New Instagram "Donate" Sticker ...Should You Care?

While nonprofits struggle with dwindling email numbers and difficulty converting social media engagement to gifts, Instagram has been a bright spot, showing more promise in the conversion-to-gifts space. Now, Instagram has introduced the “Donate” sticker to further streamline the giving process.

At Groundwork, we’re intrigued …but not overly excited.

Because Facebook owns Instagram. And thanks to the Terms of Service, it’s likely the Instagram “Donate” sticker will function just like Facebook Fundraisers. This means you’ll know almost nothing about donors who give to your nonprofit through Instagram’s “Donate” button. No emails, no addresses, no phone numbers - just a check every couple weeks with some names attached.

Before we continue, much like Facebook’s Fundraisers, including Instagram’s Donate sticker in your multi-channel campaigns will likely provide significant marketing value and can introduce new prospects to your organization. Hopefully, those new Instagram donors will stay engaged and become dedicated donors through more trackable channels down the line. But they would have to do this entirely on their own, because you won’t know how to contact those new donors.

But there is a better path than throwing up a digital billboard and hoping for the best. It involves microsites and peer-to-peer fundraising that you create and manage.

We know peer-to-peer or “online ambassador” fundraising works. We also know there is increasing competition in this space. Keeping your ambassadors engaged and sharing is a difficult task. If all we’re doing is emailing our ambassadors with requests to “please share this!” a few times a year, chances are they have already abandoned us and moved on to the next thing.

To make peer-to-peer fundraising work requires…

  • Individual management of top ambassadors (much like you would a major gift donor or prospect)

  • Creating personalized content and microsites for your top ambassadors (Click here for our recent webinar on how to build microsites for major gift fundraising)

  • Treating your ambassador program like any other volunteer program, with meaningful stewardship touch points throughout the years

The Trinity Health Foundation used leadership annual donor-led microsites to secure gifts from the featured donors, find new prospects within the two donors’ networks, and enjoy a successful annual giving micro campaign.


The above requires resources …but it leads to massive fundraising numbers. Groundwork’s partners have locked in six-figure gifts around this concept, all the while driving annual giving and feeding the major donor prospect pipeline. (Major gift donors know other major gift-capacity prospects. When you arm your most capable donors with personalized microsites, they engage their networks and feed your prospect pipeline. It happens EVERY TIME our partners launch a microsite campaign)

Experiment with the Instagram Donate sticker. For the right ambassadors, it might be a wonderful tool for expanding awareness of your mission and capturing some revenue along the way. But don’t hold your breath expecting this latest move from the Facebook team to greatly expand your online fundraising program. That requires the right strategy and resources for success.

Curious about microsites for leadership annual and major giving? Email Groundwork President Justin Ware at to learn more about our services.

Groundwork Digital