Viral Non-Profits: TikTok Fundraising Strategy

TikTok And Social Media

There is a misconception floating around the internet that TikTok is an app for dancing teenagers. While the platform gained popularity with Gen Z quite quickly, like all social media platforms, its user base has evolved. It has rapidly become one of the fastest-growing apps in the world, and it has proven itself to be one of the most powerful marketing tools of our time. 

It is increasingly clear that non-profits should incorporate a TikTok fundraising strategy. As it is a free resource, TikTok fundraising has become increasingly popular. It is uniquely designed to support non-profits, and the company is often involved in charitable initiatives. There are several non-profits that are reaping the benefits of viral videos, and every day more organizations are following suit. 

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a social media platform that allows you to create short videos. It runs on trends, where creators take a particular song or sound bite and make it relate to their particular interests or niche. 

The app is notorious for its laser-targeted algorithm. It has the capabilities to highlight videos that are directly tailored for their tastes, interests, and causes that they support. It is not uncommon to see users commenting about how the algorithm has targeted them with a particular video. 

It is a well-known fact that your “For You” page (FYP) is carefully curated. Unlike on Facebook, where they tried to hide this information, TikTok users are well aware of the fact and appreciate the specific content feed. 

The app provides the “For You” page, as well as a “Following” page, so viewers can choose if they want to find new accounts to follow or check out what their favorite creators are posting. There is also a heavy use of hashtags, which can highlight specific causes or trends. 

Why is TikTok an effective marketing tool?

TikTok’s marketing efficacy lies in both its ability to present your content to a warm audience and the likelihood of virality. As many people have discovered, anyone can go viral at any moment, and it has been credited with changing people’s lives. 

It is not uncommon for a 15 second, unsuspecting video to get millions of views. With nearly 80 million American users, TikTok fundraising is a no-brainer. 

For those organizations wondering about TikTok fundraising, it is essential to look at the demographics. Non-adaptors of the app are quick to dismiss it as a trend for kids, but over 14.3 million American adults use the app.

Better yet, TikTok users are loyal. 90% of users access the app every day and spend nearly 52 minutes a day engaging with content. 40.2% of American adaptors also have a household income of over $100,000 a year, which puts them in a great position for donating. 

TikTok fundraising is easy due to the features the platform offers. You can add a “donation” link to your account where people can freely donate on their own terms. You can also allow a donation option during lives through Tiltify, which is frequently utilized.

If there was ever a time to begin Tiktok fundraising, it is now. 

TikTok fundraising: TikTok For Good

Tiktok fundraising is serious business for the platform. In fact, they launched TikTok For Good which is designed specifically for non-profits. They provide account management, advanced analytics, and promoted hashtags. They have launched several successful campaigns where the company themselves matched charitable donations.

 For example, in 2019 they ran the #petbff hashtag for International Homeless Animal’s Day. They matched $1USD up to $175,000USD for every video created. The campaign ended with 490k videos, and a ton of money donated to animal charities. 

Case Study: Aquarium of the Pacific

One non-profit that is making waves on the app is the Aquarium of the Pacific (@aquariumpacific). They currently have 2.5 million followers, and 43.8 million likes. 

The Aquarium of the Pacific has mastered the art of TikTok fundraising. They have cracked the code on user engagement, and their strategy is highly effective. Most of their content is educational and allows followers to form a connection with the animals.  Many millennial parents follow this account and use it as educational material for their children. 

They also feature animal carers and follow them as they perform their daily tasks. For example, their video of a staff member teaching about sea lion teeth has gained over 28 million views and 4.2 million likes. They combine educational videos with popular trends for maximum impact. 

The Aquarium has also seen great success by hosting a live consistently once a week. They take users on a tour of different areas of the aquarium or use it as a platform to answer user questions about the animals. Since they utilize the donation feature during their lives, many users donate as a “thank-you” for providing value. 

Creating a TikTok fundraising strategy

When beginning TikTok fundraising, it is vital to create a strategy for your non-profit for quick success. Users highly value educational content, so incorporating informational videos is a good way to get started. 

Trends are important on this platform, so spend some time going through popular sounds. Once you have several sounds saved that you like, you can think of ways to relate them to your specific organization. Creativity is highly appreciated on the app, so putting your own spin on the trends will increase your chances of going viral.

Be sure to include some funny videos that involve your staff members, or participants if they agree. Use the platform as a way to help followers really understand who you are, what your organization stands for, and who is running it. The personal connection you can add to your videos will help improve engagement. 

Consider consistency in TikTok fundraising. Batch-producing content will help you keep up with frequent posting. Creating a schedule of live topics will also help you plan in advance. Keep your live schedule the same so followers know when to look for you. 

Storytelling with TikTok

Successful major gifts officers know that storytelling is the foundation of major donations, and TikTok fundraising is no different. This platform offers you the unique capabilities of combining video and sounds to appeal to viewers’ emotions. Choosing the correct sounds, trends, and information can be the key to striking the right chord with followers. 

Utilizing the app as a method of telling the story of your nonprofit is vital, and should be incorporated into your TikTok fundraising strategy. Followers on this app will turn away from fake, over-edited content, so it is the perfect stage for showing the raw, authentic story of the population you serve.

If you work with saving animals, take your viewers on a journey from rescue to rehabilitation. If you serve homeless populations, take them along the streets as you distribute supplies that have been bought with donations. Adaptors of the app are unique in their appreciation of realness and eye-opening experiences. 


TikTok fundraising is the new path to success for non-profits. Being able to reach such a warm, highly-targeted audience comes with massive potential. TikTok fundraising is highly effective because it allows you to connect with people who freely support causes they care about. If your content shows up on someone’s FYP, it is likely they will engage. 

TikTok provides a free opportunity to reach mass amounts of viewers. If you want to get eyes on your non-profit in a relatively short period of time, utilizing the tools and viral capabilities of this app is essential. 

With high engagement rates, a relatively high household income, and a user base with a willingness to give, TikTok fundraising will contribute greatly to the future of philanthropy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *