Navigating social media as a nonprofit is overwhelming, to say the least! Your organization can be on a road to nowhere without a clear strategy and plan. 

In this article we will cover:

  • How to create a social media strategy and set goals
  • How to decide which social platforms to be on
  • What days and times are best to post 
  • How to create a monthly content plan (and 20 engaging post ideas to get you started)
  • How to respond to comments and interact with your audience


1. Set SMART goals

You cannot succeed if you don't define success. Don't be on social media for the sake of being on it. You will be inconsistent, waste energy, and become discouraged. Instead, set SMART goals. 




Some goals social media can help you accomplish...

  • Increase organization awareness
  • Educate your audience
  • Fundraise
  • Recruit volunteers
  • Promote events
  • Grow community

...made into SMART goals:

  • Increase awareness for your organization by 20% by the end of the year
  • Educate your audience on homelessness by January 1st
  • Raise $5,000 for the soup kitchen by December 25th
  • Recruit 2 student volunteers to sort donations through the holidays
  • Fill all tables for the Thanksgiving Gala
  • Grow the volunteer database by 50 contacts by June 1st


2. Pick the platforms that make sense

It is better to post high-quality content on one platform than to post mediocre content on them all. You don't have to try to do everything in the social media world; in fact, it is better not to. Who is your target audience and what social platforms do they hang out on? Social media demographics can help you determine where to dedicate your energy. 




This is another great Social Media Cheat Sheet from Flipcause:



3. Create a plan

Benjamin Franklin Quote

President Franklin said it best. Planning all your posts out a month at a time will set you up for success. A schedule helps you stay consistent, and you will love only having to think of what to post once every 30 days. This calendar we created for you highlights the best days and times to post each week. Following this will give you the best chance for exposure and engagement. Shooting for 4 in-feed posts and a couple of stories each week is ideal. However, if you ever drop the ball and can only manage one post for the week, make it on Wednesday. People are most active on social media at 11 AM on Wednesday. 

Download our free social media calendar template

Social Media Calendar Template


The underlying purpose of each post is to build community. Followers don't serve, donate, and engage, but community does. 

Every post should...

  • Reflect your values
    • Shared values are what bind your community. Repost your mission frequently and what you believe in as an organization. 
  • Align with your SMART goals
    • This can be direct (i.e. asking for volunteers), or indirect (i.e. sharing a quote from a volunteer about their experience).
  • Be engaging
    •  Ask questions, run polls, and share images that people want to repost. 
  • Have tasteful, high-quality images and graphics
    • The effort shows that you care. Make your feed aesthetically pleasing, it will attract more people and earn more engagement.

20 Post ideas:

  • Testimonials from the people you have served

St. Jude's Post

  • Impact statistics

Operation Christmas Child Post

  • Volunteer appreciation

Habitat for Humanity Post

  • Promote upcoming events
  • This or That polls 
  • Current donation needs

Samaritan's Purse Post

  • Current serving needs
  • Quotes from founder
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Tour of facilities
  • Photos from events
  • Community appreciation
  • National holidays

United Way Post

  • Volunteer quotes/interviews
  • Staff quote/interviews

Feeding America Post

  • Throwbacks to when your organization first started/ a look at how far you've come
  • Bible verses if your organization is Christian

Compassion International Post

  • Micro volunteering opportunities
  • Behind the scenes
  • Relevant inspirational quotes

4. Interact 

It is easy to hit the post button and then be done. But you have worked hard to earn people's engagement, so take the extra step to also respond. When you receive compliments say thank you; when you get questions, give thorough answers. Remember: this is the fun part that you have worked for!