Nonprofits use Pinterest to reach new audiences

Ad Council Pinterest

At first glance, their goals seem very different. One campaign was designed to encourage animal lovers to find their next pet at an animal shelter or rescue. The other aimed to inspire young adults and their parents to get outside and connect with nature.

What these campaigns from The Shelter Pet Project and Discover the Forest share is that they’re part of an expanding partnership between Pinterest and the Ad Council. The Ad Council is a national nonprofit organization that produces public service advertising and is behind iconic campaigns including Smokey Bear.

“Pinterest is a place where people go to get inspired and then take action,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “Leveraging the platform gives our nonprofit partners a unique, impactful way to share their causes and encourage people to support them.”

As our partnership with the Ad Council enters its second year, more campaigns are in the works as nonprofits realize that Pinterest is a great place to advance their missions and find new supporters.

Here's a closer look at two recent campaigns.

The Shelter Pet Project

The Shelter Pet Project encourages animal lovers to find their next cat or dog through a shelter or rescue group. Working with the creative agency JWT, The Shelter Pet Project created a mobile campaign for Pinterest using Promoted Pins that feature animated gifs of shelter cats and dogs at play.

When people tap on the Pins, they’re taken to a site where they can enter their zip code to find pets needing homes near them. The campaign has seen above average engagement with their audience—excellent news for all of those cute cats and dogs and their new families.

Bob Broadfoot and Karl Ackermann
“Sharing our message with animal lovers on Pinterest has been a great way to show potential adopters how amazing shelter pets are (and how fun it is to play with them!) and encourage them to visit their local shelters when they are ready to bring home a new pet.”
Discover the Forest

The goal of the Discover the Forest campaign was to inspire tweens and their parents to get outdoors and connect with nature by providing ideas of fun things families can do in local forests and other nature spaces.

The Nature Next Door campaign encouraged Pinners to complete ten challenges featured in a series of Promoted Pins that were targeted to families on Pinterest. Challenges included activities like inventing a new outdoor game or writing a thank-you note to a favorite tree.

Clicking on a Pin took people to the Forest Finder—an online map where they can search for the nearest forest and parks. The campaign also leveraged Pinterest’s visual discovery tool, Lens, to encourage people to explore the natural world. If they saw a plant or bug they wanted to identify, for instance, they could take a picture of it with Lens to learn more about it.

Here's a look at Lens in action.

Amy Gibson-Grant
Discover the Forest
“Working with Pinterest helped us to ensure our campaign message reached our core target. Thanks to this effort, we were able to highlight for parents and caregivers of tweens that regardless of where you live, there are nature experiences nearby and all families can reap the benefits.”
Ready to learn more?

Read here to get even more information about the Pinterest and Ad Council partnership.

—Eric Edge, saving to The Food