Insta-Good! Leveraging Instagram for Nonprofits

Insta-Good! Leveraging Instagram for Nonprofits

Instabrian - Insta-Good! Leveraging Instagram for NonprofitsI’ve totally been bitten by the Instagram bug. The phrase “hang on, I gotta take a picture” is in heavy rotation. I’m even maintaining two accounts – one for BC/DC Ideas and one for the more crazy side of life. Beyond being entertaining for your personal life, there are some great applications for nonprofits and small businesses.

For those who do not know about Instagram, it’s a photo sharing/social media community that is exclusive to Apple mobile products like iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch (sorry to Android, Blackberry and non-smart phone users). People snap pictures with their mobile phone or upload images, apply hip photo filters, and then share it with their followers. Much like any other social media channel, people can follow each other, comment on photos and hashtag images for discovery or organization. There are even celebs who post pics like Justin Beiber, Taylor Swift, tattoo artist Kat Von D, and NBC Today Anchor Savannah Guthrie.

More than posting photos to the community, people can choose to automatically post images to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr and more. This multiplies reach beyond the mobile community. There are websites like Statigram and Instagrid that allow you to share your images on the web, but have limited interaction and usage for non-members.

We are pre-tipping point with this social media channel, it’s missing a HUGE part of the mobile market only being on Apple products, but nonprofits should take advantage of the noob market. Instagram has approximately 14 million new users, is adding 60 photos per second and that will only explode once the other phones are added to the mix.

The reason to get involved in this new community is to share your visual story. There is so many great things to take pictures of in this world. If you work for a visual nonprofit, you are missing out by not engagement your followers on this tool. Take pictures of fun stuff around the office, serious stuff about your mission – essentially give people an inside peek into your world and cause.

Granted this all means that someone on your staff has to let you use their iPhone or your nonprofit ponies up for the phone  plus monthly fees and data charges, but it is worth it! There are already a few nonprofits doing great stuff on the platform:

  • snowman glamour - Insta-Good! Leveraging Instagram for NonprofitsAutism Science Foundation @autismsciencefd (Client): The national nonprofit is hosting a photo contest in celebration of its year-end giving campaign, Recipe4Hope, in partnership with PostalPix to find the best snow angel photo on Instagram. While the first photo entry is free, all subsequent photo entries are $5. Deets are here.
  • San Francisco MOMA @sfmoma: Selects followers to do live Instagramming at their openings and events. They put out a call a day or two before an event to find people who want to participate and let them attend the event for free.  Very cool idea to get fun images for your next event.
  • A.Skate Foundation @askaters: Is using their influence and followers to help them get text messages to win this month’s Pepsi Refresh Challenge.

As with any new social media platform you are going to feel out of sorts and awkward posting those first few images, but it will get better. Make sure to follow lots of people and explore the hashtagging feature. The hashtags are key in connecting with the larger community.

I hope to see your photos on the Instagrams. Let’s all do a little #Instagood!

Insta-Good! Leveraging Instagram for Nonprofits

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An award-winning expert on nonprofit communications and creativity, Dawn is ready to speak at your next gathering. 

Kate Runy


A passionate technical wizard, Kate thrives on managing online content, social media for communications, and development projects.  Kate is the workhorse of the team, pulling out amazing feats of content creation and management week in and week out. 

Prior to joining BC/DC Ideas, Kate coordinated website and social media content, communications, and advertising for Go Global NC and Alzheimer’s NC.

Things that make her happy: I love animals about as much as I love working for nonprofits.

Mishel Gomez Cespedes


Mishel brings a passion for video storytelling and quippy social media content to the team.  At BC/DC Ideas, she is most likely editing video or scheduling the next moving social media post for our clients.

Her ear for storytelling is her greatest asset. Mishel has a unique ability to assemble content into a concise story that moves audiences to action.

A graduate of Wake Forest University she spent a semester in Spain and years serving her community through the campus organizations. Now, she is putting her passion for good to work.

Brian Crawford

creative director

Mix equal parts nerd and creativity and that’s Brian. A natural problem-solver, Brian’s ability to cut to the core of any problem helps guide our creative team to the correct solution without wasted time or money. It’s the core, this little nugget of truth, that helps our clients take the next step with their audiences.

Brian gets the greatest joy out of helping our clients realize and connect with their story. He is a true believer that everyone and every organization has a compelling story to tell, you just have to listen with an open heart.

Things that make him happy: Hanging out at the park with family, toddler-speak, hitting the focus pull, and good coffee.

Dawn Crawford


The engine behind BC/DC Ideas, Dawn has dedicated her career to good. Dawn brings her considerable experience and expertise to helping elevate the nonprofit sector. Our team’s lead strategist, Dawn is often seen leading our IdeaStorms, penning communications plans, or checking in with clients.

Before launching BC/DC Ideas in 2010, she earned her chops in 10+ years of communications leadership roles for public health, healthcare and youth-focused nonprofits. Working for nonprofits is Dawn’s dream job, and she loves that her 40+ hours a week make the world a better place.

Things that make her happy: A glass of champagne to celebrate big wins, Basecamp, living in the South, seeing the world, and a well-formatted spreadsheet.