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Instagram camera and handInstagram, according to a Pew Research study released earlier this year, is currently the fastest-growing social media site, and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping.  Such rapid growth has encouraged numerous businesses and brands to take advantage of this profile’s popularity.  And charities are no exception to this rule.  While adding an Instagram might feel like a hassle to a charity that’s already well-established or lacks the funds to manage another social media platform, not harnessing Instagram’s web power could be a major waste.  I recently came across an article that shared several reasons why a charity should be on Instagram, listed below:

1. Authentic & visual storytelling: Since it’s so visual, Instagram serves as a brilliant branding tool that allows a charity organization to easily create and share authentic content.  One example is Charity: Water, which shares both photos that their volunteers take from the field and donations and letters that have been sent in.  Such a tactic allows them to engage with their donors in a unique way.

2. User-generated content and curation: It’s not too difficult to get Instagram users to create content for your cause; planning targeted activity and campaigns around a certain hashtag does plenty for both advocacy and brand awareness.  Even if you can’t link to your site through an Instagram post, you can still raise the profile of a specific cause or campaign in a fun, creative way.  One example is the footwear brand Toms’, which had a #withoutshoes campaign, where they pledged to donate one pair of shoes to a child in need for each person who Instagrammed a picture of their bare feet with that hashtag.  This allowed them to raise their brand profile while also donating nearly 300,000 pairs of shoes to needy children.

3. Instameets: An Instameet is a gathering of Instagram users that meet up to take photos and videos together.  Since this can take place anywhere and be of any size, charities can organize their own Instameets, which serves as a great way for people to get together while also raising the profile of a specific charity.