There are times when visuals just speak louder than words. Whether it’s a picture of people being helped or a colorful chart showing the total amount of funds raised, visuals strike a chord. Nonprofits and relief organizations have always known this, which is why their promotional and marketing materials usually have photos of people they have helped.
But even with visuals, nonprofits consistently face two problems:
- getting their message out, and
- growing their outreach, their impact, and their access to resources.
With the growing access to data (information) and data mining tools, your nonprofit has a wealth of knowledge to help it—more than ever before. This data can tell you whom to reach out to, what areas you are excelling in, and where you want to grow. But how do you utilize this data to be seen by the community at large? After all, you don’t want to just share numbers and small bits of boring facts—you want to hit your audience, the public, where they live.
The good news is that you can translate your nonprofit’s collections of data into visuals that impact your community. From there, the community will respond to your message, engage with your organization, and spread the word.
Where Data and Visuals Collide
Nonprofits, just like other organizations, are walking mines of data. Your employees, your volunteers, the number of people or families you’ve helped, the amount of money raised, where you see the most engagement on social media—these are all sources of information that can help grow your organization.
The beauty of data is that it usually helps you solve a problem you’ve been working on for some time. Nonprofits have a handful of problems across the board, like needing more volunteers, needing more exposure, or wanting to share their impact to raise more funds. Below are a handful of ways to solve these problems with data.
Do You Need More Volunteers?
Some 85 percent of nonprofits run on just volunteers alone, which makes it a lot easier to understand why nonprofits are always in need of more volunteer help. If you’re a nonprofit hoping to gain more volunteers and support, look to your data!
Look at your current volunteer base: are they working enough hours? Where do they put in the most time? Are they being recognized for their efforts? Where did you find them? You may be thinking, “Great! That helps me recruit more volunteers, but what does that have to do with visuals?”
Simply take the data you’ve gathered about your volunteers and think about all the content you could make to encourage more volunteers to sign up. You could:
Showcase the impact your volunteers have had
Highlight how many hours your volunteers have put in
Share what makes your volunteers great
Highlight how easy it is to get involved
Do You Want to Highlight What Your Nonprofit Does?
Sometimes, it’s hard to limit the impact of what your organization does to a simple few sentences in a grant proposal. Even harder still is to show why your nonprofit does what it does.
With the right data, you can tell the story of your nonprofit:
How your organization works
The difference your organization has made
How the funds are directly impacting your nonprofit’s demographic:
Do You Want People to Spread the Word about Your Nonprofit?
If you haven’t noticed yet, the data combined into infographics effectively kills multiple birds with one stone: they serve as content marketing, social media content, and even print media material. This visual content can then be used by your organization and your audience tp spread awareness online and in your community.
Kinda magical, huh?
Latasha Doyle discusses all things “infographic” on Easel.ly’s blog. If you are looking for more information on creating infographics, you can also check out Easel.ly’s free ebook, “Infographic Crash Course.”