Giving Partner New Year’s Resolution #3: Come to Life With Good Visuals

January 4, 2013

cydNo matter how old we get, “pretty pictures” still count for something. That’s all there is to it.

Carefully chosen words can be compelling, but we live in a world where most people inherently crave visuals to accompany those words.  While a good writer and editor can make the difference in your organization’s accounts of its impact, needs, program descriptions and statements from leadership, a video and photo really bring your organization to life.

The third post in our New Year’s Resolution blog series is about sprucing up your profile in The Giving Partner with well-selected media. For those who are drawn in by color, the face of a child, or a touching program in action, visuals are super important.

Since the early days of cavemen, images were used to express information and ideas. Fast-forward to today, and modern folks thrive on expressive media.  Research shows that messages containing both images and text are more easily remembered than messages with text alone. The right visuals evoke the powerful emotional connections you’re hoping to make.

What is the best imagery to use?  Let’s rethink a talking head at your nonprofit or a boring photograph of your staff. Showing the smiling faces of volunteers at work or clients receiving services adds a personal touch to your profile. Good photos and videos tell stories, convey meaningful information, and inspire action.

A photo with a subject that is out of context or hard to distinguish will make your profile cluttered, and lengthy videos will most likely not be watched. Anything more than a few minutes is way too much. Photos and videos do not need to be professionally made, but they should be appealing, relevant, and understandable. If your mission deals with difficult issues, consider the value of positive visual messaging–i.e. depictions of the difference you are making.

Several nonprofits have already taken advantage of the ability to add photos and videos to The Giving Partner. Community Youth Development of Sarasota, South Florida Museum, and Coexistence/Embracing Our Differences are all great examples of nonprofits with both pictures and engaging videos.

Need help getting started? Animoto is a great resource to help you easily make videos from photos and video clips.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your visuals. Make your profile stand out, and remember to please the eye.

-Rebekah Leopold
Community Investment Intern
Community Foundation of Sarasota County


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