Oct 21, 2021

5 Inspiring Nonprofits that are Using TikTok to Fundraise

Two individuals being recorded by someone using TikTok

TikTok is a generation Z facing social network for sharing user-generated videos. While many associate TikTok with light hearted lip synching and dance challenges, the platform has much more depth than you might think as a nonprofit professional. The social network is now catching on with millennials and older generations, and now even has donation stickers and a TikTok for Good campaign. TikTok is also growing at an alarming rate. In fact, in Q1 of 2020, TikTok generated the most downloads for any app ever in a quarter.  

While many articles may discuss what TikTok is or why your nonprofit should be on the social network, we decided to instead highlight how some of our GiveSmart nonprofit clients are successfully spreading their mission and fundraising through the platform. Below we’ve highlighted five nonprofits’ TikTok posts and the five types of TikTok content they’ve posted. We hope some of these organizations bring you some inspiration and ideas to create your own TikToks.

5 Nonprofits and How They’re Using TikTok to Fundraise

Oregon Zoo ticktok post
View Oregon Zoo’s Earth Day TikTok Video Here

To date, Oregon Zoo’s #EarthDay TikTok video received 4.7 million views, 861,000 likes and 2,561 comments. Not bad for a zoo in Oregon, right? At first this video may appear to just be an elephant swimming in a pool, but the emotional song applied to the video, Surrender by Natalie Taylor, has been applied to over 4.6 million videos on TikTok. TikTok users associate this song with emotional videos. By associating the emotive, trending song with the hashtag #EarthDay, Oregon Zoo created viral content that resonates with animal lovers and environmentalists far beyond the Portland,Oregon metropolitan area.

ProTip: Users of the app associate particular songs with emotions. Other songs like Summer Days by Martin Garrix (1.2 million videos on TikTok), Dreams, Fleetwood Mac (166.2K videos on TikTok) are associated with happy moments or I Took a Nap by Gunnarolla (74,200 videos on TikTok) with lazy moments. If your nonprofit doesn’t already have its own TikTok, create your own TikTok account to explore the app, see what songs are trending and get inspired.

2. Keep the Beat Challenge, American Heart Association | Dancing Videos

American Heart Association TikTok post
View American Heart Association’s Keep the Beat Challenge TikTok Video Here

If you’ve ever used TikTok you know it’s filled with dance videos. In fact, the company that owns TikTok is ByteDance. Creators use the platform to showcase their dancing talent and can become viral if they create a dance challenge that catches fire or participate in a trending dance challenge. However, dance battles aren’t all just about dancing. American Heart Association’s “Keep the Beat Challenge” created a unique social media campaign perfect for the dance focused app. Supporters were encouraged to create videos of them moving to “Keep the Beat” in honor of the American Heart Association and to raise money and awareness in honor of American Heart Month in February.

ProTip: American Heart Association made it easy for supporters to fundraise by providing text-to-donate instructions (text KEEPTHEBEAT to 41444) over social media posts. Similar to Instagram, TikTok does not allow users to publish links anywhere within the app except within users’ bios. TikTok does have a donation sticker option for nonprofits, however online donations processed through TikTok have limited online giving capabilities without recurring giving opportunities or automatic thank you receipts.

3. VH1 Save the Music | Storytelling

Save the Music TikTok post
View Save the Music’s TikTok Video Here

You don’t have to publish something super on-trend or clever to create engaging content. Sometimes simply showcasing your beneficiaries stories is enough to go viral. Many nonprofits like Save the Music are telling their beneficiaries (young aspiring musicians) stories in the easiest way possible, with a video of them performing. By overlaying text users can easily listen to Teira’s song, while reading how Save the Music helped her accomplish her dreams.

4. Catskill Animal Sanctuary | Voiceovers

Catskill Animal Sanctuary TikTok post

TikTok has a voiceover feature that allows users to apply voices over any video. You can download another user’s voiceover from a popular movie, song, news segment, etc. or record your own. Take for instance Catskill Animal Sanctuary, they recorded one of their beneficiaries, a rescued lamb with the voice of Ben Stiller from Zoolander, making for a comical, adorable video.

ProTip: What we personally love about Catskill Sanctuary’s TikTok videos is that they use the platform’s video editing capabilities to republish content on other platforms. It’s easy to republish TikTok to other platforms like Instagram, Instagram TV, Facebook, etc.

5. United Way | Informative Videos

United Way TikTok post

Informative content is a great way to spread awareness for your cause. It can be used to educate both supporters and beneficiaries alike. Take United Way for instance. For their National Walking Day Campaign they created a short video of two individuals going for short walks, while also outlining statistics on the benefits of walking and walking precautions to take during COVID-19.

We hope these nonprofits left you feeling inspired to create TikToks for your own cause. Best of luck fundraising!

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