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Instagram is the simple photo sharing app that took the world by storm (so much so that Facebook decided to buy it for $1 billion – story via Mashable).  Instagram has successfully created an online community that love to tell stories visually.  Brands, businesses and charities are now following suit.  Instagram provides charities some interesting and dynamic opportunities to engage their audience.

Here are 8 ways that Charities can use Instagram:

1.  Photos Of Your Good Work:

What better way to demonstrate the good work you are doing by taking some pictures and customising them using Instagram’s awesome filters.  You can get very creative and take some very thought-provoking/funny/arty pics.

2.  Your Team:

In the online world people like the human touch.  If you are a charity then that applies even more.  Charities do well by connecting on a personal/human level with their audience.  People like to see who is doing the work.  Take some pics of your staff and the office where you work.  If you are working on cool projects in the office, take some pics and involve your audience.  Make then feel they are a part of the process.  This ‘inclusive’ mindset is key for charities online.

3.  Your Volunteers:

What a cool way to celebrate your volunteers – taking some cool snaps of them for the world to see.  By doing this you ensure you show your volunteers they are appreciated and not taken for granted.  This can also be a great way to inspire others to volunteer.  In marketing we call this ‘Social Proof’ – if loads of people are doing it then I will too.  It’s ‘going along with the crowd’.

4.  Build Online Communities:

Instagrammers are able to create tight-knit communities.  Focus on trying to build a strong online community who are passionate about your charity and the work you do.  Engage with them if they comment on your pics.  Talk to your supporters.  By being human and humanising your brand, you are more able to build a strong community and this can attract even more people and money to your cause.

5.  Live Photos During Fundraising Events:

If you’re a charity then you will most likely have fundraising events.  Take live photos during your events for people to see.  If you want to go a step further, invite your online community to come to the event and also take live pictures.  You’d be surprised how people passionately get behind a cause and that will engage in a way like this.

6.  Live Projects:

If you have a long running project (building a school/hospital, or educational programme with school children) take photos during the actual life span of the project.  Pictures can say a thousand words.  We all know people would rather not read 1,000 words so pictures seem like a really good idea.

7.  Hashtags:

Instagram uses hashtags too (similar to Twitter).  Ask your supporters to adopt a hashtag that you create and this will help you further spread your cause.

8.  Competitions:

People love competitions.  Instagram is a great way to hold competitions.  Classics like “Caption This” for a funny picture and a photo competition are great ways to add a bit more fun engagement with your audience.


Haroon Rashid, Finisher CreativeHi, I’m Haroon Rashid and I’m the author of this blog and the founder of Finisher Creative.  If you are a small business or a charity/non-profit I would be more than happy to talk to you about your online marketing and social media needs.  If you’re in the Yorkshire area (UK) I’ll even take you out for a coffee!  You can email me on info@finishercreative.com, check me out on Facebook, follow me @FinisherCre8ive or I look forward to hearing from you!

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8 Ways Charities Can Use Instagram
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