“What should I post on social media?” is one of the top questions nonprofit marketers ask. To help answer that question and to see if it lines up with best practices, we asked nonprofit communicators to tell us how often you share different types of content on social media. Here are the results found in our 2024 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report:


  • 46% of survey takers said they share news or upcoming events most of the time with the same percentage saying they market their programs most of the time.
  • Very few nonprofits want to make waves on social media, however, with almost 90% saying they seldom or never try to evoke controversy and 66% saying they seldom or never take a stand or share strong opinions.
  • Only 6% of nonprofits say they share funny content most of the time with almost 60% saying they seldom or never share humorous posts.
  • Using social media for fundraising was fairly split with 52% saying they seldom or never ask for money on social media and 48% saying they ask for money sometimes or most of the time.

Does this content align with what social media users want?

We know from research we’ve done for social media webinars that what social media managers post does not always match with what people want to see. And unfortunately we see a lot of the same issues in this data.

According to Hootsuite’s Social Media Trends for 2024, over one-third of social media audiences say that too much self-promotion negatively affects how they view a brand. And yet, according to our survey, almost 90% of nonprofits are marketing programs either most of the time or sometimes as well as sharing news or upcoming events and showing how they help. All of these things could be considered self-promotion depending on what exactly you are posting.

And despite memes, how-to content, and opinion pieces doing well on social media, over half of nonprofits say they seldom or never post that type of content.

Let’s break this down further and look at how nonprofit social media content aligns with what people are doing on different platforms.

Our previous Trends Reports show that Facebook is used most frequently by nonprofits followed by Instagram.

If we take data from consumer research company GWI and look at how Facebook users want to interact with others on the platform, over 58% say they are looking to “keep up to date with news and current events.” Since, as we said before, most nonprofits share news and upcoming events, Facebook is a good place to do that. LinkedIn and X (Twitter) should also be considered as users listed “Keep up to date with new and current events” as their top reason for being on both of those platforms.

BUT you need to consider what you consider “news” and what users consider “news” may be two different things. Hiring a new ED is news for you, but the average social media users – even your followers – will not consider that a “newsworthy” event in their lives. When they say they use social media to keep up to date with news and current events, they don’t mean they log in to find out if you got that grant.

Do you have to be funny?

When we did our webinar on conveying your personality on social media, many people asked if they had to be funny to get attention. You probably won’t like the answer as almost 55% of Facebook users and over 64% of Instagram users are on those platforms for funny or entertaining content.

And another survey from Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience (CX) and Gretchen Rubin says 91% of people prefer brands to be funny. That same survey said if a brand uses humor, people are more likely to buy from the brand again (80%), recommend the brand to family and friends (80%), choose the brand over the competition (72%), and spend more with a brand (63%).

As mentioned above 60% of nonprofits say they seldom or never share humorous posts. So you may want to lighten up a little bit to get more attention and stand apart from other organizations.

Like “newsworthy,” the phrase “entertaining content” can mean a lot of different things though. Dramas are still entertaining – look what usually wins Best Picture awards!

If you just can’t do the funny stuff, keep leaning into storytelling. Eighty percent of nonprofits say they post inspiring stories either most of the time or sometimes so it’s something most of you are already doing!

If you are one of the many nonprofits who just aren’t seeing the results they want from social media, it may be time to change your approach.

For more on social media and how nonprofits should be approaching it, download our 2024 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report and register for our webinar Social Media Trends for Nonprofit Communicators in 2024.

Published On: February 8, 2024|Categories: Nonprofit Marketing Trends, Social Media|