Instagram Best Practices for Nonprofits

By Sophie McKnight/Intern at United Way of Bucks County

Instagram is currently the third most popular social media platform behind Facebook and YouTube. With 800 million users, it is a site where small organizations like United Way of Bucks County and other nonprofits can reach a different audience.

This week I have been researching not just ways that UW Bucks can improve its Instagram, but how all nonprofits can work to increase their number of followers. After gathering this information, I will be presenting it at a Lunch and Learn for the rest of the UW Bucks staff.

There are many tips and tricks for nonprofits to gain more followers, but here are a few that are very simple, but could result in the greatest impact:

1. Add the Instagram Tab to Your Website

Many organizations include a Facebook or Twitter tab on the sidebar of their website. It is important to add Instagram to that sidebar so that everyone who visits your organizations website can see that you not only have an Instagram account, but that you are also promoting it.

2. Fully Complete Your Profile

This should seem obvious, but it is so important to complete all parts of your Instagram Profile. By adding as much information to your profile as possible like your organizations name, handle, picture, website link, hash tags, and more, your organization is increasing its’ chances of being noticed by someone in their “Suggested for you” page.
The more information with key words that describe your organization, the more you will appear in user’s recommendations.

3. Utilize Instagram Stories

Stories are a new and fast growing addition to Instagram. Believe it or not, these stories are quickly causing traditional Instagram posts to lose their effectiveness and likability. If your organization is hosting an all day event, like BKO or Stuff the Bus in UW Bucks’ case, a smart way to keep your followers up to date on the day is to upload a few Instagram stories.
Think about it like this, would you rather have 4 or 5 pictures or short videos in one place, or find 4 or 5 pictures and videos scattered throughout your Instagram feed and not know the order in which they were posted? Instagram stories allow an organization to quickly and easily reach a majority of its followers in a timely and organized manor.

While there are an infinite amount of ways to improve your organizations Instagram page, these are three of the simplest, yet most effective ways to grow a nonprofits Instagram following.


Join us in changing lives in Bucks County for good by making a donation today. Donations can be made online or by mailing a check to, United Way of Bucks County, 413 Hood Blvd., Fairless Hills, PA 19030.