Photographers and filmmakers looking to partner with nonprofits shouldn’t count on funding from those organizations, a new survey of nonprofits by Blue Earth Alliance suggests. According to the survey, many nonprofits hire professional photographers infrequently, relying instead on images made by staff and volunteers, or on images donated by professional photographers.

The survey was released this past Friday in Seattle at Collaborations for Cause, the annual conference organized by Blue Earth Alliance, a photography nonprofit that provides fiscal sponsorship and other services to documentary photographers. Tim Greyhavens, a photographer and former philanthropy executive who organized the survey, told the conference audience that photographers should consider reaching out to nonprofit organizations with funding already in place, or with proposals to collaborate with the nonprofit to seek funding for a project.

According to Blue Earth Alliance, the purpose of the survey, “was to collect data that would help us better understand the challenges and opportunities facing organizations that depend upon current, compelling images to tell their stories.” The survey also provides insights to photographers interested in partnering with nonprofits on projects.

The survey drew 102 responses from nonprofits of various sizes that are working primarily on environmental and social progress causes. In addition to details about how nonprofits are acquiring photographs, the survey also revealed information about how nonprofits are using photos and what types of photos they need, and also which staff members are responsible for photography.

For example, the survey found “a clear recognition by organizations of the importance of photography in conveying their messages,” and revealed that organizations used an average of 7-15 images a week. Nonprofits were primarily posting those images to Facebook and their own websites. And a majority of them had applied for grants for projects that included photography in the project budget.

Visit the Blue Earth Alliance blog to read more about the survey and to download a PDF of the results.

Related:
Fundraising Advice: Blue Earth Alliance’s Co-founder on Applying for Grants

Nature Conservancy’s Melissa Ryan on Making Impact with Conservation Photos


COMMENTS

MORE POSTS

Photographer Kamaran Najm’s Friends Break Silence on His 2014 Kidnapping

Posted by on Tuesday November 14, 2017 | Photojournalism

Three years after photojournalist Kamaran Najm, co-founder of the Iraqi photo agency Metrography, was kidnapped in Iraq, his friends and colleagues have ended their media blackout and released information on his disappearance. Kamaran was abducted by ISIS militants on June 12, 2014, shortly after he was wounded while covering the fighting between ISIS and Kurdish... More

Tuesday Tip: How to Avoid Shilling for Controversial Subjects

Posted by on Tuesday November 14, 2017 | Photojournalism

From stories about foreign wars to domestic political rifts, there is plenty of media manipulation. Partisans for various causes are eager to use photographers to get their propaganda out. Photographers discussed strategies for avoiding that in “Documenting White Supremacy,” a story in our November issue. Here is some of their advice: “If you fall into... More

Photographer Bill Frakes Loses Sexual Harassment Appeal

Posted by on Wednesday November 8, 2017 | Photojournalism

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) has rejected photographer Bill Frakes’s appeal in a sexual harassment case, because “clear and convincing evidence” showed he had violated university sexual harassment policies, according to a report in the Omaha World-Herald. Last summer, Frakes lost his position as an adjunct professor at UNL because he had “engaged in sexual... More