instagramI’ve written a lot about Facebook and social media fundraising. While it’s important to be on the grand-daddy of all social media platforms, there’s a great opportunity for nonprofits in Instagram.

Let’s face it, there’s no better way to get your message across than in striking visual images. One picture can convey 1,000 words. Instagram is an excellent social media tool to use and let your followers see the work you’re doing.

There are reasons why you should be on Instagram and use it to promote your cause. The following are Instagram statistics from social media guru, Jeff Bullas, from his recent article, which you can find here:

  1. 500 million monthly users
  2. 20% of all internet users are on Instagram
  3. Average engagement on Instagram posts is 1.1%
  4. 91% of all Instagram posts are photos
  5. 90% of all Instagram users are younger than 35
  6. 41% of Instagram users are aged between 16 and 24
  7. 47% of Millenials use Instagram as a messaging app (compared to 50% for Facebook messenger)
  8. One-third of teenagers say Instagram is their most important social network
  9. 28% of Us users use Instagram
  10. Instagram has doubled each year for the past 2 years
  11. 80 million photos are uploaded daily

To be effective on social media, you have to be present where your followers and donors go. But, you also want to take into account where there’s opportunity. Instagram has opportunities for savvy nonprofits, as Facebook becomes saturated.

  • Text to Give Campaigns – These types of fundraisers are effective on Instagram. Followers on Instagram will be scrolling through their feeds and they can come across your text to give campaign. The days of any significant organic reach are over, so you will have to pay for a sponsored post. It’s worth it. The return on investment can be exponential. The costs are minimal and if you have a compelling image with an effective call-to-action, you can motivate people to give and share. Don’t forget that it’s easy with filters to add campaign hashtags, text to give numbers and codes right onto the image.
  • It’s Quality Not Quantity – Instagram is not Twitter. You don’t have to create a firehose of content for Instagram. Even posting once or twice a day is sufficient. Remember, what you have to do is make sure the pictures are high-quality and connect with people. Typically, the photos that do the best are those that convey some human interest. Instagram is a platform that is made for mobile sharing. The majority of images are taken with cell phones and posted. Encourage your staff to take pictures and share them with your marketing team. Have your marketing and social media gurus share the best images consistently. Always track and monitor which posts (and times of day) are doing the best.
  • Use the Right Hashtags – On Instagram, when you’re adding a caption to your image, use as many hashtags as possible. Hashtags help people find images relevant to those keywords. It’s a good idea to use your own brand as a hashtag. There are different hashtags trending at any given moment, but there are a number of basic ones you should always get in the habit of using: #philanthropy, #charity, #nonprofit, #socialgood, #fundraising, #donate, #dogood, #volunteer.

In addition, you can use relevant hashtags for fundraising. Again, it’s simple with filters to add text onto images. You can make a campaign easier to share by using a great photo, call-to-action and a cool hashtag.

It’ll take time, but a consistent strategy can help you grow a solid Instagram following.


Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: Be Bold, Dominate and Succeed in Marketing For Today’s Digital World On A Limited Budget” (Free Digital Download)

© 2016 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.