Sanford Institute of Philanthropy Blog

4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Nonprofit's Instagram

Instagram for Nonprofits
Instagram is a great platform if your nonprofit has naturally appealing visual content. Like puppies or cute kids. Or cute kids with puppies. But even if your organization doesn’t have puppies, it’s still a useful platform, you just have to be a little more creative.

Here are some tips on how to make the most of your Instagram:

1. Tag other users when appropriate

An example of when you might do this would be by tagging and thanking sponsors for their recent donation. They want their followers to know they give back to the community, so they’ll appreciate the public recognition. They may even repost it to their own account, too. 

You can’t repost natively in Instagram, but free apps like Repost for Instagram allow you to share others’ content quickly and easily.

Keep in mind when tagging other users, tag them both in the caption and in the photo, itself. By tagging them directly in the photo, it will add it to their profile as well, thus, increasing the reach of your post!

2. Make use of hashtags (but hide them)

Think of hashtags as a way for people to find you and your cause–what might someone search to find your post? Start by thinking of a word related to your post, and search for relevant hashtags using the search icon within the Instagram app. 

For example, for content related to our fundraising training, I might start with #fundraising. From there, I can see other relevant hashtags such as #fundraisingideas #fundraisingfun and so on, including how many posts there are for each hashtag.

Instagram allows you to have up to 30 hashtags per post, so take advantage of that and use as many relevant hashtags as you can find to increase your chances of being found. You’ll find that you’ll use a lot of the same hashtags over and over, so it’s helpful to make a list of your most relevant hashtags so you can easily use them on future posts.

When adding your hashtags, you can either do so in the caption or in a comment. If you are adding them to the caption, place the hashtags at the bottom of your post so they don’t distract from the rest of your caption.

3. Vary your content

Instagram has grown to include photos of all sizes, videos, posts with multiple photos, and Instagram Stories –so use them! Varied content keeps people engaged with your channel, but I know keeping a constant stream of varied posts can be difficult, especially if your organization serves vulnerable populations. But, even for organizations with vulnerable populations, there are still a lot of opportunities for you to use Instagram. 

Some potential posts could be:

Photos and videos from fundraising events, of donors and volunteers, of your staff to give an inside look at what it’s like at your organization, photos of in-kind donations, and infographics with powerful quotes or statistics. 

Canva is an awesome free tool for creating these kinds of infographics, and it’s easy to use even if you don’t have a design background!

4. Always have a link in your bio

One downside of Instagram is that you can’t put links in your photo captions and comments, but you can put one in your bio. 

In many cases, this link may just be your main website, but if you’re promoting a specific campaign or event, you can put the link to a specific page on your site instead. That way, you’re driving followers exactly to where you want them to go.

One thing to remember with this, is to change it back to your home page whenever the campaign/event is over. With only one place to put a link, you don’t want an old link taking up valuable real estate!

And there you have it! I hope you found these Instagram tips to be helpful. If you use any of these tips, feel free to tag us @sanfordmaricopa so we can check out your Instagram and learn more about your organization!

 

Keep learning with our nonprofit webinars and workshops. Check out our calendar below for upcoming events.

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Discover more about the author, Alex Coleman