How To Succeed In Our 2019 Photo Contest: Top Tips From 2018 Winners

How To Succeed In Our 2019 Photo Contest: Top Tips From 2018 Winners

With the right image, you have the power to communicate your organization’s mission to donors in a compelling way. GlobalGiving’s annual Photo Contest gives our nonprofit partners a platform to show off your best shots, spread awareness, and gain new donors! To get you started, here are a few helpful tips from three top finishers in the 2018 Photo Contest:

Anjali Mittal – International Association for Human Values

DO use an image that you created yourself. 

“If you are considering entering the Photo Contest, you have probably been an avid photography hobbyist for some time and have your own personally created library of images. Draw on these images to find inspiration for your non-profit. The same things that inspire you are likely to be reflected in or have motivated your non-profit in some way. Once you find the connection that speaks to you, it will speak to others who may be moved to contribute to your non-profit.”

DON’T use stock images. 

“First, there might be copyright issues. Second, if the images are in the public domain, they may have been used in different contexts, been seen before, and present a diluted or mixed message tainted by their other uses. Third and most importantly, since you did not take the photos yourself, they do not come from your personal inspiration, and are therefore less likely to inspire others to your cause.”

Ranjini Victor – Bangalore Baptist Hospital Society 

We believe stories and photographs are the best tools for any nonprofit to get visibility. At Bangalore Baptist Hospital, we invest our time in collecting stories and relevant photographs. Fortunately, this investment has worked well for us.  Our photo library has a stock of meaningful, purposeful and inspiring photographs that tell the story of what we do and the impact we create. 

While all of you are busy getting the best shot for the next GlobalGiving Photo Contest, here are a few tips that have worked well for us. 


– Capture positive emotions 

– Take photos of people in their natural setting

– Keep it candid – the best photographs captured are the ones when the object is not posing and doing something else.

– Get closer to your object to showcase emotions and expressions

– Take extra shots – you can select the best shot later

– Get technical tips online for use of light and how to get the best of cameras


– Take photos that will tap into negative emotions

– Force your beneficiaries to pose—it will not give you the best results

Alejandra Abilahoud – Fundación Madre Maria Luisa Casar

DO plan ahead.

“Before the campaign starts, we recommend you to sit down with 2-3 people from the organization and draft a plan. An organized plan makes the campaign or contest easy to follow and to adapt if necessary. For the GlobalGiving Photo Contest, my team developed a day-by-day plan.”

DON’T ask for donations. 

“The photo contest is an excellent opportunity to make your project/foundation more visible without asking for money. You will be able to engage a larger audience if you are only asking for votes. During the contest, you will be able to connect your project/foundation with potential new donors, to stay present with your current donors and to reach a lot of people that will be able to vote for your photo. It’s a very simple way to help your special work. The voters are potential supporters of your project/foundation: donors, volunteers, advocates… so don’t forget to be thankful.” 

To celebrate the Photo Contest’s 10th anniversary, we’re offering more chances than ever before to win prizes including $1,000 towards your project, social media promotion, and time on GlobalGiving’s homepage. Tune in to our live webinar on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, (watch recording) and enter today!

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