10 Associations That Are Killing it on Instagram

by Helen Anne Travis // Apr 11, 2016 Digital

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It’s easy to see how food, fashion, and travel brands can use the popular photo-sharing app with more than 100 million users to engage their fans. But what about advocacy groups and nonprofits? How can you make the business of influencing change photogenic?

Turns out it’s easier than it looks, folks. If you’re still on the fence about whether your organization should get in on the Instagram game, check out how these associations are using the platform to push their agenda and get their message in front of new audiences.

Human Rights Campaign

@humanrightscampaign

Followers: 208K

America’s largest civil rights organization uses its account to promote merchandise, show off its members in action at rallies, and share the occasional political meme. Profiles of its members, as well as the people whose rights the group is trying to protect, help humanize its mission.

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Best Friends Animal Society

@bestfriendsanimalsociety

Followers: 174K

The country’s largest no-kill sanctuary promotes its mission to help end killing in America’s shelters with adorable images of the cats, dogs and occasional pig whose lives it’s trying to save. Best Friends also uses the platform to promote nationwide events and sell merchandise, giving its online fans the opportunity to become offline advocates.

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Water.org

@Water

Followers: 65K

To highlight the struggles of obtaining clean drinking water around the world, Water.org shares photos of crowds lining up behind a water truck in India, and jumping for joy in Honduras because they just got their first pump. The group also uses Instagram to share celebrity endorsements and promote fundraising events.

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(RED)

@red

Followers: 98K

The AIDS awareness group enables its followers to become advocates by posting uplifting quotes and photos you just can’t help but share. To amp up the interactivity, (RED) also engages its followers by asking questions, encouraging regrams, and promoting events and petitions.

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DAV

@daveterans

Followers: 16K

The nearly 100 year-old veterans service organization empowers and inspires it base with photos of veterans who are not letting anything hold them back. The group also uses Instagram to promote events like job fairs and trainings.

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Oceana

@Oceana

Followers: 159K

How do you promote the fight against offshore oil drilling? If you’re Oceana, it’s with adorable images of dolphins frolicking in the Atlantic Ocean. The wildlife protection group balances images of animals at play with animals in peril to push its mission of protecting the world’s oceans.

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Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières

@DoctorsWithoutBorders

Followers: 247K

The medical organization uses journalistic-style photos to document humanitarian conflicts that don’t always get their fair play in mainstream media. First-person shots bring followers into the refugee camps and medical centers where the organization works. The raw images stand out against Instagram’s traditional stream of baby pictures and cat memes.

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Dosomething.org

@dosomething

Followers: 83K

The youth engagement group targets its younger followers with inspiring (and highly shareable) quotes and memes, and profiles of kids who are making a difference in their communities. The group encourages interaction by creating hashtags followers can use on their photos, which are often featured in Dosomething.org’s feed.

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Pencils of Promise

@Pencilsofpromise

Followers: 167K

Pencils of Promise helps children around the world get the tools and access they need to achieve in the classroom. The group drums up support (and funds) by sharing high-quality photos of the children and schools it helps. The organization itself is humanized with photos of its founders and supporters visiting students in Africa and Laos.

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The Wilderness Society

@wildernesssociety

Followers: 73K

The Wilderness Society started in 1935 and is a leading American conservation organization working to protect United States shared wildlands.

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