Frame Nonprofit Storytelling with Photos and Videos

in Marketing for Nonprofits,Social Media,Storytelling,Video Online

There’s no question that images can increase the impact of a well told story just as the infographic below illustrates.

Adding the visual aspect has always been appealing to us: Think of how much more you enjoyed a story book as a child even if it had just one illustration per chapter. And these days the use of photos and videos has become all the rage.

I want to caution you, however; that well chosen images (photos, videos, cartoons, or other illustrations) are no substitute for strong copy. You’ve still got to do a good job writing your story.

Images, like most any quality design element . . .

compliment the nonprofit story told in words

emphasize a point

enhance retention

strengthen the impact of the written word

personalize the person in the story by making them more tangible and real … the reader can make a stronger connection

Even the first step for developing a compelling video is drafting the story board. And often images in the video are augmented by written text on the screen as well as someone’s voice narrating the story.

There are no short cuts to creating effective communication that inspires donors and members to respond.

It isn’t enough to plaster huge photos all over your website and expect people to understand your cause and hand you their hard earned money. Compelling text remains an essential part of your marketing and fundraising.

Nonetheless there are helpful points and insights worth sharing in the infographic below titled, “Storytelling – One Frame at a Time.”

As the infographic illustrates, images have found a happy home in social media. But that’s not the only place to use them. I share a few more ideas on where to augment your written story with photos or videos below/after the infographic.

Nonprofit storytelling with photos and images

Sharing and liking photos or videos in social media are important forms of engagement.

Just don’t forget that you’ve still got work to do in order to convert that engagement into revenue through donations or memberships. And it will take more than people having fun sharing or pinning photos.

I promised to share my thoughts on where else you can include photos or videos to enhance your nonprofit storytelling in addition to social media:

photos in direct mail letters (I like to include a caption with the photo)

link to a video in a direct mail letter (use a QR code to take people directly to the video along with the option of using a simple and short URL they can remember and type)

photos in emails

videos in emails

press release

annual reports (written; video reports; etc.)

photo on a post card

photo or other illustration as part of your thank you letter or card


donor profiles

blog posts

What can you add to the list? Where have you found photos or videos especially helpful to your nonprofit storytelling? Please add a comment below.

Related posts:

Nine photo tips for nonprofit storytelling

Maximize Facebook ROI

Why video is a powerful storytelling tool

————- is the source for the above infographic — thanks!

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