Nonprofit 411: How to Use Reddit as a Nonprofit Communicator

jen mafeoBy Jenn Maffeo, Maketing Director at Crowdster

“To the uninitiated, Reddit looks like a mess — text links, comment threads, points, upvotes, downvotes. At best, posts seem contextless — at worst, totally random.

But spend some quality time with “The Front Page of the Internet,” and you’ll find it’s an essential resource, a self-correcting marketplace of ideas that’s nearly impervious to marketers.” Mashable’s Matt Silverman.

If you aren’t familiar with it, reddit, also known as “the front page of the internet,” is a user-generated content message board where users submit links and discussions surrounding content that they find to be sharable. Content is positioned on the site through a voting system where users can “upvote” content that is considered entertaining or valuable and users can also “downvote” content that is deemed undeserving of a top spot on the site. Content that receives a majority of votes is pushed to the front page of the site, which then sends “boatloads of traffic to the linked website” (via Mashable).

As tech entrepreneurs, we’re naturally pretty psyched to learn about useful social platforms and internet subcultures and reddit combines these two attributes. Nonprofits could particularly benefit from the use of this highly addictive, extremely engaging site because users tend to be virally philanthropic and interested in charitable causes.  Specifically, nonprofit professionals can get their organization to stand out and engage users on reddit. Below, we’ve shared a few interesting tidbits of information we learned that we thought you might find…sharable or perhaps even worthy of an “upvote”:

Reddit: Five Things Nonprofit Communicators Should Know

  1. AMA- “Ask Me Anything”- This is a session where a host is asked anything and everything. AMA sessions can be hosted by any individual with unique experience to offer (hint, hint: Nonprofit executives supporting a great cause).
  2. AMA Hosts- The host should be prepared to answer any questions about the topic chosen, and surprisingly even unrelated or sensitive topics. Has your NPO had support from a celebrity that has been in the news lately? Any recent financial mishaps at your nonprofit? This subject matter is fair game and hosts should be prepared for questions from reddit’s inquisitive bunch of users.
  3. Subreddits- Subreddits are sections of reddit that focus on specific topics and can include various lifestyle verticles from politics to men’s fashion to fitness to make-up addiction. Look for topics that relate to your Nonprofit and add your knowledge to the conversation.
  4. reddit respects privacy- reddit users can be highly anonymous. Unlike other social platforms requiring user information like birthdate and email address, all that is required to sign up for reddit is a username and password. Due to the anonymity of users, comments and topics discussed can be quite uninhibited.
  5. Observe Reddiquette before posting. reddit wants you to be grammatically correct and kind. They do not want you to request upvotes of your content, spam, hoaxes, rudeness or insults.

If you’re interested in trying out a new method of generating support for your nonprofit, reddit is worth some exploration. We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and look forward to connecting with you on twitter, facebook and by email at