There are some great websites and tools that will help you to find affordable images and edit them to fit your website. Having quality images on your website is just as important for nonprofits on a budget as it is for fortune 500 companies. This is because the right pictures will create a professional trustworthy feel on your website and help give website visitors a visual introduction to your mission. A professional look will make you more attractive to sponsors as well.
Finding High Quality Images
I recently discovered that Bing offers an easy way to search for images and filter by license. You can set the search to look for images that are free to modify, share and use commercially. Make sure that you double check on the website that the picture license allows for use in the way you intend as Bing does not guarantee that the search results are accurate.
Openclipart is an online community where anyone may use the clipart for any reason freely. They have a wide variety of clipart that you can search for by keyword or look at collections.
If you have a small budget you can also try 123RF. Depending on your needs you can buy credits for just a couple of photos or a subscription. I have found 123RF to be cheaper than many other similar services.
If you’re planning to give your website a facelift check with your website provider to see if they can provide any stock photos for you. If you are getting a new website see if the service includes images.
Start building your own image library. Images from your events will tell a better story than stock images. There is no need to invest in expensive equipment. You can just use your phone camera. You may even want to send an email to members and see if there are any volunteers to take pictures at you event. As an introvert I am often grateful for a task that keeps me from standing alone in the corner at an event.
Free Image Editing Software
Several years ago a new colleague introduced me to GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP). It is a free program that lets you resize or combine images, add text, blur, crop and much more. I must admit there was a steep learning curve. However, thanks to lots of free video tutorials I was able to learn how to edit images to fit my website and social media in just a few hours. It took another few hours of tutorials and practice for me to learn how to create my own flyers and advertisements. Once learned it was easy to recreate.
While the initial investment in time was a lot for a small nonprofit it really paid off. My board was pleasantly surprised by the improved quality of our organization’s website and membership materials. We also saw an increase in activity on our website.
Low Cost Image Editing Software
Nonprofit organizations that are 501(c)3 or a library should also look at Tech Soup. Here you can find free or low cost software solutions including Adobe Creative Suite and Photoshop; for more great ideas on how your nonprofit can save money, click here.
Now that you’ve got the tools have fun sprucing up your website!