01Visuals That Inspire
Whether you work for the marketing department, manage social media or direct events, you know that there is much content that your nonprofit could produce.
There are videos, photography, webinars, Facebook Live, and social media. However, what if those have not worked for your organization, or you do not have the means (or time) to make them really work?
Infographics, which literally breaks down to “images that relay information,” have become some of the most simple and easily consumed types of content. You’ve probably seen and shared infographics, whether personally or for your organization because they relay information in such a simple way.
Humans are visual creatures (65 percent of us are visual learners), which is exactly why infographics are so helpful. The colors, icons, and general organization of an infographic draws the eye – and keeps a person’s attention.
Speaking of attention, did you know that the average human attention span is now about 8 seconds? Studies are finding that visuals like infographics are one of the few ways to cut the “red tape” around our audiences’ attention span. In short, infographics attract the visual parts of the brain, making people pay attention.
Infographics are some of the most shared content online, which means your organization will be “seen” by more people. But they also offer your organization a one-of-a-kind opportunity: adaptable marketing.
Every day, the number of infographics created increases by 1%. More and more people, organizations, and businesses are harnessing the powers of these visuals, likely because they offer:
- Adaptability. You can change the dimensions, alter the formatting or colors to your brand, and use them in virtually everything you need. From banners, event flyers, to email images and social media, infographics can be used wherever your organization needs them.
- Unique Content. Each infographic has unique data or information, as well as individualized design. Your organization can use its branding, style guide, and individual data to create an image that says, “This is who we are!”
- Simplicity. Even the most time-crunched organizations can make infographics that rock with a variety of online infographic tools. Infographics also don’t have to be chock-full of complex information. All you have to do is use icons in place of text (see image below) and make sure the information cuts to the chase of your organization's most important work.
02Do Our Supporters Know About the People We Help?
But What Will We Say with Infographics?
You might be thinking, “That all sounds great, but what would we even make an infographic about?” The number one thing your organization should ask before creating any content should be: “Is this useful?”
That is also true of infographics. To help you find a few “useful” infographic ideas that inspire your supporters, ask yourself the following questions.
Take this infographic as an example:
In just a few words and images, Citizens for Public Justice has explained:
- Which demographics need help
- The issues these people face
- How the organization is working to turn the tide
Could your organization do something similar? How can you visually interpret the work you do?
03Does the Public Know How They Can Help?
Never assume anything. The fact is that aside from donations and fundraising, many people do not know how they can help fix the problems our world is facing.
You could highlight the ways that the “everyday person” can support your organization, the people you are trying to help, or the problems you are trying to solve.
Take this infographic, for example. It lays out several specific ways supporters of End Child Labor can take action. Not only will people feel more empowered, they will also want to support the cause that made it easy for them to act, from simply asking questions to spreading the word, to investing for good.
04Do people Know What We Do?
As a regular citizen, people know that nonprofits do great work, that they make a difference, and that they are worthwhile.
However, does that translate into their support? Unless they feel connected to what you are doing, they will not pull out their wallets, volunteer their time, or seek change. Infographics can help you do that, however.
This infographic does this really well.
In a short space, Charity Sub has highlighted:
- How many people they have helped
- What their funding goes towards
- How this is changing the problem
Of course, there is virtually no limit to what infographics can do for your organization. While many nonprofits use infographics in public-facing communications (social media, emails, print marketing), you can also use them for:
- Internal reports
- Donor information
- Media kits, mission statements, etc.
- Financial reports
- Data collaboration with other nonprofits
- Seminars, conventions, presentations
- Web conferencing, live streaming
Infographics are truly one of the most versatile pieces of content because you are not limited by long-form text or video compatibility issues. The science also backs infographics up; they work.
05Need More Reasons to Use Infographics?
More and more studies are finding the impact that infographics have on social reach, donations, and even connections and outreach. In fact:
- Consumers are also 30 times more likely to read an infographic than a piece of text.
- Social media posts with an image get 39% more engagement than non-image posts.
- Unique images are tied to emotion; images are 17% more persuasive than text.
Infographics used in marketing campaigns can increase engagement by 35%+, translating to more donations, volunteers, and media awareness. Imagine the great work your organization could do with a little help in those areas.
Online visibility with infographics is one of the fastest ways to grow the impact of your nonprofit in today’s world, but infographics are versatile. Don’t be afraid to throw them in your print marketing, your impact reports, or your emails, too. The more useful information you share, the more people will support your cause.
06All You Need is a Story
Your nonprofit started with a story. Maybe it was the story of people who needed help, or a particular situation that moved the founders to action. Maybe it is an ongoing need for education and awareness. Whatever the story your nonprofit wants to tell, try to say it visually.
Infographics can help you cut to the chase - the real moral to your story - if you focus on what your supporters, volunteers, or donors want and need to know. When you want to highlight your cause and what it is doing, design an infographic that educates and engages.
07Time to Start Creating
Want some quick and dirty infographic tips to help you get started? Here are a few things to keep in mind when brainstorming:
- Create for your audience. Don’t share images from other organizations, and don’t just “reuse” information. Make it relevant to your programs, your volunteers, or the areas you are working in.
- Look at the calendar. Are there holidays coming up that could boost donations? Do you have an event you would like to highlight? Schedule important infographic topics and start creating now; don’t wait!
- Optimize your images. This means making sure that the images are the right size for Twitter (whose image size is smaller than other platforms), SEO, and embedding.
- Increase content by creating series. Some infographics can be pages and pages long. Break yours up into smaller infographics (think 1500 pixels long) and share in pieces. This gets you the most “bang for your buck” and keeps people interested.
- Don’t forget the Call to Action. Remember to make the ask explicit, just as you do in a fundraising letter. Make sure to include something like “Donate now” or “Sign up to volunteer” at the bottom of your infographic. You can also create an image that highlights what people can do to support your cause on their own.
As for creating that infographic, the six best practices in the infographic above will help you get started. They include:
- Less is more: limit the colors and keep the imagery simple
- Be consistent. If you use photos, don't drop in some line art.
- Use white space strategically. Every eye needs a rest.
- Use no more than two fonts in no more than three sizes
- Keep the size of your infographic reasonable. Experts suggest width should be 600 to 735 pixels and height not more than 5000 pixels.
Have fun with your infographics but never forget their serious purpose in extending your message.
Latasha Doyle is a freelance writer living in Denver. She writes about all things infographic-related for Easel.ly and is passionate about helping nonprofits do their most important work. When she’s not writing, she is most likely reading or planning her next vacation.
How Nonprofits Can Inspire Supporters With Infographics
Everyone Loves Infographics
As a nonprofit, you want people to connect with your cause or message. Half of your job is trying to draw attention to the important work you do, the problems you want to solve or the people who need your help.
However, to get the “word out,” you have to be seen. How can you be seen while also inspiring people to connect with your cause? So often, nonprofits get stuck trying to find the best tools to help them expand their reach and only see minimal results.
Plus, I bet your nonprofit has a ton of statistics that bolster the case for what you accomplish every day. But, most people's eyes glaze over when confronted with dry numbers.
Fortunately, there’s one way (that people love) to inspire supporters and grow your organization’s visibility: Infographics.
Also, infographics, although they've been around for some time, have become easier for anyone to create. All you need are some easy-to-use graphic tools and a little imagination to create intriguing, fun to look at, and informative infographic visuals that you can use almost anywhere and anytime.
Just look at the examples below to spark your imagination about how your nonprofit can use infographics effectively in your communications.