Fundraising with Instagram
Best practises and 6 top tips on raising money with Instagram
Eligible non-profits and their supporters can now raise money directly for charity through Instagram by using their donation sticker in Stories and the exciting new donation button for business accounts.
If you have been using a personal account on Instagram to fundraise up ‘til now, it is time to change! Create a new business account for the organization and make sure that you fill in all fields to help tell your story. It is especially important that you include a link in your bio to the landing page for your fundraiser. Here’s more tips on bios.
With every post, you can direct people straight back to the link in your bio, or a shortened link, and ask them to take the action that you need from them. It is important that your profile pictures, visuals and links are aligned to your brand and really speak to the “why” behind your fundraising story.
What is the cause? How can you tell that story through your profile?
To be eligible to receive donations through a donation sticker, your organization needs to sign up for Charitable Giving Tools and link your Instagram and Facebook accounts. You can do this here.
Once you have done all of that, you are ready to go.
Here are our top six tips on how to get the most out of fundraising on Instagram:
Regular Stories to Increase Following
Instagram Stories is now used by over 500 million people on a daily basis.
The most engaging stories are made in the moment, using a combination of photos, videos and creative tools to give followers a glimpse into your every day.
Regular posting is crucial in order to build up a following for your Instagram profile.
Like all social media platforms, Instagram will reward you for keeping a consistent posting schedule. If you post regularly for a week and then do nothing for the rest of the month, you will find it more challenging to get your engagement and view ramped up again.
Instagram Stories are subject to an algorithm that works out what a person is most likely to watch and interact with. The system then shows you those Stories first.
Whilst the content within each Story remains in the original posted order, the accounts that you interact with and view the most are the ones that you see first.
So, how often should you be posting to Instagram?
Well, it really depends on your availability.
It is a good idea to create a schedule that you can keep up with. It is the regularity of content that really matters.
When you show up regularly in your follower’s feeds, this creates trust and builds up affinity for your cause. This will eventually lead to clicks and donations. Using social media with purpose and intention on a daily basis will give greater results than posting inconsistently or whenever you remember.
If you share a photo, be sure to include the story behind it as well.
Find something memorable in your events to share with people,
People need to be able to imagine that the event is happening and feel the emotion and connection. Powerful photos can really help to enhance the story.
Instagram Stories expire once they have been live for 24 hours, so it is even more important to choose your moments wisely. Try to utilize Stories to include the launch of your fundraising efforts and during any in-person events to include your followers.
During events, or “hot off the press” moments, Instagram Stories can really come into their own. You can give behind the scenes looks, sneak peeks and real insights into the story of your cause. Check out these Instagram Story Ideas to get inspired what to post.
Recently, Instagram has rolled out donation stickers within Stories and this is making it even easier for supporters to give money to causes that they are passionate about.
Organizations can track how successful their campaigns have been within Stories, and even encourage supporters to use the stickers themselves to raise brand awareness.
To access the donation sticker, you will need to sign up to Charitable Giving tools and link your business profile for Instagram and Facebook.
This will make your account eligible to include fundraising stickers on your Instagram Stories and 100% of the funds raised using donation stickers will go to the non-profit.
Host Live Videos
To really lift the veil on your work and bring your supporters into a deeper connection with your organization, consider using Instagram Live to host live videos on your profile.
People love watching live videos, because they can interact with their favourite non-profits in real-time.
They can get curious and ask questions to find out how things are progressing during the stream as well as getting a better picture of the humans behind the cause.
Within your Live video, you can add a Donate button to generate donations during the live broadcast, and this is possible on Facebook Live as well. Once you go live, you simply add the donation sticker and you can encourage people to give during the broadcast if they feel inspired to.
When you have finished recording, be sure to save your Live video to your Instagram Story highlights so that followers who miss the live stream can watch and contribute long after it ends.
You should also consider selecting the appropriate hashtags when advertising your live videos. Find out what other charities are already using in their posts and try and create a personalised hashtag for the campaign as well. You can also select hashtags that are used by people with similar interests to your followers to help your posts be seen by a larger audience.
Creating a catchy, simple to use hashtag for your charity will be important. Look to create something fun that speaks to the cause and is easily shared.
For example, the Keep a Breast Foundation uses #checkyourselfie to encourage people around the world to do monthly self-checks for breast cancer.
Hashtags that are commonly used for fundraising include: #fundraising, #fundraiser, #gofundme, #charity, #instagood, #donate, #foracause, and #bethechange.
There are also numerous tools for Instagram that can help you with research. We wouldn’t suggest using more than ten hashtags per post as any more than this can give the perception that your post could be spam.
Keeping them highly relevant is the key here!
Finally, when going live with your followers, be sure to share your fundraising target and running total.
This creates excitement and a sense of urgency for your supporters and will encourage them to donate now rather than delaying for another day. It can build a real feel-good buzz as everyone wants to get involved and be the person who helps push you over your target.
Instagram Stories Ads
Having even a small budget for Instagram Stories Ads can really help to increase the audience that you can reach with your message and get more views for your content.
Within Ads Manager, you can select Create to choose an option that aligns with your fundraising goals. Be sure to select the option that includes Instagram Stories and fill in plenty of content about your cause’s story to keep people engaged. Check out these Instagram ads tips.
You can then set a budget, and schedule and create an Ad to run as long as you like. This Ad will then reach as many people as it can within the boundaries of your budget.
We would suggest always previewing your ad before submitting to make sure that you are happy with it. You can use the drop-down menu to see how the ad would look within the Instagram Stories placement, and create mock-ups for your ad within the Creative Hub.
In addition to running paid branding campaigns within social media, have a think about how you might be able to retarget your audience to achieve greater donations. It is possible to retarget your donors using social ads on other platforms, like Facebook Ads, Twitter and Instagram.
Since Facebook has acquired Instagram, the remarketing and retargeting options have grown stronger and easier to achieve.
Encourage Others To Use Stickers
One of the simplest tips to increase your fundraising with Instagram is to leverage your existing supporters and audience. By mobilizing your individual supporters, they can help you to raise money.
Don’t automatically assume that your audience knows how to operate an Instagram Donation Sticker though!
Once you have got your account optimized and ready to display Donation Stickers, tell your audience that it is an option. Make sure to post about it on your main Instagram feed. Do a live video and save it within Stories.
You can even send out an email to supporters, or post on other social media channels, to let them know that the donation is ready for them to use to help you fundraise.
Share examples or videos that your audience can use to create their own fundraising Story and remind them to include their story about why your cause is important to them.
Consider creating an Instagram Fundraising Toolkit to have as a download on your website, to help people who want to support you. This toolkit can include photos, videos and copy that they can use. If you create it as a downloadable file, the individuals can then use them to easily create their own fundraisers.
The real key to effective fundraising within Instagram is to create urgency, an emotional connection, and a specific call to action.
Remember to thank your audience and show your appreciation for their support. This will inspire them to share your story again and again, because they will feel a part of your team. Sharing regularly will also mean that you stay in the forefront of their mind.
Save Fundraising Stories in Highlights
Your fundraiser will remain on the Story for 24 hours, unless you add it as a highlight on your profile. By doing this, you can allow people to continue to donate until you eventually delete the story.
Make sure that you have several Instagram Story Highlights set up, so that interested visitors have plenty to watch when they visit your account.
Instagram Story Highlights also allows you to file, categorize and save your favorite Instagram Stories, and feature them on your account prominently for first time or return visitors.
When a possible supporter then clicks on the Fundraising Highlight, you can arrange for them to be directed to an Instagram Story that show them how to use the Donation Sticker to give money right there and then.
Mix Up Content
You should be sure to mix up your content and not simply post fundraising posts every day. You can use Instagram Stories to build your community and increase engagement in other ways.
By having awareness days, you can gain leverage to help your brand to get more exposure and drive more donations.
Also, if you are talking about a particular issue that is in the news and part of a global conversation, include it in your Stories and posts with relevant hashtags and explain why people should follow you to have the latest information.
You should also set up the Instagram Donate Button on your profile page. This is possibly the most exciting feature to be rolled out for non-profits for a while. Eligible non-profits can get access to this feature straight away.
To access this, your non-profit needs to be a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit in the United States. You then simply need to enrol and be approved to use the Charitable Giving Tools. Then within settings, you simply tap business and donations and you can add the button directly into your profile.
At the moment, this is only available within the United States, although Instagram are working hard to bring this feature to more of the global community over the next year.