The TikTok application is still largely untapped in the non-profit world and yet has enormous potential. The platform gathers videos of a few seconds that mainly revolve around humour, dance, imitations, challenges, storytelling and much more. Themes that often attract the under 20s, the most present users on the network, young people who are thirsty for creativity and imagination and make the network evolve daily.
During the virtual Swissfundraising event, "TikTok - gimmick for youngsters or effective channel for NPO?", Tamara Reinhard, Head of Online Marketing and Communication at the Swiss Paraplegic Group (SPG), explained that TikTok is a boon for NGOs that often have difficulty reaching the younger generation and knowing how to talk to them. The NGOs already on the platform use it mainly to raise awareness and mobilise young people who might become, activists, volunteers or donors in the future. These short videos can be used to convey strong messages and educate users about your cause, to raise awareness about current issues or to fight certain prejudices and stigmas. Some NGOs also use it to issue calls to action, to give advice, or simply to show a different, younger image of their organisation that young users can identify with.
However, it is best to adapt the content to each social network in order to convey your message effectively. For example, on Facebook you will play more on emotional content than on LinkedIn, which is more professional and practical, and on Twitter you will focus on sharing short, more recent and immediate information. This is particularly relevant for TikTok: it is important to know how to use and adapt to the very specific codes of the platform and to keep an eye on the themes, challenges, dances or hashtags that are currently trending. Many young people have deserted other social networks because the content and format were not suitable for them.
Many NGOs are not yet actively using TikTok for fundraising, but perhaps today's users will stay on the platform in the coming years and become potential donors and volunteers in the future. It might therefore be beneficial to learn how to use and exploit this network for your cause in order to prepare your organisation for future challenges and developments in fundraising and the evolution of communication strategies for non-profits.