On the 21st of July Instagram rolled out a new way to raise money for personal causes, it is starting with small tests in the US, UK and Ireland on mobile. If you live in one of these locations and use Android it will be automatically available and will be rolled out on IOS soon – you can donate using a donation sticker.

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    Instagram has said since July it has raised more than $100 million for Covid-19 in the last 30-days. Donations from Instagram have doubled in the US, there is also a large wave of digital activism around the globe with conversations around racial injustice, need for medical equipment, businesses trying to get started again.  Instagram wants to help mobilise resources and have made it easier for fundraisers to collect funds directly on Instagram to benefit personal causes.

    To run a campaign simply

    1. Tap the account button or your profile picture in the bottom right.
    2. Tap Edit Profile > Add Fundraiser > Raise Money.
    3. Choose a cover photo from your Instagram posts or camera roll.
    4. Add a title, select your currency and the best category for your fundraiser, and enter a description.
    5. Tap Next in the top right, then tap Done.

    The Merchant is Stripe and all fundraisers have to go through a review process to judge their eligibility.

    You must be at least 18 years old to use this service and once you’re approved a fundraising campaign lasts for 30 days, Although can be extended for an extra 30 days.

    Users can then leave donations and have the option to show or hide the public information, like their username and their profile and their donation amounts. When the campaign finishes after 30 or 60 days the funds will be transferred into the users account.

    I’d be super careful about tax on these as the amount of funds received: What you intend to use the funds for; Where you live may mean it is taxable. If you raise more than $20,000 in donations from personal fundraisers on Instagram in a year, you’ll receive a 1099 form from Stripe.  An 1099 is an American Miscellaneous Income form and I would not be surprised if there is the equivalent HMRC agreement in the UK.

    Personal fundraisers should be created for the types of causes in the following guidelines:

    1. Community projects and groups. Examples include costs for improvement projects, volunteer activities and club activities.
    2. Crisis relief. Examples include costs for public crises and natural disasters.
    3. Education. Examples include costs for tuition, books and classroom supplies.
    4. Faith. Examples include costs for missions, community events and resources.
    5. Family. Examples include childcare costs, costs for adoption and help for relatives.
    6. Hobbies. Examples include costs for crafting equipment and supplies that support hobby or skill development.
    7. Medical. Examples include costs for medical procedures, treatments and injuries.
    8. Memorial and loss. Examples include costs for funerals, living costs after losing a loved one.
    9. Personal emergency. Examples include costs for a house fire, theft or a car accident.
    10. Pets and animals. Examples include costs for veterinary bills, rescue and protection efforts.
    11. Sports and competitions. Examples include costs for sports equipment, pageants and travel expenses.
    12. Travel. Examples include costs for school trips and emergency travel.
    13. Volunteering. Examples include costs for service equipment and supplies and travel expenses.

    There are dedicated programs for charities, charities can’t use this process.  Instagram have said they won’t approve fundraisers that do any of the following, even if they fall into one of the categories listed above. Make sure that your fundraiser doesn’t:

    1. A charity – Raise funds for a non-profit organisation, charity or religious organisation. Instead, please create a fundraiser that directly benefits the organisation.
    2. Breach the Facebook Community Standards or Personal Fundraiser Terms of Service. All community standards and legal terms are applicable.
    3. Illegal – Use the personal fundraising features to attempt to raise funds for activities, individuals or entities that are located in a country or region that is subject to comprehensive United States (US) sanctions law or that would otherwise breach applicable US or non-US trade sanctions laws.
    4. Selling Something – Offer, auction or sell a product/item or service of significant value in exchange for a donation. You may give handmade items or items of nominal value (e.g. a handmade card or meal).
    5. Raffles – Provide individuals with a chance to win an item through a raffle or lottery in exchange for a donation or for sharing, commenting or otherwise interacting with a fundraiser to raise funds for the purpose of gambling, regardless of locality or legality, including but not limited to lottery tickets, sports betting or online or offline gambling.
    6. Political – Benefit a political campaign, Political Action Committee (PAC), or otherwise benefit a candidate for office or an individual who currently holds political office.
    7. Sell, trade or offer securities (e.g. interest in a business venture); incentives such as equity, revenue sharing or investment opportunities; issue debt; or offer products or services that benefit a business or company, or involve business-related expenses (e.g. business travel).
    8. KIdnapping – Finance kidnapping ransoms, bounties or vigilantism.
    9. Incite or commit violence. This includes fundraisers that raise money intended to support an individual or group committing or inciting violent acts.
    10. Breach local laws, regulations or guidelines.
    11. Involve knives, firearms, explosives, other weapons or any accessory or component of a weapon or firearm (including holsters, barrels, ammunition etc.).
    12. Raise money for marijuana, CBD products or any recreational drugs regardless of legality or use.
    13. Narcotics or opioids. Note that we may allow fundraisers for legally prescribed medical treatment or prescriptions, excluding narcotics and opioids.
    14. Raise money to support crimes or the legal defence of alleged crimes associated with hate, terrorism, violence, sexual violence or exploitation, or discrimination.
    15. Raise funds for a minor without permission of the minor’s guardian, or another arrangement that does not comply with local laws and regulations.
    16. Seek or accept compensation for using the personal fundraising features.
    17. Suggest that donations to personal fundraisers are tax deductible.

    Full link to the press release on our website: