4 minute read

Love or hate it, it’s here to stay—and if you can get to know each other a little better, it can become one of your best content marketing pals. I’m talking about the hashtag, or the pound sign as it was originally known. The hashtag originated on Twitter (and before that, the phone—remember?) but it’s now used on every major social network to help people categorize and define content as well as find what they’re searching for.

With 98% of nonprofits using at least one social network, hashtags have become a marketing necessity. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s an overwhelming amount of information and educational content available, and hashtags can both help filter and narrow down online searches for a specific types of content as well as expand your nonprofit’s reach and influence. Here’s how:

  • When you click on a specific hashtag, like #GivingTuesday or #AdoptAPet, it will filter posts and tweets so that you’ll only see information related to those specific topics. Hashtags are a perfect way to see what’s trending on social media in real time without having to look at everything that’s being posted (which would take way more hours than you have in the day).
  • Using a particular hashtag like #GiveToOrlando will expose your nonprofit to new users who are interested in the topic but may have never heard of your organization. They give you a chance for more exposure to new audiences who are interested in the issues you’re passionate about.

Sold? Great—because hashtags aren’t going anywhere. If anything, they’re just going to get more necessary and using them correctly, even more strategic.

Don’t stress, though: Once you get the hang of hashtagging, you’ll be a pro in no time. Start with these eight trending hashtags for nonprofits, and begin incorporating them into your social media marketing using the tips following each one.

  1. #activism The great thing about this hashtag is it isn’t just used by nonprofits, so it can help you reach an audience beyond the nonprofit industry. Many people will add #activism to their posts when talking about anything related to social good. Use it when you think it will expand your conversation beyond your normal sphere of influence.
  2. #volunteer This hashtag can serve two purposes for you: Thank your current volunteers and give them public props for all they do, and broadcast potential volunteer opportunities in order to get new people involved in your organization.
  3. #dogood How is your nonprofit impacting your community? Use this popular hashtag when you post about past, present or future initiatives that demonstrate how your organization is making a tangible difference.
  4. #giveback If you’re making a call for people to give to a specific project or need, whether financially or through volunteering, this is a good hashtag to use. It’s an important one to include with any post that has a specific call to action.
  5. #donate Simple: Use this hashtag when asking for donors to give money, whether it’s to your organization or to another cause. It’s specific, direct and to the point—a good filtering hashtag.
  6. #fundraising Have a fundraising event coming up? Perfect. Want to promote a particular appeal you just sent out? Right on. This hashtag is perfect for calling attention to your fundraising efforts, showcasing fundraising results and thanking your donors.
  7. #charity Whether you want to highlight your own organization or give a shout-out to another one, this is a good one for posts talking about specific nonprofits.
  8. #causes It’s pretty general, but it’s very common so definitely keep this one in your back pocket. You can use if for pretty much anything: calls to action, tweets about other organizations you want to promote, photos on Instagram of a recent event—really, anything nonprofit-related, which is virtually anything in your world.

Don’t worry if you’re just starting to use hashtags; many people have ignored them for years and are just now seeing them as an important part of content and social media marketing. For a helpful hashtag resource, try Hashtagify.me—it’s a handy hashtag search engine that can help you find the best hashtags to reach your audience, all for free.

And of course, call us! We have social media experts who can revolutionize your social media marketing strategy, way beyond hashtags. A great social media marketing strategy is the perfect complement to a captivating and engaging website. Learn more about how partnering with Firespring can elevate your nonprofit by calling 877.447.8941 or email hello@firespring.org.