Ah, Pinterest. Everyone is talking about it. When we were at Social Media Week NYC last month, we couldn’t help but laugh at this tweet when Pinterest was mentioned in a session on email and social media engagement.

You probably already know that Pinterest is hard to ignore. The number of active users has grown rapidly – from roughly 3 million in October to about 11.7 million today. It is also responsible for an increasing percentage of traffic to blogs – in February it actually drove more traffic than Twitter!

So much has already been written on Pinterest and its potential – but what’s worth reading and what’s just hype? We wanted to help point our readers to our favorites resources, examples, and best practices!

Our first stop is Joe Waters’ post on on the Huffington Post blog. We chose this as our starting point because Joe brings up a very important question that often gets glossed over in all the excitement: Is your nonprofit right for Pinterest?

Noland Hoshino also has a great post that gives a basic introduction to Pinterest, explains why it’s relevant, and gives 12 tips for getting started. (Speaking of Noland Hoshino – he’s a bit of a leader on this platform – you should make sure to get your organization on his board Nonprofits on Pinterest.)

Once you know how to pin, how do you know what to pin? Noland Hoshino puts it best in his post on Socialbrite: “You are what you pin… if you pin awesome creative art, deigns, photos and puppies that stir emotions, then people will think of you as a dazzling person and will more than likely follow you.” Read his list of what to pin and what not to pin.

Need some inspiration? Here are 42 creative ideas from Frogloop. Use these to get your creative juices flowing.

This post from Mashable should help you develop a social media strategy for Pinterest, and they’ve also given us some good examples of non-profits that are using Pinterest effectively.

One of the pieces of advice we see repeated over and over again is to self-promote sparingly. We agree. So what can you do to promote your organization’s work and gain supporters for your cause? We love this advice from The Chronicle of Philanthropy: “It’s like any promotion: Put the cause first… The best brands lead with a strong emotional message and let the consumer connect the dots back to the nonprofit or company.”

Not quite ready to join the pin frenzy? Even if you’re not actively pinning, you can tap into the power of Pinterest. This eModeration blog has some pro-tips like searching for content that has been pinned from your website and optimizing your content for Pinterest.

And remember! Organizations can do more than just reach their supporters on Pinterest – they can also learn from it! We recommended starting with all the useful boards from Beth Kanter, master content curator and non-profit social media strategist. Plus, of course, our own boards on Pinterest!

P.S. Looking for a “Pin it” toolbar button, Pinterest logos, and widgets for your website? Pinterest has all those “goodies” right on their website: http://pinterest.com/about/goodies

P.P.S. This just in! Mashable reported that Pinterest will be releasing new profile pages this week and expanding on the types of things you can pin. All of the above should still apply, but keep an eye out for changes that make it easier for you to showcase your brand and for new people to discover your pins!

Is your organization on Pinterest? Let us know in the comments below!