The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

The Big Picture: Telling Your Nonprofits Story through Photos

camera-lens-focusThey say a picture is worth a thousand words, but is this still true?  In this age of social media and mass communication, this statement seems to still ring true.  This is especially for nonprofit organizations like yours who have mastered the art of storytelling.

Research supports the idea that communicating through visuals can be more powerful than any form of verbal communication.  This information suggests people learn and retain information presented to them visually at a much higher rate than information provided to them verbally.  In his article “Syntactic Theory of Visual Communication”, psychologist Jerome Bruner of New York University presents this startling chart.

Retaining Statistics

So what does this mean your nonprofit?  The concept of storytelling is not new to nonprofit organizations who have been successfully telling their stories of success, sorrow and outrage through print newsletters, reports and fundraising appeals for decades.  With all the new technologies available, your organization has an opportunity to tell the same story in new, more colorful, more visual ways.  Every nonprofit has a story to tell and with the use of high quality photos or an emotion-evoking slideshow you can get to the hearts and minds of supporters.


So how do you get started?  Here are a few simple steps to take to begin the process of creating and building your nonprofits digital library:camera

  1. Delegate the task to someone within your organization, if you have a communications staff they would be the best place to start
  2. Purchase a digital camera
    • A budget of $200 to $300 will get a good quality, point-and-shoot pocket camer
    • A budget of $500 to $600 will get you a higher-quality, hand-held camera
  3. Invest in good photo editing software which will cost $100 or less
  4. Make sure the primary person responsible for creating and managing the photo library always has a digital camera on hand with charged batteries
  5. Create a media release form to have individuals sign giving you permission to use their image in any type of media your organization chooses

For less than $1,000, your nonprofit organization can become successful in digital photography.

The most important thing to remember is that your organizations success in this digital age is being able to create and share fresh, high-quality photos on a regular basis.  Invest some time and money into building a large photo library.

Category: Advanced Tactics