The Value of Visual Storytelling for NGOs

In the age of Web 2.0 your NGO must have the ability to break through the incredible amount of noise on social media. You have to do something that hits a nerve.

Breaking through noise might be about big campaigns and spectacles. But how about for the everyday NGO, NGOs just starting out or the budget conscious? It may be one of the oldest forms of captivating an audience, but just maybe it’s still the best. Storytelling.

In the case of Web 2.0, where content is hitting your audience from every angle, maybe visual storytelling is the answer.

Use Image Photo by Alex Masi on behalf of The Bhopal Medical Appeal. Source:

Photo by Alex Masi on behalf of The Bhopal Medical Appeal. Source:

Blogger for JC Lasica suggests there is nothing more powerful than an emotional connection. Whatever the visual form, it’s a matter of thinking about your organisation not souly as an NGO but as a media organisation.

So what about an example of a successful visual storytelling technique, ‘Trailer of Burbax, Ethiopia’, produced by ‘A Glimmer of Hope’.

What is the beauty of your story? I think there is something special about breaking away from the norm. Do you think there is some value in using visual storytelling to delve into a NGOs complexities? Giving people a chance to use their brains and actively connect.

I think much of the value of your story comes down to its circulation. Resource wisely, use platforms with a wide user base and choose your time to post wisely. Understand when people have time to make an emotional connection.

I’ll leave you with a final example. Let me know what you think, its strengths and weakness or simply did this technique of visual storytelling affect you?

Social Media as a Platform for NGO donations

An NGO can’t operate without donations. It is the core of an organisation, giving an organisation an ability to reach its current goals and to strive for more influence. In the age of Web 2.0 Social Media offers a massive pool of potential donors difficult to ignore.


Source:, ‘How can NGOs use Social Media to Create Impact’– Slide 7

Social Media largely dominates the ‘eco-system’ of the internet. It becomes a matter of putting this resource to work.

‘Likers’ and ‘followers’ alike the question that floats to the surface is how to turn discussion to donation?

STEP 1: Raising the Profile

For an NGO using social media it is essential to raise the profile of the organisation. Consultant Samantha Fleming of Afrosocialmedia talks about the potential for discussion social media offers.

Source: Samantha Fleming, Afrosocialmedia on NGOs using social media

But as professionals in the NGO sector there’s a question in the back of your mind, how does this convert to tangible funds?

STEP 2: How to donate?

NGOs have to have the ability to compete with e-commerce giants like Amazon and their ability to provide customers with their product in a minimal amount of ‘clicks’.

It’s about efficiency. Janet Fouts, (follow her on twitter @jfouts) blogger at, in her post ‘Social fundraising tools: Our top 5 picks’, gives organisations a clear list of efficient donating tools to integrate into their greater social media strategy.


In response to Janet Fouts’ post, I think it’s important to comment on the recent shift and ongoing trend toward greater integration between social media and donation.

Greenpeace is an active example of where the future is headed. In just two clicks from their facebook page donors are right where they need to be.

Step 1:

Step 2:


So what do you think? I’m all about integration and the ability to make the social media experience one that’s completely linked to donation. What about you, do you think there some value in keeping the two somewhat seperate?