Instagram for charities - 5 ways to win

Instagram for charities

In a world where images are global, easily shared, and easily understood, Instagram is ever increasing in popularity. In 2013 the user base was around 130 million. Now, it is over 400 million!

No longer just an app for individuals, charities are getting on board too, connecting followers with their cause and reaching out to new people. It’s particularly useful for charities with an existing library of strong images, posting these with #nofilter.

Here we highlight five different ways charities can use Instagram. We've created a quick infographic if you don't have time to read.


1. Show your good work

Why do it?

If people support your charity, chances are its because of the people you work with. Showing these people and stories in a raw, un-edited, real-time way is a great way to draw people into your work - it can also be a tool for empowerment by providing opportunities for those you work with to take their own photos.

2. Streaming events live

Why do it?

Using Instagram at an event means those not at the event can easily follow what's going on, and those present can share their photos with each other. Publicity is increasingly becoming crowd-sourced. Why hire a photographer when you can have hundreds of images taken from the unique perspectives of those present?

3. Get personal

Why do it?

Scott Harrison of Charity: Water has over 16.5k followers on Instagram, due to the media success of Charity:Water. Letting them into his private life makes his profile more interesting & more prone to celebrity-type followers who might not follow some of the more traditional CEO profiles. Scott is raising a whole new group of supporters for his charity.

4. Create and share video

Why do it?

It's quick, it's easy, it's free, and there's no pressure to put out a polished film - the more natural and un-edited the better! Videos can capture stories that photos just can't, as this woman's walk to her new borehole vividly shows.

5. Measure the results

Here are some of our suggestions of tools for measuring and evaluating Instagram use.

1) Statigram is a webviewer and management tool for Instagram, providing a variety of analytical tools including growth monitoring, community insights, account history, and optimisation tips. It also integrates with Hoot Suite. Oh, and it’s free!

2) Simply Measured offer a one-off Instagram User Report for Instagram users with less than 25,000 followers.

3) SumAll has a free package that analyses multiple social media platforms to provide you with statistics showing how they are working individually and also as integrated networks. Really useful and accessible, clean design.

Update: this post was originally published in Aug 2013 and has been revamped and updated to the current version.
12 February 2016
Mary Mitchell