A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Your job as Development Director is to connect your donors’ and prospects’ passions to your school’s mission, students, and programs. First, of course, you need to know your donor or prospect, know what will excite them about your school. Then you need to communicate that connection.

Sue LaLumia, writing in her Chronicle of Philanthropy blog Moving Pictures, profiles one nonprofit that is communicating its mission in a very easy way. Conservation International was rebranding itself and “because it did not have much money to spend to publicize its new look, it needed a simple tool to help tell its story in a different way,” LaLumia writes.

That tool is a photo on a business card. The organization is using the very best images that represent its mission on one side of the card along with its tagline, “People need nature to thrive.” Employee contact information is on the other side of the card. This gives every member of the organization a chance to market its message.

To see Conservation International’s cards, visit the Moving Pictures blog here.

Your school could easily adapt this strategy to tell your story. You need to go through your images to select the best ones to convey your mission, or have a professional photographer spend time capturing the images you need. Include your tagline, either your school’s or your specific annual fund or capital campaign tagline.

Thanks to the advent of online printing operations with digital presses, four-color business cards are available inexpensively, allowing you to print different photos on different cards. Prices vary per service, so do your research. Plus, these printers are constantly offering special deals, which you can get e-mailed to you when you sign up for their e-letters. Here are a few resources:


About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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