Charity photos that GRAB you without using tears

in Integrated Multichannel Fundraising & Marketing,Online Fundraising

In this blog post by the Huffington Post, the author highlights 7 of her favorite charities who use Twitter effectively, in the author’s opinion.  She also cites a number of good reasons why nonprofits ought to use Twitter.

But I want to focus on the photos.

Five out of the seven photos in her post are great examples of the types of photos I believe work very well in fundraising.  They would work well in direct mail campaigns, emails and newsletters, on your website or anywhere.

We’re all naturally drawn to photos; especially photos with people.   And decisions to donate, volunteer, and to be an advocate are also primarily based on emotions just as any other “buying” decision is.

So it’s wise to choose arresting photos that trigger emotions.  All these photos express joy despite the seriousness of the nonprofit mission.  They convey success, hope, and the fact that the nonprofit – thanks to gifts from donors – is making a difference in the world.  And more than one test has shown an upward spike in response by using a “positive” photo over a “negative” photo.  (But always test to see what works best for your charity.)

Here’s why I like these 5 charity photos from the Huffington Post article:

  1. Charity Water – Primary mission shown in action with water pouring from the new well and people enjoying the clean water
  2. Susan G. Komen for the Cure – Sheer joy and spontaneity
  3. 1010 Project – The eyes of this child grab and capture you
  4. Habitat for Humanity – A very happy new homeowner expressing her delight and it’s NOT a “grip and grin” posed picture
  5. Alex’s Lemonade Stand – It’s a neat photo of the child and her lemonade stand; but I wish we could see the girl’s face and eyes much more clearly

Choose your photos carefully because they have a significant impact on the results you enjoy.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Future Fundraising Now
December 30, 2009 at 8:17 am
Nine Photo Tips for Nonprofit Storytelling — Karen Zapp - Nonprofit Copywriter
August 1, 2012 at 7:17 am

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa May 6, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Hello — I am commenting because I happend to stumble upon this article and wanted to let you know that Alex (Alexandra) is actually a girl! This mistake happens from time to time and I try to comment where I can in hopes it can be changed.


Karen Zapp, copywriter May 9, 2011 at 4:48 pm


Thanks so much for your note. I’ve made the correction.

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