I decided today that I want to focus more of my time helping nonprofits understand, embrace and harness the power of images.
The idea of visual storytelling is certainly nothing new or ground-breaking. Leaders in the nonprofit and social media field have been writing about it for years.
It seems to me an indisputable fact – the nonprofit organizations that master telling their stories through images will undoubtedly succeed where others will fail.
This “a-ha” moment came to me after several experiences I had last week.
- I received a direct mail fundraising appeal from a local nonprofit – without a single image on the envelope or in the letter.
- I provided an assessment on a nonprofit’s website that was almost entirely text.
- I started to get more into Instagram.
- I wrote a blog about UNICEF’s innovative use of Pinterest.
All of this led me to thinking –
- Why are nonprofits so resistant to use images and short videos to tell their stories?
- Why are they continually relying on dry, boring, jargon-filled print newsletters?
- Why should UNICEF be the only one pioneering fictional pin boards for the people that they serve, (hopefully) leading to more awareness and more donations?
The only answer I can come up with: They think they can’t do it.
Nonprofits often fall into a cycle of martyrdom where they look at other nonprofits.
Does this sound familiar? “They have more time. They have more people. They have a better Director of Development. They have lots of grant funding. WE could never do what THEY are doing. We simply couldn’t.”
They are wrong.
My new mission is to provide nonprofits with concrete examples, case studies, checklists, step by step articles and how to’s, all on using images to tell their story. As I said, this is nothing new and I am
Why images? It’s simple.
People donate to causes and to organizations where they feel an emotional connection. Images convey emotion better than simple text.
People are lazy. They don’t like to read long fundraising appeals or press releases. Convey your impact through photos and videos and you will get better results.
People are much more likely to share a compelling photo or video than a block of text. To be relevant in the social media space, your content must be focused on images that people want to share with their networks. That’s the free word-of-mouth marketing you’ve read so much about.
It’s a well-known, proven fact that Facebook posts with images get more engagement – 39% more in fact, according to a study conducted by the American Express Open Forum. Pinterest provides more web site traffic to online retailers than Twitter or Facebook. Instagram is growing at an astounding rate as people crave its simplicity and lack of advertisements.
So I created Twitter, Scoop.it and Pinterest pages around my new visual mission – #Pinning4Good. I hope you will join me there if you want to learn more about using Pinterest, Instagram and other visual platforms to promote your cause, gain a dedicated following and raise more money.
Do you have any great resources to add that I can share with nonprofits? Any ways that you use Pinterest personally to make a difference? Please post in the comments and thanks for reading!
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