6 Images Every Nonprofit Can Capture

Photo by jakintza_ikastola

Some nonprofits find it challenging at times to represent the work they do in photos, rather than text. But photos are one of the most shared content on social media, so it’s become important for causes to adapt and show more images in order to bring about more engagement—likes, comments, sharing—on their social networks.

This week, I’ll show you 6 images your nonprofit can capture with a simple camera—no matter the cause you represent. And next week, we’ll have 6 ways you can use these photos.


More than likely, your nonprofit has held some sort of fundraising event in the past—whether it was a simple happy hour fundraiser or fancy gala. And at your fundraisers you have the most important people of your organization: your supporters. So take pictures at your fundraising events and capture your donors in action. Take pictures of them socializing, and even get special group shots that they’d like to see. Fundraisers are full of moments for attendees—especially if they’re having fun—so have copies of that release form ready at your next fundraiser!

Other Events

Does your organization host other events too? Go beyond the fundraising event and think about your upcoming kids camp, or animal shelter event at a local pet store, or your Monday night bingo game. These events are great ways to show your nonprofit in action, even if you do them on a regular basis. Every night will be different so don’t hesitate to snap photos again and again. This is also a great way to build a library of photos you can use in your publications later!

People/Animals/Environment You Helped

I can’t think of a more moving way to capture your nonprofit than by showing your donors the beneficiaries of your work. If you help people, animals, or even if you’re working to save a piece of land, you’re putting a “face to the name” for your donors, and giving them a chance to identify with your cause.

Staff In Action

You owe the progress of your cause to the staff that worked on it, so give them a shout-out by taking their picture. Whether they’re sitting at a desk or outside building a home, your staff is in action working to move your cause forward. Your supporters will love to see the faces of those spending most of their day working for something they believe in. And your staff will appreciate the props!


Is there a motto your organization lives by? Are there inspirational quotes your staff passes along to each other? If there’s something that encourages your supporters, create an image with it and post it on your social networks. If it’s a truth that your cause believes in, your supporters will love to see it in writing.


Photos capture the here and now, and a series of photos can show the progress your organization is making. Think about ways you can show your supporters the progress, and collect these photos in an online album they can access at any time.

What other images of your cause would you capture?

18 thoughts on “6 Images Every Nonprofit Can Capture”

  1. Great suggestions Ifdy. u00a0I totally agree that photos, especially high quality ones, can help an organization connect with supporters and stand out from the crowd. u00a0It’s also important to shoot liberally and then pick the best to share. u00a0Sharing strong images on a regular basis can help showcase the emotional aspects of your message and connect a nonprofit with both new and established supporters.

    1. Exactly. It’s definitely worth it to pay a photographer for an event or two to capture high quality images that can be used and reused in all sorts of publications, too. Thanks for stopping by, @DHart13:disqus!

  2. Before and after images can create a very powerful message of accomplishment when it comes to creating reports and proposals for grants or other project-based funding sources.u00a0 Sometimes an image can portray a more powerful accomplishment than mere numbers on a page – especially when numbers are a less tangible part of the outcome.

    1. Yes! Before and after images can convey progress in a way words can’t, but also serve as proof that you’re making a difference. Great point, @twitter-10766842:disqus!

    2. u00a0I see pictures as a visual medium for storytelling. It’s as if the facts and figures are important, but the story is in the pictures. And while tragic endings may be realistic–everyone loves a happy ending. So (in response also to David Katusabe) make certain you have positive images that depict the way your NPO is making a difference–perhaps a few smiles, too!

      1. Agreed. It’s harder to get action (i.e. donation, volunteer signup) from a story that ends on a sour note versus a story with a hopeful or happy ending. Thanks @Kerux:disqus.

  3. David Katusabe

    May be a word of caution: it may be counterproductive to post photos that always depict your beneficiaries as powerless, hopeless oru00a0 with a lot of negativity such as the stereotype Western imagesu00a0u00a0 of Africa for fundraising campaigns. Photos need to represent a balanced view as there are a lot of inspiring activities going on in Africa and many parts of the so called third world which could enrich the available body of best practices.

    1. Good point, @205b3c69175fec1f454383522c12c0e1:disqus. The images represent something, so it’s important to really think through what you want (or don’t want) them to represent.

  4. We do not take photos of our clients that can identify them because most are minors and in mental health services.u00a0 This makes it harder to tell a story from a youth’s (beneficiary’s) perspective.u00a0 We use a lot of shots from the back of heads,u00a0 from far away, etc.u00a0 Other agencies don’t seem to have the same standards.

    1. You’re right @Sharian:disqus. That’s why having signed consent in release forms are important to avoid issues, so if you can’t get them, then you just do what you can. 🙂

  5. Agreed that Photo/pictures speak louder and appealing moreu00a0than just long storytelling textu00a0

  6. Very helpful!u00a0 Also: ZOOM IN!u00a0 I have learned that people relate to other people when they can see their faces well.u00a0 A rule of thumb: Make sure you can see the “whites of their eyes”. u00a0 This is extremely important for non-profit work.u00a0 People don’t relate to buildings and inanimate objects as well as they relate to living things and humans and animals.u00a0 Get them up-close and personal.

  7. Pingback: The Power of Images in Marketing

  8. May be a term of caution: it may be unproductive to publish pictures that always illustrate your recipients as incapable, despairing or with a lot of negative thoughts such as the misconception European pictures of African-american for fundraising events strategies. Photos need to signify a healthy perspective as there are a lot of motivating actions going on in African-american and many areas of the so known as third globe which could enhance the available whole body of best methods.

    Spybubble Free

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *