How to choose photos for fundraising

Happybabymismatch

You know how powerful photos can be. They speak louder (and faster, and more persuasively) than words. So choose photos well, because the wrong photo does a great job of sending the wrong message.

Some great tips from Communicate! At Great Photos Make Great Appeal Letters. Here are some tips for strong photos:

  • Feature one, at most two, people in each picture.
  • People doing something — not just head shots.
  • Focus on the same person whose story you’re telling.
  • Reinforce the message about the problem.
  • Reinforce the message about the urgency.
  • Make an emotional connection between the person in the photo and the donor.

And NOT…

  • Staff members of the organization.
  • Audiences listening to a speaker.
  • Crowds marching or rallying.
  • Multiple people in different settings.

Follow these principles and your photos will make your message stronger, clearer, more emotional, and more motivating.

Want some help choosing photos … or anything else you’re working on in your fundraising? Let’s talk. For real. I’m available for free 25-minute coaching sessions. Just click here and directly schedule an online conversation with me or with Sean Triner.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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