Images are one of the most important aspects of an effective nonprofit website. Nielsen Norman Group, who perform evidence-based user experience research, found that users do in fact pay close attention to photo’s that contain relevant information on web pages.
There is no substitute for professional images customized to your brand. Unfortunately, high quality images can be very costly, often making them inaccessible to those nonprofits with small budgets. You could try and reach out to some local photographers to see if they would be interested in supporting your nonprofit through an honorarium or similar agreement that would allow you to get professional images at a lower cost. However this is often hard to find as well.
Fortunately, there are some great online sources of high quality, free stock images that you can use for your projects.
All of the resources on this page will have their own licensing rules. Even free images have restrictions, so make sure you review the licensing of any images you use on your nonprofit website, or you may be at risk for legal action.
For a more detailed explanation, read this article on Copyright Laws and Etiquette for Online Photo Use.
Sources for Free Images
I hope you found these links helpful. Just a friendly reminder to check the licensing restrictions on ALL photo’s you intend to use for your website. The one thing I will mention about free stock photo’s is that sometimes they are used….a lot! One of the things I do before using an image is try to get an idea how much it is used online.
Thankfully there is a great online tool called Tineye Reverse Image Search that you can see how often the image you want to use has been used on other websites. After all, you do want to maintain uniqueness to your website, and when an image is overused it tends to lose it’s impact.
Did I miss your favorite source for free images?
Is there anything you have done for your nonprofit that has worked well for you?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
When you are using free stock images, make sure you put a lot of thought and consideration into the images you choose. For example, you will harm the level of trust through your website if you use images which contain people who have nothing to do with your brand. There is a perception from website visitors that any people visually represented on your website DO have something to do with your business. So if using people is really important to you, consider hiring a photographer and stage the scene you desire to portray.
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