Your non-profit needs to learn how to say “Cheese!”

Online pics are worth a thousand words!

By Rose Reinert
Guest blogger

rose1We have all heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, that is the basis of Lon Safko’s eighth chapter, which he titled “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (Photo Sharing)”. In this chapter, he discusses the impact of utilizing images in social media.

Safko illustrates the impact of utilizing photos in social media through an example. I will utilize the same concept, but place it in terms of donors.

Put yourself in the shoes of a donor. You have been engaged by an organization, and you want to learn more about them. When you go onto their website you find pictures of events depicting a wide array of supporters. You also see pictures of the agency’s leadership (e.g. board of directors) and see their mission in motion on Facebook through pictures with client activities and events.

While this seems like it might not make a big difference in regards to whether or not the prospect ultimate engages, consider the alternative.

You begin researching an organization and find very few images on their webpage or social media sites. There are no pictures of leadership, events or even of their facilities. What questions would that leave in your mind?

Still not convinced, consider these statistics provided by MBooth:

  • Photos are liked two times more than text updates
  • Videos are shared 12-times more than links and text posts combined
  • Facebook reached 100 million users in 4 years, but Instagram is on pace to beat it
  • 42% of all posts on Facebook are photos

Is there any doubt? Adding images enhances the users experience, and it is lots of fun!

Where should you start? Simply begin to think about your posts and experiences through images. I started to look around at some well known organizations to see which ones stood out to me.

Girl Scouts of America

bullyingI just loved their Facebook page that was filled with various images. What I loved was how they branded each message with their colors and their logo.

They also included pictures of Girl Scouts from throughout the nation doing various projects and activities.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

st judeThis group really understands how images can impact and catch the viewer’s eye. With every post on Facebook, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital included an image.

This really pulled me and engaged me in their stories!

There were stories of success, struggle and impact both from those benefiting from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as well as those supporting the organization.

World Wildlife Fund

wwfOf course, when I looked at WWF’s Face book page I expected to see tons of pictures of animals. I was surprised, however, to see even more.

This group also does a great job posting a photo or a video with each story. The posts were not just highlight various animals, but also provided daily things each of us could do to help.

What about your agency?

So, now it’s your turn! It is pretty easy, and very fun. Start spicing up your posts and see how people respond. I would love to hear more about your experience.

How have you used images to tell your story? What responses have you see to your usage of images? What struggles have you had with sharing images?
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About DonorDreams

Erik got his start working in the non-profit field immediately upon graduation with his masters degree in 1994. His non-profit management and fundraising experience numbers nearly 20 years. His teachable point of view around resource development is influenced by the work of Penelope Burk and those professionals subscribing to a "donor centered" paradigm. Donors have dreams and it is our responsibility to be dream-makers because donors are not ATMs.

Posted on January 13, 2014, in nonprofit, technology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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