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How NGOs Can Get Donations Via Instagram
Instagram is seen as a vanity indulgent platform because of all the consumer products that proliferate the platform, but it can be used for more than sharing your launch and your latest purchase. Instagram can also be a powerful marketing tool for non-profit organisations looking to tap into a user base of 1 billion users worldwide. The Millenials using Instagram today are anything but heartless and are always willing to support causes some for the right reasons others for social clout but do we need to debate ideas when the outcome remains a positive one overall?
Millennials feel like they want to make a change, they want to help, and they want to have their voice heard. An NGO needs to understand this if they are planning to tug on heartstrings and rally support form Instagram users.
If you're looking for funding from the public, NPOs can turn to Instagram, but they need to know how to leverage the platform and create click funnels that get attention and drive conversions. If you want to learn how to turn Instagram into a powerful donation driver, check out the tips below.
1. Set up a business Instagram account
To show you mean business you can't be using a private Instagram account so if you've already registered an account, edit it to turn it into a business/professional account.
- Add a compelling description and remember to include a call to action to donate.
- Include your email for direct contact
The professional account will also help you later by offering you more insights into how your posts perform and to optimise content accordingly to reach your goals.
2. Set up donation options
The first step is setting up and easy to use donation system if you have your website with a donation function built-in you can add a direct link to your donation page in your bio. If you would like to improve your chances of converting a view into a donator, you should use your bio more creatively.
You can sue a tool like "Linktree" which allows you to add a custom link in your Instagram bio that drives users to a menu for multiple direct links.
Once you have your Linktree setup, you can send users to direct links for
- EFT payments
- Fundraiser/Kickstarter campaigns on external sites
- Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency addresses
- Regular donator/subscription services
- Products you may sell to raise funds
Now that you have your various payment options ready to go, it's time to start driving users to your profile.
3. Prompt donations
The lifeblood of any successful Instagram account is posting regular content, and what may seem mundane to you could prove enticing to the outsider. Post about the projects you're working on, shots in the field, in the office, workshops, and more.
You need to get into the habit of taking photos of all that you do and filter through them regularly. Look to involve your audience taking your audience on a journey with you. Showcasing how busy you are trying to affect change in your various.
Each time you post, you should include a prompt to donate and get people used to the idea that they can get involved in your projects by sending money via one of the methods you have set up.
4. Thank donatorsTaking this route to recruit supporters is a slow and steady process and with many of the younger generation sceptical about what they see online. To help lend credibility to your cause show that you're appreciative of the donations you receive by creating a thank you post and tagging the user who made the donation or a custom video for your stories, which they can reshare with their network.
These thank you posts will also help expose your message to a broader audience as the recipients promote your cause to their networks.
5. Post progress
Private charity organisations might not think they're a business, but they very much are, and they need to offer a product for their clients to be willing to donate. People aren't going to be generous with their wallets unless they see you're doing something constructive with your funds.
Posting regular progress of your projects, issues you're having, decisions you've made and reasons why you're doing certain things gives your audience a sense of accountability and their money isn't going to waste.
Keeping your audience updated every step of the way helps encourage donations every step of the way.
6. Post milestones
The proof is in the pudding as they say and you have to give your audience a taste of that pudding since they cannot be there to see it live. Show your Instagram audience what their funds have assisted you in doing, the amount of projects you completed, faces they helped put a smile on, provide some statistics on the success of projects and how continued funding can help sustain or improve these results.
Treat your audience like your board members/shareholders and give them bite-sized information on how you have helped improve the lives of people through your projects.
7. Post upcoming projects
If you have new projects coming up, let people know what your plans are and how they can get involved. It may result in not just monetary donations but offers to help with accommodation, supplies, tools or even unpaid staff willing to lend their time to your cause.
Make your community part of the decision making process and put the ideas out there and accept the feedback they may provide. Money is one form of help, but information and networking with the right people can make more of a difference when trying to get a project off the ground.
8. Reach out to brands
Instagram is not only a place to reach out to the consumer for donations, but you can also actively target brands that may be interested in getting involved. Follow brand accounts you think would make a good fit for your project and reach out to them directly and ask if there are any opportunities to collaborate or pitch one of your upcoming projects that require assistance.
If they cannot offer direct assistance, ask if they can promote your cause on their page to reach out to their audience.
9. Use hashtags
If you want to give your post the highest opportunity of viability, especially when you're starting gout and don't have much of an audience to appeal to your best bet is to leverage hashtags. By including your post in all the relevant and most popular hashtags, you stand a better chance of being picked up by users browsing various tags they find interesting.
If you have no idea where to start with leveraging hashtags, then check out our list of popular charity-related hashtags.
10. Instagram live/stories/videos
Pictures can tell a 1000 words, but those 1000 words can't be as useful if you're not getting anyone to read them. Instagram has not been shy in its blatant favouritism for live videos, stories and videos. If you want to expand your reach on the platform without putting money behind your messaging, you'll need to leverage these tools effectively.
You can use videos, stories and Instagram live to bring your image posts to life and provide users with more context. Your videos don't all have to be high production value; people want to know who the faces are behind the charity and what they are like and the people they are helping.
Create videos of your members and telling them what the project means to them, how they got involved, why they are motivated to continue with your charity and show the human element of what you're doing. Video is a powerful medium that can drive home the message you're already pushing out with your images.
11. Bonus tip - Donation sticker
Instagram also allows eligible nonprofits and their supporters to raise money for charity directly on Instagram through the donation sticker in Instagram Stories and include a donate button on Instagram Business Account.
For a nonprofit to be eligible to receive donations through the donation sticker, they must:
- Link Instagram account with nonprofit Facebook Page.
- Be using Instagram Business Profile.
- Your nonprofit must be a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the US enrolled with Facebook Charitable Giving Tools to receive donations through the Instagram donation sticker.
Combine social media with social change
Social media doesn't have to be a place for memes and consumerism, it can also be a platform that drives change, but only if you take the initiative. I realise it may seem like a waste of time for many NPO's, but it's a brave new world and the success of your campaigns now relies on how well you can attract eyeballs.
You now can turn your Instagram into a PR machine that not only spreads goodwill and cheer but is an agent for change. Don't let these opportunities slip by because it doesn't seem to fit what you've done in the past or because you don't feel comfortable using these tools.
I encourage you to give it a shot, and you'll be pleasantly surprised at the goodness and generosity of Instagrammers.
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If you require a more detailed guide on how to create your profile or your listing, then we highly recommend you check out the following articles.
If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts about NPO's and good causes.
- How To Get Google Grants For Non-profit Organizations
- Why Venture Philanthropy Can Thrive In A Decentralised Economy
- Why South African Non-Profits Should Consider Accepting Cryptocurrency Donations
- 8 Worthy South African Causes Who Could Use Some of Your Festive Joy