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Storytelling has become an important channel for showing an organization’s impact in a way that engages hearts and minds. When a beneficiary tells, in their own words, about how your donors have brought something good into their lives, it has a credibility and authenticity that can’t be topped.

I’ve had the opportunity to meet many extraordinary people who have overcome significant challenges. It’s always a joy for me, and I hope for them, to show the world how donors have made a difference in many lives including theirs!

Read the rest on LinkedIn for some DOs and DON'Ts for great results >

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How Nonprofits Can Work with Photographers to Enhance Their Message

Guest post by Billy Howard

You do great work in your community and spend countless hours thinking about and writing compelling stories documenting the fascinating individuals you help and the amazing volunteers who give of themselves to bring hope to the people you serve. Then you post it with a photo taken with one of your volunteer’s cameras, or, quelle horreur!, their iPhone. 

A story that should grab the short attention span of the average viewer gets no responses and you wonder why. It was well wrought and compelling with a call for action, but goes unheeded because the average viewer spends less than a minute on a page, and many times far less than that. You need an effective way to put the brakes on and make the reader sense there is something worth lingering on, and then soothe them into those painstakingly chosen words you crafted so tirelessly.

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How Nonprofits Can Work with Photographers to Enhance Their Message

Guest post by Billy Howard | (Continued from Part 1)


Photographers are like cats: hard to herd, and independent, but usually friendly. Based on my intimate knowledge of the breed, here are some thoughts that might help in your journey:

When you have no budget

You have absolutely no budget. Don’t fib. While you’re a nonprofit, photographers are not, and we all get asked to do pro-bono work . . . a lot. We are trained professionals running small businesses that have overhead, health insurance, rent, expensive equipment, computers and software that constantly needs updating, so there is a limit to our largess. If you have a project where you would feel comfortable asking a lawyer, accountant, advertiser or caterer to offer their services for free, then ask a photographer but if you would feel squeamish asking any other business for free services, come up with a photo budget.

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