds are already strained; just say what you mean and mean what you say. Provide some relief in the form of entertainment, cute animal pics or jokes, or even blooper reels. 

2. AI is here to stay.

Unless a friend printed out this article and mailed it to you because you’re on day 397 of an internet cleanse, you’ve already heard a lot about AI. We’re seeing all sorts of new technologies coming out (hey there, ChatGPT!), and they are good—in a terrifying sort of way—at what they do. In the year ahead, AI will impact content creation across the board, and that includes social media.

What you need to know

What you need to do

AI isn’t a replacement for a human, but it can definitely help streamline workflows, generate ideas, and pinpoint what your audience is looking for content-wise. So, take advantage of those capabilities to plan your social calendar and lighten your workload. At the same time, remember that with the rapid adoption of AI in marketing, tools that are specific to marketers will be created and iterated on quickly. The game is changing—and fast. Be on the lookout for new use cases for AI and be ready to think creatively about how AI can be of use in the nonprofitsphere.

3. TikTok Shop is the new Amazon.

You already knew that all the cool kids are scrolling TikTok, but now, everyone’s doing it. In fact, the average American watches TikTok for a staggering 95 minutes every day (SensorTower)—more than Facebook and Instagram combined. Yes, the chips are down with TikTok poised to be kicked out of the US, but we wouldn't say TikTok's time is up. In 2024, people will keep tuning in, so make sure you’re at the top of their FYP (For You Page).

What you need to know

  • TikTok audiences for nonprofits increased by 112% in 2023, far faster than other social media platforms. (M+R Benchmarks)
  • 33 million people in the U.S. made purchases through a TikTok Shop in 2023, and 2024 is poised to add millions to that number with a prediction of 40.7 million TikTok Shop buyers this year (eMarketer).
  • Get that coin. With TikTok's Creator Fund and donation stickers and donation links in bio, the ways that you can max out TikTok are growing. And with high-profile causes making waves on TikTok, social media users are becoming more used to seeing fundraising on their favorite FYP.

What you need to do

Many of us have held off on TikTok because change is hard and we already have SO MUCH going on. But now’s the time to hire a TikTok expert (or maybe you have a Gen Z board member who could lend a hand?), get your account up, and become the CEO of nonprofit dance-offs. (It’s a TikTok thing, we swear.) If you’re still feeling intimidated, here’s some good news: nonprofits are already in a position of success, according to TikTok itself! That’s because over 40% of TikTok's user base said brands have to “lift their spirits” to motivate them to part with their hard-earned cash, and there’s nothing nonprofits do better than sharing a rousing success story (TikTok’s 2023 What’s Next Trend Report).

4. User-generated content and influencer marketing makes an impact.

User-generated content (UGC) and influencer marketing might sound complicated, but every time you take a photo of your daily latte and post it online, boom. You’re making UGC. In a time when everyone has something to sell, people are gravitating toward authenticity and humanity, making UGC your ticket to social media success.

What you need to know

  • About 90% of consumers report that UGC influences their buying decisions more than marketing emails and even search engine results (HubSpot).
  • 72% of Gen Z and Millennials follow influencers on social media (HubSpot). That’s over 40% of the US population—and a lot of nonprofit supporters (Statista).
  • In 2022, people watched influencer content 13.2 times more than media and brand content (Tubular).
  • Tagging is transactional. If you want influencers, brands, and supporters to tag you in their UGC, you've got to lead by example. Make it a practice to include your hashtags and tag another creator in every video.

What you need to do

You already know that social media is effective for online fundraising. (Well, 79% of you do, according to the Global NGO Technology Report 2019.) But some nonprofits waver on whether influencer marketing and UGC is worth it. Here’s our advice: Don’t overthink it, because you already have a leg up here. After all, it's difficult to find a nonprofit that's NOT using UGC—usually in the form of client testimonials and the nonprofit's story. So, keep doing what you know, lean into your unique story, and be the influencer you want to see in the world. And if you don’t know whether you’re an expert in UGC (or what UGC is in the first place), now’s the time to find out.

5. Companies are investing more in video content.

With TikTok dominating the social scene and other platforms jumping on board with their own offerings, be they Instagram Reels or YouTube Shorts, short-form video content is here to stay. If you’re still focused on text and photos, it’s time to embrace the moving image.

What you need to know

  • Almost 93% (!) of global internet active users watch digital videos each week (DataReportal). That explains why 90% of global marketers are increasing or maintaining their investment in short-form videos this year (HubSpot).
  • 73% of consumers prefer to watch a short video, as opposed to a text-based article, e-book, or infographic, to learn about a product or service (Wyzowl).
  • In 2021, nearly 76 million people in the US scanned a QR code on their mobile devices, a 15.3% increase compared to 2020. That rise is expected to continue, and by 2025, usage of mobile QR code scanners is projected to reach approximately 99.5 million social media users (Statista).

What you need to do

We think it's time you made short-form videos a key part of your outreach marketing strategy. Share links in your direct mail, play them at events, and splash them across social media. Additionally, QR codes are gaining enormous ground, especially with the donor’s cousin, the consumer. Use QR codes to introduce videos into spaces previously reserved for words or static images.

6. Employee advocacy increases organic reach.

In a world where organic content isn't what it used to be and ad spend rules the world, brands can leverage employees as brand ambassadors to boost their organic content, have more control over brand messaging, and build brand presence. As a bonus, it helps employees build their own professional profiles, and in 2024's job market, candidates need every leg up they can get to leapfrog layoffs.

What you need to know

  • A recommendation from a friend or family member makes 83% of Americans more likely to purchase that product or service (Convince & Convert).
  • Word-of-mouth marketing is estimated to contribute to 13% of all sales (LXA).
  • In a recent study, over 87% of those surveyed said that employee advocacy contributed to expanding their professional network, and 76% believed that it helped them keep up with industry trends (Hinge Marketing).

What you need to do

As with these other trends, this is made for nonprofits! Word-of-mouth marketing is a great minimal-cost content strategy to tap into if you want to increase donations. What for-profit industry can claim more passionate employees? How many corporations have mission-focused staff? What other company fundraises as a team for the cause they work toward every day? Yeah, you’ve got this.

7. Social media customer care is a must.

When people reach out to brands on social, they expect a response. But now, brands are using their responses to drive brand awareness. Some even have their own dedicated customer accounts.

What you need to know

  • The global population is about 8 billion people (Worldometer). As of January 2023, 4.76 billion people use social media. That means well over half the population uses social media—and they probably need some help.
  • From 2020-2021 alone, the volume of consumers who reported a preference for social messaging for customer service jumped a whopping 110% (ZenDesk).
  • 89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase following a positive customer service experience (Salesforce: State of the Connected Customer).

What you need to do

This is an easy and obvious win for nonprofits. Invite engagement from your community by asking questions, inviting feedback, and encouraging interaction. And with today's automation solutions, you don’t have to do much to check this social media box.

8. BTS (behind-the-scenes) content offers a new style of transparency

Here in the nonprofit world, we're keenly aware of how heavily we're scrutinized. With legal requirements and grant conditions and funder demands, there are all kinds of pressures to keep the lines of communication open. And when it comes to stuff we have to do, our take is usually to lean into it and do the best job possible (just look at Funraise!) Using social media is a way to do two things: be the transparent example you want to see, and maximize content so it's usable on your site, in funder progress reports, and to the wider audience on social media.

What you need to know

  • According to the Sprout Social Index 2023, the second biggest thing consumers don’t see enough of from brands on social media is transparency around business practices and values.
  • 21% of consumers' primary reason for following a brand on social is "because their values or mission aligns" with the consumer's. (Sprout Social Index 2023)
  • Recently, 25% of consumers surveyed said that the most memorable brands on social speak out about causes and news that align with their values. (Sprout Social Index 2023).

What you need to do

You know transparency better than most, so use it to your advantage. Don't just showcase your work, break down where a donation goes. Connect the cash to the programs, people, and personnel. Take your social media audience on a tour. Share the impact equivalent of hot office goss with your followers. Don't simply create a video, make a shareable infographic to go along with it.

And if making progress videos is part of your inner circle programming or funder updating requirements, get greater use out of these raw content pieces by including them in your social media content schedule. 

Sure, social media trends come and go, but by staying on top of them, you can lead the pack in the year ahead. It’s time for a 2024 social media glow up, friend! Go get ‘em.

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Social Media 2024 FAQ (Heavily assisted by our AI colleague)

What are the top social media trends for 2024?

The biggest social media trends for nonprofits in 2024 are personalization, transparency, and consumerism. Audiences want quick content that provides clear next steps so they can learn more and act if they're moved to donate, volunteer, or fundraise for the nonprofit. 

Which social media platforms are the most important for nonprofits to watch for current trends?

In 2024, nonprofits will need to stay on top of the latest social media trends to effectively reach and engage with their audience. A few social media platforms stand out as particularly important for nonprofits to watch for current trends: TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

How does AI influence social media trends for nonprofits in 2024?

In 2024, artificial intelligence (AI) continues to play a significant role in shaping social media trends for nonprofits. AI-powered tools and technologies have become increasingly sophisticated, enabling organizations to streamline their social media strategies, personalize content creation to enhance audience engagement, and maximize impact through donation tools.

Which social media is best for nonprofits?

When it comes to choosing the best social media platform for nonprofits in 2024, there are a few key factors to consider. The most popular social media platform for nonprofits is Facebook. TikTok is the fastest-growing social platform for nonprofits. 

What will be the biggest social media for nonprofits in 2025?

As the fastest-growing social platform for nonprofits, if TikTok can avoid being banned in the United States, it could have the largest jump in effect. Facebook, being the overall used social media channel, will likely have the largest effect overall. 

What is social media for nonprofits?

Social media for nonprofits refers to the use of social networking platforms and online communities to promote a cause, raise awareness, engage with supporters, and fundraise for charitable organizations. In today's digital age, social media has become an essential tool for nonprofits to reach a wider audience, connect with potential donors, and share their mission with the world.

How to use social media as a nonprofit?

Social media has become an essential tool for nonprofits to reach and engage with their audiences. In 2024, there are several key trends that nonprofits should be aware of in order to effectively use social media to further their mission and connect with supporters: utilize video content, implement donation tools, and provide radical transparency through social media posts to the target audience. 

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