Can Selfies Actually Be Useful?

Photo by Knight725 via Creative Commons (

In order to try to offer information here that is useful for you, I often visit the website of The Nonprofit Times. They tend to have very good articles over there and I learn a lot along the way, which is of course a bonus.

When I visited there recently, I was surprised to see an article about a “nonprofit selfie contest.” My initial reaction was, “Et tu, Nonprofit Times?”

There has been a lot of talk about selfies already this year. Some people think women should take more selfies as a way to show confidence. Other people are asking that people produce fewer selfies, and have started various “nonselfie” movements. I was surprised that the selfie was being used by this reputable publication as the core of a new contest.

I must admit, I changed my mind after reading the full article, and looking at the selfies that were the finalists.

The thing is, Nonprofit Times was not just asking people to submit selfies. They were asking people to submit selfies that best demonstrated what their cause is all about. Even though I personally am not a huge fan of the mass amounts of selfies populating the online world, I have to admit that this is a truly great idea when it comes to promoting your organization.

Selfie For Good

Why could using selfies to promote your cause be beneficial? Here are some reasons:

1. It puts a face with the name.

People might know roughly who you are and what your cause is about, but a selfie tied to your cause brings everything together. It can also make you seem more accessible and easier to recognize.

2. It forces you to think about what your cause is really about.

What you choose to emphasize in your nonprofit selfie can say a lot about how you are defining your cause–and yourself for that matter.

3. Posting a selfie like this to your Instagram or Facebook page serves as an invitation for your community to participate.

Invite people to post their own selfies expressing what your cause means to them or how your cause has helped them. This can make a virtual community seem truly real–and close.

4.Images are hot in the online world.

They are easy to share. Have a little fun and your image could travel far. Just make sure the name of your cause is in there somewhere so that those who aren’t directly tied to you can still learn about your cause.

It’s hard to believe that the selfie, increasingly maligned, could actually be meaningful and even helpful. However, The Nonprofit Times has shown that it can be so.

Would you consider developing cause-related selfies? Do you think it would help or do you think any kind of selfie is still a lot of hogwash? We’d love to hear from you!