On Tumblr and Nonprofits

tumblr-logoNonprofits are making good use of social media networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. But Tumblr, the social media blogging service is still new territory for most nonprofits. It doesn’t have to be that way. Tumblr is a richly textured resource that could be an awesome adjunct to any nonprofit organization’s online presence.

Tumblr offers users a neat and attractive way to post quotes, text, images, audio clips, and video clips to an individual user’s blog, called a “tumblelog.” Posts tend to be brief, consisting of a single item. If someone “likes” that post, it will be pasted to the user’s “Likes” page and can be accessed at a later point. A user can also repost items to his or her Tumblr blog. This is called “reblogging.”

Nonprofits can create their own tumblelogs at Tumblr just as they might create a page on Facebook or a Twitter account. Keeping the public interested in the work of your nonprofit is best effected by posting several brief updates each day. In this way, your supporters get a running update on what you’re doing and can feel a part of your project. If your supporters reblog your updates, their own connections will see your work and may be drawn to visit your website. Creating a new post is as easy as logging in and clicking the photo or video buttons on your Tumblr dashboard.

Make A Splash

One really great feature of the Tumblr platform is the “About” page format. Here you have a place where you can write more than just a short summary about your work. You can really plug your story and make a splash. To do this, just log in and click on “Customize Appearance” to the right of the page. Then, using the scrollbar to the left, find and click “Pages.”

Next you need to click “Add a Page” and enter your chosen URL and page title. Keep it simple, for instance “About.” That should help people find your page with ease.

There’s a “Body” box where you can describe your nonprofit, tell about your aims, where you are located, and offer a bit of information about each of the people involved in the hierarchy of your organization. You can also include details about important events in the history of your nonprofit.  Here too, is where you should put your organization’s contact info, as well as that of the person responsible for the upkeep of your nonprofit’s tumblelog.

Curate Great Content

Another valuable way for nonprofits to use Tumblr is for following nonprofits with similar goals. You can become a great content curator by dint of reblogging interesting posts that have relevance for your audience. Tag these reblogs to help your audience find them.

For instance, “Hurricane Sandy” would be a tag that might be related to followers of a tumblelog created by the car donation charity, Kars for Kids, since this nonprofit was very involved in helping provide winter coats to children affected by the hurricane. Anything that is related to Hurricane Sandy can be considered inextricably linked with the work of this nonprofit. Those interested in hurricane –related posts can now find the reblogs of the nonprofit on that subject, and those interested in the nonprofit can find out about the charity’s involvement with hurricane victims. This is the way to engage the public and gain new followers.

If you do a fantastic job with your nonprofit tumblelog, Tumblr will sit up and take note. You’ll be included in Tumblr’s “Spotlight” directory which includes a category (among many others) called “Charities & Non-Profits.” One way to get the Tumblr staff to notice your terrific page is to click on featured tumblelogs that share similar aims to your own organization. You’ll find a button with an envelope icon to the upper right corner of the page. Click on it and introduce yourself. If the page administrator takes a liking to your tumblelog, he may reblog your posts or he might tell his own followers to check out your page.

Win-Win Proposition

Last but not least, one of the great things about Tumblr is that you can connect it to your other social media venues, so that when you post something to Tumblr, it automatically cross-posts to your other pages or accounts. This ties everything neatly together and helps you grow your audience at each social media location.  To sum up: Tumblr is an all around win-win proposition for nonprofits.

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