Pinterest: Get Ugly for a Cause & Don’t be a Labyrinth Junk Lady

Pinterest: Get Ugly for a Cause & Don’t be a Labyrinth Junk Lady

I love/hate you, Pinterest!Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I should be spouting my love of Pinterest, but really I’m hope you get a little ugly for your cause.

I have a serious love/hate relationship with Pinterest. I love the visual, quirky way to share ideas. I hate the weird, hoarding tendencies of fantasy world living users (myself included).

For those who don’t know about Pinterest yet, it’s a visual bookmarking site. You need to create an account to Like an image or Repin it – add an image from someone else’s board to your own. Spend some time on the site and you’ll get the hang of it. Check out my boards for ideas on how to organize your pins.

I love the collaboration opportunities. I love the visual medium to promote a nonprofit. I love pinning geeky stuff into my own world of nerdery.

I also have serious social concerns with the fantasy allure. Social media users are often criticized of only sharing the best things in our lives, Pinterest is this perfect world on steroids. From way too airbrushed fitness photos to highly-styled “just a little messy” up-dos, it’s easy to get a little depressed about your real life. But, if this escapism helps America feel just a little bit happy and hoard a few wish list items for a more economically stable future, so be it!

Don’t Be a Junk Lady

Junk - Pinterest: Get Ugly for a Cause & Don't be a Labyrinth Junk LadyPinterest brings out the hoarder in us all. I have a weird desire to repin all things wonderful and useful. I feel like the Junk Lady in Labyrinth. I’m packing on all these boards with all these things I might need someday. “What’s the matter, my dear, don’t you like your toys?” Am I really going to look at those old pins? Who knows! I think it’s about mindful curation. Now, I just need to take my own advice.

Pinterest doesn’t have a private function yet – not for profiles or for boards. Be careful not to share private information and know that people you don’t know will be liking and repining your content. We have a Pinterest board that was intended as a brainstorming board with a potential client and it now has over 150 followers. We kept the description vague, but there are many people curating that information..for free.

Holy cow, it’s a time suck. I can’t spend less than 30 minutes on the platform. I am lulled by the endless scroll of beautiful images, girl who have more time/talent than I do with their hair/makeup/fashion/lives, and perfect moms to make adorable, healthy meals for their perfect children.

Please “Like” before you “Repin.” I always Like an image before I Repin it. It feels weird to curate something without leaving a little “thank you” behind!

Don’t be Afraid to be Ugly

Pinterest is a beautiful place where women dream about their fantasy wedding and men pin art by people with dreams streaming out their paintbrushes. Don’t be afraid to ugly it up a bit for a cause. The world isn’t beautiful all the time. There are amazing nonprofits fighting to bring more beauty to the world by solving very ugly realities. Inspire your followers to donate, volunteer and make a difference.

I started a board just for this purpose. My “Random Dose of Reality – The Anti-Pinterest” board is my answer to this. I post images with a cause and a message. I try to pin disturbing or thought-provoking images to stand out amongst the beauty. I’ve worked my entire career to reshape negative messages into positive ones, so this ugly for a cause is hard some days. I often slip and pin some pretty stuff, too.

- Pinterest: Get Ugly for a Cause & Don't be a Labyrinth Junk LadyMy first post on this board was a crazy insight into the Pinterest community. I posted a photo of a child’s with an outbreak of measles and the caption “Measles is back, and it’s because your kids aren’t vaccinated.” It got 7 Likes, 6 repins and 19 comments. 19 comments!

Some of the comments were grumbles about advocacy on Pinterest. Then the comments turned vicious, detailed and long. I stumbled upon an anti-vaccine landmine. Then the pro-vaccine comments came in – equally brave, detailed and long. This all happened within 45 minutes of posting. Click on the image to read all the comments.

The lesson? People want to interact on this platform. Give them something to talk about.

Now, go forth and pin to your heart’s content. Just don’t turn into a Junk Lady and curate with a purpose!

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Kate Runy


A passionate technical wizard, Kate thrives on managing online content, social media for communications, and development projects.  Kate is the workhorse of the team, pulling out amazing feats of content creation and management week in and week out. 

Prior to joining BC/DC Ideas, Kate coordinated website and social media content, communications, and advertising for Go Global NC and Alzheimer’s NC.

Things that make her happy: I love animals about as much as I love working for nonprofits.

Mishel Gomez Cespedes


Mishel brings a passion for video storytelling and quippy social media content to the team.  At BC/DC Ideas, she is most likely editing video or scheduling the next moving social media post for our clients.

Her ear for storytelling is her greatest asset. Mishel has a unique ability to assemble content into a concise story that moves audiences to action.

A graduate of Wake Forest University she spent a semester in Spain and years serving her community through the campus organizations. Now, she is putting her passion for good to work.

Brian Crawford

creative director

Mix equal parts nerd and creativity and that’s Brian. A natural problem-solver, Brian’s ability to cut to the core of any problem helps guide our creative team to the correct solution without wasted time or money. It’s the core, this little nugget of truth, that helps our clients take the next step with their audiences.

Brian gets the greatest joy out of helping our clients realize and connect with their story. He is a true believer that everyone and every organization has a compelling story to tell, you just have to listen with an open heart.

Things that make him happy: Hanging out at the park with family, toddler-speak, hitting the focus pull, and good coffee.

Dawn Crawford


The engine behind BC/DC Ideas, Dawn has dedicated her career to good. Dawn brings her considerable experience and expertise to helping elevate the nonprofit sector. Our team’s lead strategist, Dawn is often seen leading our IdeaStorms, penning communications plans, or checking in with clients.

Before launching BC/DC Ideas in 2010, she earned her chops in 10+ years of communications leadership roles for public health, healthcare and youth-focused nonprofits. Working for nonprofits is Dawn’s dream job, and she loves that her 40+ hours a week make the world a better place.

Things that make her happy: A glass of champagne to celebrate big wins, Basecamp, living in the South, seeing the world, and a well-formatted spreadsheet.