A Picture is Worth (at Least) 1000 Words


A Picture is Worth (at Least) a 1,000 Words

                     See? You looked! Sponchia @ Pixabay.com

Happy pre-Fourth-of-July everybody! My guess is – in addition to reading the Constitution – you just might be gathering with friends and loved ones for a cookout tomorrow. I’m going to a fab neighborhood bash that’s been happening for so many years that we’ve lost count. And what better time to take pictures than when people are happy and having fun? With the advent of iphones, it’s never been easier. It’s no surprise that your newsletters, appeals, thank yous can be made even stronger by using photos. The science behind that claim is fascinating. Read on in this reprint…
Monday through Friday, I look forward to going to my in box and getting [the now sadly defunct] “Katya’s Non-Profit Marketing Blog.”  Yesterday, her article alerted me to a study affirming something I already knew: pictures make a difference. I love it when science backs my intuition. 
Roger Dooley from Neuromarketing describes a series of studies done in New Zealand showing that a photograph accompanying a story, even if it is untrue (for example, stating a celebrity was dead – even though the celebrity was really still very much alive), is perceived as being true because of the photo. He called it a “truth bias” associated with an image. 
In another experiment, researchers made the claim “Giraffes are the only mammals that cannot jump,” accompanied by a photo of a standing giraffe. Once again, people said the claim was “true” even though, if you give it much thought – you might assume that an elephant, rhino, or hippo aren’t exactly built to jump either. In fact, giraffes are technically capable of jumping…but not very high or well as seen in this pretty entertaining 40-second video.
In no way should you mislead your congregation by throwing in any old photo for the sake of a visual. 

However, a photograph can enhance your message and give it greater credibility. And the best ones? The ones with the most integrity? Not stock photos of “perfect people” but photos of real people in your congregation. 
Remember: Whenever you send a thank you letter, or do an update in your quarterly giving statement, or run your fall finance campaign…a picture – not of a giraffe – but of a person who people recognize and respect, will speak more than a 1,000 words.
Originally published November 7, 2012.

Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past fifteen years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She can hardly wait to get a piece of that red-white-and-blue Jello flag-shaped dessert at the potluck. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. She is available to consult with churches. You can reach her at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity or at CesieScheuermann.com.


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Cesie Delve Scheuermann
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.