10 hints for strong fundraising photos

It’s almost a rule that we should use photos in fundraising. After all, photos contain a lot more emotional information than the best-written copy.

But that’s what makes photos difficult.

Every photo tells a story, and often it’s not the story you mean to tell.

Here are some things to look for in fundraising photos, from Clairification, at Is Your Finger on the Nonprofit Appeal Trigger?:

  1. Sad photos of people or animals who appear to be in desperate need.
  2. Shocking photos showing real things happening your average reader will want to end.
  3. One person is usually better than more.
  4. People are usually better than things.
  5. Faces, especially with big eyes staring directly into the reader’s eyes.
  6. People looking human, vulnerable, resilient and filled with character.
  7. Two people interacting, especially where one is helping the other.
  8. Close-ups with tight frames and very little white space.
  9. Photos that show a context.
  10. Photos in bright colors and good lighting.

When you don’t have any photos that have at least a few of these characteristics, it’s okay to have on photo at all.

Better to tell the story you want with words alone than to undermine your story with a photo that doesn’t do the job.


Comments

2 responses to “10 hints for strong fundraising photos”

  1. Thanks for sharing this Jeff. It took me this long to notice! I learn so much from you all the time, and I agree about the “no photo is better than a poor or irrlevant photo.” Those just distract folks. Anything that stops people dead in their tracks, making them ask “What’s that about?” — not a good thing!

  2. Thanks for sharing this Jeff. It took me this long to notice! I learn so much from you all the time, and I agree about the “no photo is better than a poor or irrlevant photo.” Those just distract folks. Anything that stops people dead in their tracks, making them ask “What’s that about?” — not a good thing!

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

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.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

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.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

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.

Recent Comments

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.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog