Photos and Stories on GlobalGiving

At GlobalGiving, we believe that using vibrant and compelling photos is one of the most effective ways to share your organization’s mission and message. Through imagery and stories, your current and prospective supporters can learn about the value of your work and the impact that you’re having on peoples’ lives.

We also believe that, as members of the global nonprofit community, we all have an obligation to protect the integrity and the rights of children and vulnerable individuals, and to protect the intellectual property rights of photographers and reporters. For this reason, we would like to outline some guidelines for the use of photos and stories on GlobalGiving’s website.

Protecting the Integrity of Children and Vulnerable Communities

Whenever possible, GlobalGiving chooses to share images and stories that instill hope, optimism, and promise. Check out our email newsletters and our Facebook page for examples. We know from experience that our supporters respond well to impact. They want to know how our partners are already having a world-changing impact in communities around the world.

We are also determined to make sure that we are not playing a role in perpetuating any steryotypes or promoting a sense of pity that negative photographs and stories can sometimes portray.   We know that behind every photo is a person or a community that is deserving of respect and dignity.

We have borrowed from UNICEF’s Principles and Guidelines for Ethical Reporting on Children and Young People under 18 years old and Guidelines for journalists and media professionals from the International Federation of Journalists to create our suggested guidelines for using photos of children and vulnerable individuals:

1) Take extra precaution to protect the privacy of beneficiaries. Do not include the full name, especially last names, of a beneficiary in projects or reports. GlobalGiving will reject projects and reports that contain the last names of any beneficiaries.

Always change the name and obscure the identity of any child who is identified as:

  • A victim of sexual abuse or exploitation,
  • A perpetrator of physical or sexual abuse,
  • HIV positive, living with AIDS or has died from AIDS, unless the child, a parent or a guardian gives fully informed consent,
  • Charged or convicted of a crime.
  • A current or former child combatant,
  • An asylum seeker, a refugee or an internally displaced person.
  • Consider carefully the consequences of publication of any material concerning children or vulnerable adults.
  • When in doubt about whether an individual is at risk, report on the general situation rather than on an individual, no matter how newsworthy the story.

2) Do not publish a story or an image that might put the individual or peers at risk even when identities are changed, obscured or not used.

3) Explain the purpose of the photo and/or interview and its intended use to the individual. Use fair, open and straightforward methods for obtaining pictures and request consent of individual or a responsible adult, guardian or caregiver.

4) Do not further stigmatize any child or individual; avoid sensational stereotypes or categorizations that expose people to negative reprisals – including physical or psychological harm or discrimination or rejection by their local communities.

In addition to these suggested guidelines, GlobalGiving asks that you do not post photos on the website that portraysevere or extreme injuries, illness, emaciation, or death, nudity, or sexual activity. In some cases, these restrictions may apply to photos of animals as well.

Complying with Copyright Restrictions

According to GlobalGiving’s Terms and Conditions, which are signed and agreed upon by all of GlobalGiving’s partners during the due diligence process,  “GlobalGiving shares the copyright with you to the project content and other media (pictures, video, etc.) uploaded to and will attribute content used to your organization.”

It is your organization’s responsibility to ensure that you have the expressed permission from the photograph subject(s), photographer, and/or owner(s) to use the photo. Our assumption is that your organization has all of the relevant rights to any photos or stories that you upload to our website. We reserve the right to use any photos that are uploaded to our website for the purposes of promotion and fundraising, under the condition that those photos are properly credited to both your organization and GlobalGiving.

What does this mean? Your organization may not upload photographs from news outlets or other online sources without either purchasing the rights to the photo or otherwise obtaining permission from the photographer or copyright owner to use the photo.

GlobalGiving is committed to respecting the opinions and wishes of our partners. Should we have any questions or concerns about a photo that you have posted on GlobalGiving, we will contact you directly. GlobalGiving reserves the right to make final decisions about content on the website and to remove photos or stories that we deem inappropriate.

Questions? Feel free to contact us at

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