Get Noticed in an Instant With a Visual Story


When we think of stories, we often think of a written story. But stories come in many forms and people process information in different ways.  Some people respond better to visual stimuli.  In our information packed world, a visual story can be great way to connect.

Tell a story in an instant with a photo

Your donors are busy and may not have time read a story, but you can capture their attention in an instant with a great photo. A photo of your executive director receiving an award is not very compelling. Use photos of your programs in action.

In my last post, I highlighted a couple of stories from the Pet Partners newsletter. Now while this newsletter included some good stories, it was 14 pages, including front and back cover.  I wouldn’t recommend a newsletter that long, because most donors won’t read it.

This newsletter included a section called Pet Partners Teams at Work, which consisted of short stories and photos of people with their therapy animals. Here busy donors can get a quick glance of the impact of their gift without having to read the whole newsletter, and again most people won’t.

A great new trend is postcard annual reports, which are filled with photos and a small amount of text. Postcard Annual Report

If you use social media, you need to communicate several times a week.  As your donors scroll through endless amounts of posts on Facebook or Twitter, an engaging photo can pop out and get noticed.

Use photos everywhere – appeal letters, thank you letters/cards, newsletters, annual reports, website, and social media. Create a photo bank to help you with this. It’s fine to use the same photos in different channels. It can help with your brand identity. Be sure to use high-quality pictures.  Hire a professional photographer or find one to work pro bono.

Work with your program staff to get photos. Confidentiality issues may come up and you’ll need to get permission to take pictures of kids.  It’s okay to use stock photos. Just be sure to give proper credit.

The Top 10 Ways Nonprofits Can Use Visuals

6 Tips for Better Photographs

Highlight your work with a video

Create a video to show your program in action, share an interview, give a behind the scenes look your at organization, or my favorite – thanking your donors. Make your videos short and high quality.  If you’re interviewing someone, be sure that person is good on camera.

You can use videos on your website, in an email message, on social media, and at an event.


The Unexpected Results Of Producing Video Stories

Bring statistics to life with infographics

Statistics are boring, and very few donors are going to read a lot of text.  But you may have some compelling statistics or want to highlight accomplishments in your annual report.

Why not share these in an infographic instead of the usual laundry list of statistics and accomplishments?   Here some examples. A Great Nonprofit Annual Report in a Fabulous Infographic

Brochures are becoming a relic of the past, but what if you want an informational print piece to give to potential donors or volunteers?  An oversize infographic postcard could be the way to go.

The Infographic Cheatsheet for Nonprofits

4 Steps to Making an Infographic for Your Nonprofit

Keep sharing engaging stories of all kinds with your donors.

Photo by Sam Javenrouh

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