TrueSense Marketing  ●  6/22/2017

9 Tips to Pick the Right Photo that Compels Donors to Act

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A picture actually is worth a thousand words. So you have to choose your fundraising images wisely in order to engage donors.

Here are nine tips to choose a great photo that inspires your donors:

  1. Match your message. If your words say “people are hungry and need help,” but your photos show happy, plump people, your overall message is, “Your help is not really needed.” Make sure your photos back up your words.
  2. Show people, not things. People look at people. Even if the topic is a thing, have a person in the photo. Animals count as people in this case.
  3. Limit the number of people. Just one person in a photo is best. Two or three can work, but photos of crowds seldom stir the heart.
  4. Have eye contact. When the subject of the photo is looking at you, you almost can’t look away. Eye contact is that engaging.
  5. Watch the expression. If the subject is frowning or scowling, it sends a clear — albeit subconscious — message: Go away. You don’t want that in your fundraising!
  6. Choose the candid, not the posed. People in their everyday settings who look natural and are doing things are much more interesting than posed photos.
  7. Beware of stock photos. They are inherently unreal, and most people can sense their contrived aspect.
  8. Include a caption. Photo captions get read more than anything else. Use them to convey your core message.
  9. Go for content over technical perfection. Don’t use a beautiful, crisp, well-composed photo if it doesn’t show the right things. Better to use a not-so-great photo that says what you want.


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