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4 Instagram Post Ideas to Help Grow Awareness of Your Nonprofit

If your nonprofit is looking to spread the word about its mission, Instagram can be an amazingly powerful platform. Using visuals attracts people’s attention and encourages them to take action. While many nonprofits are finding it more and more difficult to get noticed on other social networks, there is huge potential on Instagram—you just need the right strategy in place.

In this post, I’m going to share three tips for getting started with Instagram, and four post ideas to help you grow awareness of your nonprofit, including examples from organizations who’ve used it successfully.

Getting Started with Instagram

1. Set Your Goals

What do you want to achieve with Instagram? Do you want more awareness of your brand, more engagement with other users, more donations, or more supporters? Whatever you’re hoping to achieve, write your goals down and keep them in mind so you can build a strategy that supports them.

2. Decide Your Schedule

When are you going to post? Decide how often you can post new updates and on which days, so you can make sure you’re staying active and consistently sharing new content to keep your followers interested.

3. Plan Your Social Media Calendar

Mark down any important dates that require special content (or even campaigns) and then start adding your post ideas to the calendar. This way, you’re making sure you have new content whenever you need to post something, and you’re also eliminating any room for mistakes. Make sure to remember your objectives at this stage—how are your posts helping you achieve your goals?

Once you have these three things in place, you’re ready to start posting. However, many nonprofits find it difficult to know what to post on Instagram. So, here are four ideas for posts that are proven to get views and shares.

4 Ideas for Posts That Work

1. Educate Your Audience

A lot of social media posts can be very superficial, especially on a visual social network like Instagram. However, it’s not all about beauty and appearances: people are often genuinely interested to grow their knowledge and learn something new.

A great example of this is the Ted Talks Instagram profile. Almost every new update they publish aims to teach their followers something interesting. Check out this post on the social life of trees:



In the case of Ted Talks, these short updates help promote their talks and grow their viewership, but this strategy can work for many other types of nonprofits, too. Whether it’s a groundbreaking discovery, a scientific phenomenon, or a fascinating bit of history, you can use beautiful images as the starting point for even more interesting stories that will encourage people to engage.

2. Make Your Audience Happier

Sometimes, charities and nonprofits deal with very difficult subjects. These can be issues that people don’t want to talk about, or even try to hide from completely. If you can’t see the problem, it isn’t really there—right?

When you deal with heavy topics like underprivileged kids or neglected animals, it can be tough to get people’s attention—especially on a platform like Instagram, filled with beautiful people travelling in exotic locations and eating photogenic foods.

So, if you’re worried no one will want to follow you if you post darker images, focus on what you’re doing to help instead. Pencils of Promise, a charity that helps kids from all over the world get a good education, makes sure their Instagram account brings a smile to their followers’ faces by sharing images of the children they help:



These types of images not only generate likes and comments, they also make people want to share them. Try to share more images and videos of all the good you do—and don’t be afraid to crack a joke every once in a while.

3. Inspire your audience

Motivational updates are very popular on social media in general, and on Instagram in particular. They’re super easy to create using free online tools like Canva or Crello, and they often get lots of shares and likes.

Whenever you share a motivational image, try to also include a text update with it—preferably a story of some kind. Ted Talks used this combination of inspirational quote and story for their Instagram post about Halima Aden, the first model to wear a hijab on the cover of Vogue.


View this post on Instagram

Halima Aden was born in Kenya's Kakuma Refugee Camp, and now she’s the first hijab-wearing model to be on the cover of Vogue. When she arrived in the US at age 7, she initially struggled with being a minority. As she got older, she began to embrace her identity as a black, Muslim, Somali-American from a Kenyan refugee camp and one day decided to compete in a pageant wearing a hijab and a burkini. “I saw it as an opportunity to be a voice for women who, like myself, had felt underrepresented,” Halima says. Now she’s an international model working to champion the power of diversity all over the world. To watch her #TEDTalk from TEDxKakumaCamp and learn more about her journey, visit

A post shared by TED Talks (@ted) on


4. Use Your Audience’s Posts

User-generated content (also known as UGC for short) can be any kind of content—photos, videos, etc.—that was created by users, shared online via social media, and is publicly available.

This type of content tends to perform well because it’s a digital form of word-of-mouth communication. The general public is sharing the word about your nonprofit or brand, and most marketers agree that this is one of the most effective forms of promotion.

Sharing people’s posts on your own Instagram doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get more engagement, but it can be a great way to raise awareness of your nonprofit and encourage your followers to continue spreading the word.

For example, FEED often shares photos of regular people wearing their products and highlighting the good they’re doing by buying them:



These are just some of the types of Instagram post you can use to spread awareness of your nonprofit or charity and gain more supporters. Most organizations find that the most effective technique is to build a varied social media calendar and experiment with different types of posts to see how they affect your results.

4 Instagram Post Ideas to Help Grow Awareness of Your Nonprofit

Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach Bullock has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She is listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers, named one of 10 top digital marketers by Brand24 and was crowned Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. She is listed as the number 1 Influencer in the UK by Career Experts and is a recipient for a Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business.

Topics: Instagram Nonprofits and Social Media Nonprofits and Instagram