Over the next few weeks, we’re shifting from celebrities and pop culture to social media. Instagram is an excellent social media tool for your nonprofit, school or civic group, because of its emphasis on photography and videos. A lot more people, especially younger people, enjoy Instagram over Facebook because it’s fun and engaging. Although a lot of older people are on Facebook, they too enjoy Instagram because there is a lot less “debating,” disagreements and it’s a more relaxed place.

If you want to get your nonprofit to leverage Instagram for marketing and fundraising, there’s no time like the present to do it. Let’s start by knowing some of the facts about Instagram, which are reasons for your charitable group to want to leverage it. According to Hootsuite, here are some of the things that you should know about Instagram:

  • 1 billion people are on Instagram each month.
  • 71 percent of the people who use the platform is under the age of 35.
  • 95 percent of the users on Instagram also use YouTube.
  • 35 percent of people who go online are also on Instagram.

So, let’s explore a few things about what you can do on Instagram to boost your brand and encourage your followers to join you in making a social impact.

Hashtag Activism

One of the easiest things to do on Instagram to promote your brand is leveraging the power of hashtag activism. When you use hashtags, the objective is to share the information with your followers, supporters and the broader public, who may also share your content, or take up your call-to-action. A call-to-action can involve asking people to share your post, make a donation, or watch a video, for example.

With the use of hashtag activism, you’re also looking to get people to talk on social media about the cause or point that you’re trying to make so that people can become motivated to get involved. You can create your own hashtags, but you should also add some of the most popular ones on Instagram so people can find your information. Those include: #donate, #activism, #nonprofit, #givingback, #dogood, #socialgood, #giving, #philanthropy, #fundraiser, and #instagood.

80/20 Rule

The “Pareto Principle” (also known as the “80/20 Rule”) is something that holds true on social media as it does in other aspects of life and business. The 80/20 Rule means that 80 percent of your focus should be only on the top 20 percent of the activity. It was initially a concept related to economics, but business management thought leaders later discovered that it could apply to almost anything you can think of in business and also life.

For social media platforms, such as Instagram, the rule means that people want to see 80 percent of the time images or videos that can be associated with your cause but are not directly related to it. The other 20 percent of the time, they welcome seeing your marketing or fundraising pitches. For instance, if you’re promoting a particular fundraiser on Instagram, you should be speaking about it only 20 percent of the time in a week with the other 80 percent of the time consisting of posts that relate to your mission or cause but are about other related things. This approach will help you attract more people because you’re not continually “selling” to them.


Unfortunately, a lot of social media is about “pay to play” now that organic reach has been throttled, unless you spend money and time on search engine optimization (SEO) and continually keeping on top of the changes. One of the best ways to approach more people in marketing your nonprofit cause on Instagram is to use paid advertisement. You can find out more about advertising on Instagram by clicking here.

On Instagram, you have the chance to advertise your nonprofit organization in a number of ways. For instance, you can use photo ads, which are sponsored and denote it on the photo. Additionally, when you do a photo ad, there is a call to action for more information. A second option you can do is to do carousel ads, which work in the same way that photo ads do but are geared toward the use of multiple images. You can also use video ads, which are only gaining traction with a more significant interest in video. Video ads work similarly to the other two approaches. Each of these approaches will appear on the feeds of users to help you promote your cause. You also have the option of collection ads, which allow you to use both photos and videos, and we’ll discuss Instagram Stories ads a bit more in our future post about the Instagram Stories feature.

Stay tuned to our blog and in the coming weeks ahead; we’ll be exploring more about Instagram success, including its local pages, Instagram Stories, IGTV, influencer marketing, and social media management tools.


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