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How to Engage Supporters with Instagram Stories (With 5 Nonprofit Examples)

Instagram Stories create an extra layer of visibility for your nonprofit – whenever you want that visibility.

Like Snapchat and Messenger StoriesInstagram Stories last for 24 hours. And like Snapchat, stories are told in a series of pictures and videos.

Users who’ve published Instagram Stories within the past 24 hours appear at the very top of the home screen (as shown below). Tapping on a user allows you to see their recent stories.

instagram stories

Users with recent Instagram Stories appear at the very top of the app home screen.

What are the benefits of Instagram Stories for nonprofit communications and fundraising?

Let’s dig in!

1. Get on the marquee with Instagram Stories

When you publish a story your profile picture appears at the top of the home screen (as shown above), giving your brand extra visibility. Once your stories expire (after 24 hours), your brand will no longer appear in the marquee.

In other words, the simple act of publishing Instagram Stories creates more visibility for your brand!

2. Content with an expiration date:

Before Snapchat, social media content was assumed to be permanent on the Internet. In fact, Facebook updates, Twitter tweets, and Instagram posts all have a unique URL called a permalink – a permanent link to a piece of content. No expiration date.

But with Instagram and Snapchat stories, social conversations can have a shelf-life. An expiration date helps you:

  • Create a sense of urgency: If your people are going to act, they have to act now. The story won’t be there tomorrow.
  • Get and keep their attention: The stories only last seconds, pay attention, or you will miss out.
  • Inject more “human” into your brand: People seek to engage with people, not brands. Brands are fiction, people are everything. Instagram Stories allow you to show supporters the people behind your brand – immediate, transparent, and spontaneous.

3. Highlight stories for longer-term engagement:

Highlights is a feature for business accounts that lets you feature sets of Instagram Stories on your profile page (as shown below). When users tap you a specific highlight icon, they are able to see each story within that highlight.

For example, when users tap NEA’s “Baby Fish” highlight, they can view hand-picked stories from their archive. Users can also learn about visiting and becoming a member by view the “Visitors” highlight.


Note: To add stories to highlights you must have “Save to Archive” activated within your Instagram Story Settings.

5 Creative Examples of Nonprofit Instagram Stories

Want inspiration? Check out how these nonprofits are using Instagram Stories in strategically creative ways.

1. Do Something

Do Something engages users in a creative and fun mini-campaigns to grow and engage their mobile supporter base.


2. Stand Up To Cancer

Stand Up To Cancer invited Instagram followers to a live Q&A with Sharon Jones to discuss her new documentary.



PETA invited Instagram followers behind the scenes to film a new PSA about the dangers of leaving your dog in a hot car.


4. Pencils of Promise

Pencils of Promise invites followers to tap through a series of pictures that promote #BacktoSchool. Fun, interactive, and creative!


5. Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium entertains with cool facts and bad puns… Hovercraft!



This is an article by and it was published on his blog. Read the original post here.

John Haydon is one of the most sought-after digital marketing experts for nonprofits and charities. He has helped hundreds of nonprofits realize their best marketing and fundraising results.