We look at the ways charities are using Instagram stories to raise funds and offer some advice to help you get started
Since Instagram’s launch in 2010, the app has become a daily staple for its users. More than one billion people use Instagram every month. Many businesses and charities have realised its potential and are increasingly using the platform for free and effective marketing.
Instagram stories became a feature for account users in 2016. Stories are slideshows comprised of photos and videos that followers can view. They are deleted automatically after 24 hours, unless the user saves their story into a ‘highlight’ – a section that is useful for pinning informative content from stories onto their profile.
Instagram stories are a great way of engaging followers and sharing useful information, without cluttering your profile. Around 500 million users interact with Instagram stories every day, making it a powerful feature of the app and a vital tool for charities to engage.
Charities immediately noticed the potential of Instagram stories. As early as November 2017, CARE France used the product for one of their most successful campaigns.
The campaign, ‘Stories from the other side of the world’, chose seven women living in poverty from different countries to post stories about their daily life on CARE France’s Instagram account.
The aim of the campaign was to show followers exactly the type of people and communities that their donations were impacting. Over 130 influencers got involved by giving up their story platform to spread the stories of these seven women.
Their achievement was revealed by the metrics. In just one week, CARE France’s Instagram gained 13 thousand followers, the stories had 4.6 million views, and the charity saw a 280% increase in donations.
Charities have continued to use Instagram stories as the catalyst for successful fundraising campaigns.
We all remember some of the ways we maintained morale and light-heartedness during the first lockdown. These included Zoom quizzes, Thursday evening claps for the NHS, and several ‘crafternoons’. With no more commuting, many also picked up running as a new hobby and an excuse to go outdoors. That new hobby helped to raise £7 million for NHS health workers.
Olivia Strong started the ‘Run for Heroes’ challenge in March 2020 to show support and solidarity towards NHS key workers. Instagram users were asked to run 5k, donate £5, and nominate five friends to do the same – all of which was shared on their stories.
With celebrities and high-profile figures getting involved, Strong’s initial goal of raising 5k for NHS workers was met in just four days.
The catchy campaign went even further, surpassing Strong’s second fundraising goal of £5 million, demonstrating Instagram stories as an impressive tool for fundraising.
After the video of George Floyd’s murder went viral in May 2020, many took to social media to express outrage. Instagram was used to share educational resources about racism and to promote anti-racist charities that users could donate to.
Those who were keen to fundraise for such charities were able to direct followers to fundraising pages through ‘link in bio’ stories. GoFundMe has even enabled users to share their fundraising page through a link tailored to suit an Instagram bio.
Instagram stories have benefited charities by putting them at the forefront of political conversations and increasing donations through its easy-to-use functionality.
The above examples from 2020 highlight how fundraising campaigns can reach more people when promoted through Instagram stories. Here is a simple guide to using Instagram stories effectively.
Instagrammers can use the ‘Live’ function on stories to encourage followers to donate to a chosen charity. Instagram takes no cut, meaning that 100% of the money raised goes to the non-profit.
To get started:
Those who are watching live can begin to donate money. These donations can be seen by tapping the ‘View’ option, which breaks down the list of donors and their contribution.
Accounts that have 10k followers and above are granted access to a ‘swipe-up’ feature on stories – taking followers directly to a web page.
This feature comes in handy as a replacement to the ‘link in bio’ stories, meaning that there is a smoother user journey to access fundraising pages.
Users of Instagram have the option to add a donation sticker to their story. The user can take an image or video, tap the ‘sticker’ icon, select the donation sticker, and choose a charity. Once again, Instagram takes no cuts.
To ensure you benefit from the sticker, follow the below steps:
There are multiple ways that charities can benefit from Instagram’s story function, especially since its tools are geared towards fundraising.
Even with fundraising aside, stories help followers to get a better understanding of the charity – bridging the gap between the people who donate and the people behind the charity.