Nonprofits and Instagram: The Ultimate Curated Collection of Best Practices, Examples, and Tips | Beth's Blog

Nonprofits and Instagram: The Ultimate Curated Collection of Best Practices, Examples, and Tips

Digital Strategy

Earlier this month, when Instagram announced its user community had grown to more than 400 million, it reminded me that I needed to update my curated collection of Instagram for Nonprofit resources.  As a content curator, I’m not just on the hunt for learning and sharing snippets of the new or what’s buzzing.    Content curation is ultimately organizing, synthesizing,  presenting, and maintaining your resource collections.

I don’t always share links as I find them, but because I use content curation to support curriculum development for my training work, I like to share collections that are organized so people can take an hour or so and get up to speed on a topic or to use if you are doing a training.

Instagram Overview

Here’s the basics:

Instagram is a free application for iPhone or Android that lets people take photos, apply filters to change the look of the photos and then share them. Users can share them on Instagram while also choosing to share them to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare.    It was created in 2010 and purchased by Facebook in 2012 (more history here).   As of September, 2015,  Instagram had 400 Million users.

Instagram has a couple of marketing benefits.    It’s a great branding tool because it can engage audiences, creative intimacy, and appeals to the emotions.   It is superb for visual storytelling about your organization, its stakeholders, and results.    The idea that “pictures do the talking” is also appealing to younger audiences which is why Instagram is popular with Gen Z and Gen Y.

Nonprofit Examples and Getting Started or Rebooting A Strategic Approach

If you want to or reboot your nonprofits Instagram presence,  spend some time looking at nonprofit examples to get inspired:

Also, here’s a post I wrote about how early adopter nonprofits have used Instagram for contests, but also see this recent  slideshare deck that examines contest best practices in depth.

If you want to learn from the best of the best, check out this collection of the best and most engaging accounts on Instagram. If you want to see some what some of the best corporate brands are doing in Instagram for some transferable ideas, this post from Jeff Bullas is useful.


Your first step is listening and observing to gain some insights for your strategy.  You should do some searching on key hashtags that your nonprofit uses as Instagram is big on hashtags and that’s how you can effectively build your following.     Social Rank is an excellent tool to identify potential like-minded influencers and explore hashtags that align with your objectives and audience.

Best Practices and Tips for Nonprofits

Here several excellent recent posts for nonprofits that want to use Instagram:

If you want to take a deeper dive on marketing best practices, this compilation of posts from Social Media Examiner is the place to spend an hour or two reading.

Cheat Sheets and Tutorial To Coach Your Nonprofit CEO

Instagram can be a great channel for your CEO – whether they have their own account like charity:water CEO Scott Harrison.  Met Museum Thomas Campbell or use your organization’s branded account like Udi Ofer, CEO of NJACLU.  If you have to support your CEO in learning and using Instagram, here’s two good resources:

Tool Box

There are lots of photo editing apps that work with Instagram, management tools, and tools to measure Instagram.

Here’s selection of articles to build your toolbox.

How is your nonprofit using Instagram strategically?  What’s your best tip or tool or resource?



7 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    Thanks for the link to DailyTekk Beth. Really nice, comprehensive roundup. I’m sure it took a long bit of research.

  2. Beth says:

    Chris – thanks so much! I like doing research and curating useful resources …

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