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5 Ways to Show Your Nonprofit’s Impact on Instagram

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on May 23, 2016 10:00:00 AM

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If you’re plugged into the social media world, you know that Instagram has been in the news quite a bit lately.

A few weeks back, they announced major changes to the way posts will be displayed for users. Instagram will now follow a Facebook style algorithm, in that you won’t be shown every post, nor will they be shown to you in chronological order. Rather, an algorithm will decide what you will likely most want to see and show you posts based on that.

Then, just last week, Instagram revealed their new look. A new logo, color scheme, and app design. Reviews were...mixed.

But regardless of your thoughts on their new logo or timeline, Instagram is a force to be reckoned with. Last year they surpassed 400 million users, making it a bigger social network than Twitter. Plus, they have the backing of their parent company, Facebook, so they’re likely to be a force for years to come.

Instagram is getting crowded...


The problem with Instagram is that it can be a bit difficult to think of material to post. Instagram is just about the most visual social network there is, so you can’t just throw up some questions or update posts like you might on Facebook or Twitter (although you should absolutely do more than just update posts on those networks).

To make matters worse, as Instagram grows, it becomes more and more difficult to stand out from the crowd. If you’re posting bland, vanilla content, you’re not giving users any reason to follow you other the thousands of other organizations on Instagram.


Showing impact on Instagram

As a visual network, Instagram is a great place to show the impact of your organization. And there are plenty of ways to get creative with this.

Communicating impact is vital to your nonprofit communication strategy. It helps familiarize people who are new to you with the work you’re doing, while building trust with your current donor base.

So how can you use Instagram to accomplish this goal? Let’s learn from some of the best!

Here’s a few specific ways you can show the impact of your work, along with some examples from some of my favorite nonprofits on Instagram.

1. Graphics

Most people post to Instagram by just pointing their phone’s camera at something, snapping a picture, applying a filter, and posting. But don’t forget: you can upload a graphic to your phone and post that too!

Numbers and stats are a great way to communicate impact, so why not great some good looking graphics that highlight some of those stats and share them?


2. Before and After Photos

Depending on your mission area, a before and after picture can be the perfect way to highlight the work you do.

This can be as simple as two pictures placed right next to each other, or something a bit more creative and heartwarming like what Operation Smile has done below:

If you just want to show two pictures next to each other, check out Instagram’s free app for making photo collages called Layout.

3. Donor Stories

An often overlooked way to show impact (and some #donorlove) is to highlight your donors with donor stories.

Pick a donor you’d like to highlight, and call them up to ask a few questions. How did they first connect with your organization? Why are they passionate about the mission? What do they do to help further the cause?

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Work these into a short caption (pro-tip: use one of their quotes in the caption and tag them in it if they’re on Instagram!), include a picture of them, and boom!

I think charity: water does a phenomenal job of this. Check it out:


4. Testimonials

Testimonials are one of the most tried and true methods business marketers use to show the impact of their products and services, and they can be equally effective for nonprofits in communicating the impact of their mission.

This works great for organizations like museums and aquariums, who can get testimonials from visitors, but it can be effective for all types of other nonprofits as well. 


5. Smiles

Never underestimate the power of a smile.

Sometimes all you need to show the impact of the work you’re doing is to show the smiles of the people you’re helping.

In the end, that’s what it comes down to. What’s the impact you’re having, and why should people get behind that? Once you can show that to your audience, you’ve got a message and a story that people can connect with, follow, and support.

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Topics: social media, nonprofit marketing,

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