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4 ways to use Instagram to boost your non-profit’s fundraising efforts

Just 30% of non-profits are currently using Instagram to raise money and awarenessWith 1 billion users accessing the platform every month, 50% of those are scrolling through their feed each day, meaning there is a huge opportunity for charities to use the platform to reach potential donors…

Fundraising is a necessity for charities, and as technology advances, there are more and more opportunities for charities to fundraise through innovative and exciting ways, which can open organisations up to a much wider, previously unreachable audience of supporters.

So, how exactly can charities harness the power of Instagram to support their fundraising efforts? Whether your charity has limited resources, or a whole dedicated team of digital fundraisers, these top tips will help get you started with fundraising on Instagram.

1) Know your audience

Often, charities find that their existing donor base is ageing, and they need to grow the next generation of donors. The average Instagram user is very different to other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. They are younger, more digitally savvy, and want to be constantly engaged. In fact, 6 in 10 online adults aged 18-29 use Instagram. It’s important to keep this in mind when using Instagram to fundraise – keep content visual and engaging by using a variety of different content types (images, videos, quote cards, infographics, GIFs etc,) which encourage conversations and user interactions.

2) Tell a story

People love to hear a story, which is why Instagram possesses a huge opportunity for charities to showcase the incredible stories of the people they are helping, and the people behind the organisation. In this way, charities have a clear advantage over regular businesses on Instagram who are simply trying to sell a product. By using Instagram to tell the story of what your charity does, and who it helps, you are showcasing your organisation as authentic and human, which will resonate with potential future supporters.

It’s important to cultivate these future supporters by first of all building a relationship with your organisation through engaging storytelling, and then taking them on a journey with you, before making an ask (for example, a donation). It’s then even more important to continue to actively engage with this audience in order to maintain and grow their supporter journey. Be sure to thank them and continue to show them the amazing projects their support and donations are going towards.

3) Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are a great way to give a behind-the-scenes view into your organisation. Instead of the more carefully considered images posted to your feed, Stories can be quick, in-the-moment videos and photos that act as a window into the daily life of the great work your charity is doing, and as a way to thank supporters directly.

You can run Instagram takeovers to showcase the day in a life of a volunteer, stream an Instagram Live from an event so people can feel like they’re there with you, share Stories that other people have tagged you in, do quick thank you videos and updates, and so much more. On top of this, Stories have a host of fun, interactive features available at the touch of a button to keep your followers engaged, and to help raise awareness of your charity. Spend some time playing around with these features and test running polls, asking questions, doing a countdown or running a quiz. There are endless amounts of creative ways to use Stories – get stuck in and test what resonates best with your audience!

One of the newest and most game changing Stories features for charities is the Donation Sticker. In a nutshell, charities and their supporters can create 24-hour fundraising campaigns in Instagram Stories, with 100% of the money raised going to the charity, by including the Donation Sticker in their Stories.

Although Stories disappear after 24 hours, you can add them to your highlights, which appear under the bio on your profile. This way, the content you share in Stories can go further and make an even bigger impact - you could even create a dedicated highlight for your fundraiser.

4) Instagram ads

A staggering 75% of Instagram users take an action, such as visiting a website or making a purchase, after looking at an Instagram advertising post. To create an Instagram ad you can either go through your Facebook Business Manager and follow the steps, or use the ‘Promotions’ option, which is located on your Instagram profile (make sure your Instagram account is set up as a business account in order to give you access to ads and analytics!).

In order to reach an even wider audience, and get them to take an action, it’s worth considering investing in Instagram ads. It doesn’t have to be a lot of budget; even testing an amount as small as £50 here and there could be worth it in the long run to encourage users to support your organisation. If, for example, your charity is running a campaign where you’re trying to get people to visit your website, to either make a donation, buy a pack of charity Christmas cards or sign up to a newsletter, Instagram ads have the potential to really drive these actions.  

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Promisingly, there are a host of ways charities can tap into the vast amount of Instagram users in order to reach, cultivate, and grow a whole new world of supporters. If your charity is considering fundraising through social media, it’s definitely worth using Instagram as a channel to do this. Instagram doesn’t need to take up a lot of time or resources, however building a strategy based on these tips will help your organisation to reach, and hopefully exceed, it’s fundraising goals.

Written by Hannah Brennan, Senior Manager at Social Misfits Media, specialising in helping charities, non-profits and social enterprises better use social media and digital to reach their goals.

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