nonprofit staffer taking a photo for Instagram of a beautiful sunset

The Top 10 Nonprofit Instagram Accounts: What to Learn from Them

Believe it or not, nonprofits enjoy higher rates of user engagement on Instagram than nearly any other industry. However, creating the perfect experience for your intended audience can be quite tricky.

illustration of a person pointing to a heart icon below an nonprofit's Instagram post of a beautiful sunset

Ready to learn more?

TechSoup has put together a guide on how to harness the power of Instagram for your nonprofit.


TechSoup has also done some research on which nonprofits are doing really well at building consistent, authentic, engaging content on Instagram. Although not everyone can expect to generate the staggering 2 million followers enjoyed by global powerhouses like UNICEF, it's worth taking a look at what these organizations are doing right.

Let's look at 10 stellar examples of nonprofits that are successful on Instagram to give you some handy takeaways you can start using now.

1. National Geographic

 

You can't start a list like this without mentioning the social media heavyweight with an image gallery unlike anything else.

Takeaway: Source images from accounts with large followings and tag them.

2. UNICEF

 

Many UN accounts have made it their mission to showcase their impact on the planet.

Takeaway: Post about progress and success stories in order to inspire your audience with narratives of hope.

3. MoMa

 

MoMa is always providing fun facts and stories together with its images.

Takeaway: Include small, engaging stories in your image captions.

4. PETA

 

PETA usually places text directly on its photos, merging a call to action with the image itself. This way, supporters can more easily cross-promote PETA's campaigns with the intended messaging.

Takeaway: Use both text and graphics in order to communicate a more powerful, shareable message.

5. The New York Public Library

 

The New York Public Library consistently engages with its community by reposting content and using existing hashtags.

Takeaway: Take advantage of existing hashtags within your field (like #bookfacefriday for libraries).

6. St. Baldricks Foundation

 

St. Baldricks Foundation describes itself as "that crazy head-shaving charity, trying to make a difference for kids with cancer by funding the most promising childhood cancer research." It's phenomenal at engaging its givers on a regular basis with a unique but predictable focus.

Takeaway: Create engaging content with a consistent focus on fundraising every time you post.

7. Humane Society

 

Gone are the days where GIFs were just a fun way to express yourself on Twitter. The Humane Society is a great example of how to create beautiful content while outsmarting algorithms by including subtle video elements.

Takeaway: Use a GIF to uniquely communicate a call to action.

8. charity: water

 

Many nonprofits focus too much on the end product of a big fundraising event, such as an annual gala. However, charity: water goes the extra mile to show all the hard work that goes into making a successful event happen.

Takeaway: Promote your events while showing the community effort that goes into making them happen.

9. Keep A Breast

 

It's important to thank your volunteers and the people who make your community flourish. The Keep A Breast Foundation is great at showing how its volunteers make a difference.

Takeaway: Promote community engagement by featuring your volunteers and all their hard work.

10. Pencils of Promise

 

Show appreciation to both your volunteers and the people who support your organization financially. Pencils of Promise makes sure to create content that specifically shows that donations really matter.

Takeaway: Create "thank-you" posts. Thank your donors directly and express your appreciation for their giving.

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Additional Resources: Social Media for Nonprofits