Either you’ve heard about TikTok, or you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years (and honestly, in these crazy times– who could blame you?).

With over 1 billion active users and 3 billion downloads worldwide, TikTok has become the social media sensation you can’t ignore–especially if you’ve got something to sell or a message to share.

Even cause-based businesses like charities, NGOs, and social enterprises have been leveraging TikTok’s hype to raise awareness, expand brand recognition, and increase donations.

So which NGOs are crushing it on TikTok and how can you do it, too? Let’s dive in.

5 NGOs that are crushing it on TikTok

1. Compassion International

Compassion Tik Tok

How they’re winning on TikTok: Using Trending Audio

On TikTok, audio matters, and the specific audio you pair with your TikTok content could make or break its success. Because TikTok’s algorithm favors videos accompanied by popular audio clips, you’ll have a better change of being featured on the “For You Page” and expanding your audience. Compassion International recently jumped on the “It’s Corn” bandwagon and used the trending track as background audio for an educational video.

How you can do it, too:

Discover trending audio clips using insights from the Creative Center. From there, you can brainstorm creative ways to include them in your TikTok videos.

2. American Red Cross

American Red Cross Tik Tok

How they’re winning on TikTok: Focusing on Education

If you think TikTok is all dancing and challenges, think again. Despite all of the fun and meme-worthy content on TikTok, educational videos (EduTok) are just as popular. American Red Cross has been creating short and accessible videos to share various safety tips, one of which gained 950K+ views!

How you can do it, too:

Because of TikTok’s format, you can take a longer-form piece of education content and split it into several digestible videos that your audience can absorb quickly before they keep scrolling.

3. Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday Tik Tok

How they’re winning on TikTok: Inspiring Stories

Inspiration is powerful social currency, and TikTok users flock to the thousands of positive, inspiring videos available on the platform. Giving Tuesday is an NGO that seems to have cracked the code for inspiring their 50k+ TikTok followers. By sharing random acts of kindness videos, they’re able to express an individual’s raw emotion all in a 60-second clip. Their most popular videos have more than 1M views each!

How you can do it, too:

If your organization has a “feel-good” component to it (think animal rescue, delighting children, helping strangers etc…), consider sharing real moments of how your programs and services are making an impact. You can crowd-source these from your beneficiaries (with their permission) and repurpose them into short clips with uplifting audio to inspire your audience to positive action.

4. United Way

United Way Tik Tok

How they’re winning on TikTok: BTS Sneak Peeks

Few things are more intriguing than getting to see “what really goes on” behind the scenes in a well-known company or the life of a public figure. Behind-the-scenes videos allow NGOs to pull back the curtain on their day-to-day culture and operations, establishing familiarity and deeper connection to their audiences.

United Way of East Central Iowa uses fun BTS style videos to show a more personal side of their organization, making their audiences feel like part of the team and more invested in their work. Examples of their videos include “Things in the UWEIC That Just Make Sense” and “Spend a Day With Our Content Creator”.

How you can do it, too:

Use TikTok’s hashtag #behindthescenes and share some personal, less polished footage of what it's like to work and be a part of your organization.



How they’re winning on TikTok: Trending Challenges

At any given time, you can likely find a variety of quick, engaging, and fun memes and challenges trending on TikTok’s For You Page. Similar to trending audio, TikTok’s algorithm will give priority to popular challenges if a user has engaged with similar videos. This makes participating in trending challenges a great way to get your content in front of new viewers.

UNICEF recently posted a video featuring a creative version of the “he’s a 10 but” craze. The video got 14.6K views–much higher than their other content at the time.

How you can do it, too:

The key to making trending challenges/memes work for you is to tailor the TikTok trend to suit your brand. The more creatively you can apply the trends (instead of simply copying what others are doing), the more you can stand out while still participating in something relevant and recognizable.