Be awesome on Instagram

Whether your charity is using Instagram or thinking about joining the platform, we run through how charities can get the most out of Instagram.

In this short webinar, Hannah covers:

  • Why your charity should be on Instagram
  • What content is good to share on the platform
  • Examples of charities that are doing great things
  • The key Instagram metrics you need to measure

Your Instagram questions answered

We received a number of questions during our webinar. We've taken a look at them all, summarised them and have answered the most frequently asked.

  • Setting up

    How much is a business account?

    It's absolutely free.

    How can I use Instagram to meet fundraising objectives?

    Be sure to post daily. Make clear in your captions that followers should click on the link in your bio (which leads to your website) to make a donation. If you are running a specific fundraising campaign which has its own web page, you may want to include a link to that in your bio, in addition to your website link, using the free web tool, Linktree. Don't forget, you can overlay your picture posts with text, so include a call to action to donate.
  • Building a following

    How can charities increase their social media followers?

    Post daily and tag partners, people involved. Use relevant hashtags in relation what you're posting about. If it's a national day of something, post about it and include the hashtag. Tell people that you have an Instagram account and share it on other social media channels. Tell people what to expect and why they should follow you. You can also comment and like other people's post, they will then get notifications and may check out your profile. For more in depth information, watch the webinar above!

    Should we follow lots of accounts or wait for people to find us via hashtags?

    Follow partners, stakeholders and key people and influencers with an affinity to your cause. If you want to be noticed by a particular account, then follow them and then they might follow you back.
  • Engagement

    How many followers would you say is a good target before you start using features like questions or lives on instastories?

    Maybe a few hundred, but it really does depend on how active your followers are. Test it out and if you don't get much of a response, wait until you get more followers.

    How do we retrieve the answers to the question feature posted in stories?

    Find out more information here.

    How do we convert stories to highlights?

    You can find out more about this on Instagram's support area.

    How many stories vs feed posts should an organisation aim for?

    There's no real right or wrong answer. If you have content then share it, but it's great to save some for key dates and to make sure you have enough to post every day. The insights section is a great way to see if engagement declines if you post too many times.

    How can I drive engagement if I don't have lots of content from beneficiaries/case studies?

    Staff pictures are a great source of content, use what you have right in front of you or you could post tips and advice, key stats or any great results you've had. You can also share content from your donors and supporters but make sure they're happy for you to do so and tag them in the post.

    How can we engage influencers?

    If you already have ambassadors, reach out to them and ask them to share your content. Otherwise reach out to influencers that are sympathetic to your cause - the best place to start is looking at who in your following is already an influencer! But you must have a strategy in place, which includes who are the right people to approach, what do you actually want them to do etc. Influencers are busy people, so the more notice you give them ahead of campaigns - the better.

    Any tips to engage lots of audiences for a multi language charity?

    Instagram automatically translates captions into different languages.

  • Posts and hashtags

    Are there any word/hashtag limits in captions?

    Instagram caption character limit: 2,200 characters. Instagram bio character limit: 150 characters. Instagram hashtag limit: 30 hashtags. Many marketers say that 30 hashtags can look spammy, so it's better to use up to 11 hashtags per post to get the best engagement.

    How do I know which hashtags are trending?

    A good place to start is to check what's trending on Twitter, then use those on Instagram.

    Can I repeat hashtags?

    Yes, you can.

    Does the link between Facebook and Instagram mean that Facebook posts to Instagram or the other way round?

    You can do both. To save time, you can choose to post the same content on both platforms simultaneously.

    How much does it cost to boost a post?

    This is entirely dependent on how many people you want to reach and for how long you want to run the ad.
  • Instagram donation button
    Instagram have announced a donation feature to be launched at some point in 2019. The date of this hasn't been announced yet, and the functionality behind the donation button isn't known. So far, we know that it will be a feature available for stories and there will be no donation processing fee. 

    In the mean time, charities can run paid posts on Instagram which allows you to add a 'donate now' call to action at the bottom. This isn't available for organic posts. 
  • Processing donations

    What is CAF Donate?

    CAF Donate is our very own donations processing platform for charities. You can create multiple donation pages for fundraising campaigns, which are mobile-responsive and can easily be added to your charities website.

    How much does CAF Donate cost?

    Signing up is completely free and there are no monthly charges to join the service. We simply charge a small fee on only the donations you process using the platform. Find out more about our pricing.

    How can my followers on Instagram donate through CAF Donate?

    Unfortunately, you can't add a donation button on Instagram yet. You can however, include a link to your donation pages you've created using CAF Donate in your bio. Linktree is a useful free tool which allows you to link to many pages - handy for those one-off or seasonal campaigns!

    How can I sign up to CAF Donate?

    You'll first need to sign up for our reporting tool, CAF Charity Dashboard. Once you've signed up for this you can log into your CAF Charity Dashboard and upgrade to CAF Donate.

    This is because we are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, we'll have to check your charity status and run a few financial checks before you can get started with CAF Donate.

    We do this to ensure that your donors' information is protected and that their donations are processed safely and securely so they can give to you with confidence, every time.

  • Metrics

    Where can insights be found on Instagram?

    You can find information about this here. Remember, you can only access your insights via the mobile app and not desktop.

    What metrics do you recommend measuring to start with?

    A good starting point is to look at your engagement, for example the number of likes, comments, reach, impressions and what time of days followers are most active.
  • Free tools

    How can we access Linktree and is it available in mobile app stores?

    Linktree is a web based tool which you must sign up to use online. Remember, you would need an Instagram account first before you can set up a Linktree account.

    Are there any free tools to schedule posts across all social media platforms?

    There are many, including Buffer, Later, and Hootsuite offers a free trial.
  • Data protection / PR

    Do we need permissions to use photos/videos of beneficiaries or volunteers?

    Yes, I would suggest always ask for permission before posting anyone's photo.

    How should we deal with possible critical comments / trolls?

    You can report or block people on the app. Or you may want to respond with facts.

    Do you recommend using Instagram as a communication platform to deal with a PR crisis?

    I wouldn't recommend Instagram for this. It's always best to direct people to a website with more information, and of all the social media platforms, Twitter would be best to deal with a PR crisis. However, you can always use Instagram to direct followers to a page with more information, or to your Twitter account for updates.
  • Insta terminology


    Reach is the total number of people who see your content. Impressions are the number of times your content is displayed.


    This is the Instagram username. Often referred to as your handle, a username is the name of a person or company/organisation used on Instagram to define their profile address. This may be any configuration and does not have to relate to their actual name.


    Unlike your Instagram feed,Instagram Stories is a feature that lets users post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours.

More resources for charities

Webinar: Facebook tips for charities

During this on-demand webinar, social media manager, Hannah Iqbal, shares advice for small to medium sized charities on using Facebook.

Watch the webinar

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