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Every picture should tell a powerful story

By Herald Express  |  Posted: August 22, 2013

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WHEN I'm talking with representatives from the Bay's many voluntary and charity groups, two concerns that recur are the need for still more volunteers and concrete support and advice for fundraising, in particular in these difficult times where donations to charities across the UK have dropped significantly.

Some recent practical suggestions on fundraising website promotion from Vicky Reeves, managing director and founder of Chameleon, a London-based team of digital experts, include the reminder that well chosen web images are enormously important as part of any successful campaign: a potent image they can engage readers' attention, illustrate and enhance key points, present information memorably and, of course, break up what she calls 'the monotony of text'.

Vicky's tips for maximising the impact of website promotion – and they seem to me to apply equally to posters and leaflets – include 'keeping it real' by, for example, using photos of the people a charity or voluntary group reaches, showing people in authentic situations to demonstrate the impact its work can have.

Being specific is vital, too, as research suggests that people donate more readily when they receive information about a particular individual they can relate to, rather than about a more amorphous group. It's easier for people to empathise with an image that explains how a person became homeless, say, than simply a stereotyping one of a homeless person.

If a campaign needs funds to fight poverty, for example, dramatically negative imagery will encourage the viewer to respond, but imagery that prompts merely sympathy won't apparently work for long-term giving.

An emergency appeal can show a worried girl in a distressing situation, but a successful long-term giving strategy might much more effectively show the same girl safe and well – thanks to the charity. Again it's the impact of a picture telling a story.

The crucial advice from Chameleon is to plan, capture and share visual records of a charity or voluntary group's activities, always finding ways to ensure that chosen images project 'its personality, purpose and vision'.

Of course, for focused and specific information on and support for fundraising, voluntary and charity groups – however large or small – can always contact our funding manager at Torbay CDT, robin@cvatorbay.org.uk, or call us on 01803 212638.

AS PART of Art on the English Riviera's busy programme, Collective Spirit, a beautifully crafted sailing boat constructed out of people's wooden memorabilia is visiting Torbay from the South East following a successful bid by Torbay Council to Arts Council England.

Having visited Brixham and Paignton, on its last stop before heading to the exhibition in the Spanish Barn, Collective Spirit will be spending the bank holiday weekend on Torquay Harbourside (Beacon Quay) where the crew will be on hand for boatside talks, while, they tell us, 'the musical shenanigans continue'.

It's also, of course, Regatta Weekend so do go along and join in the fun – daily from 10-4.

For more, visit www.doorsteparts.co.uk

MAKE Music Now and Songstress, two new music projects for young people aged from 12 upwards in Torbay and funded by Youth Music, are offering a mix of weekly workshops, events and gigs run by what they tell us is 'a crack team' of eight music leaders from Future Shores.

The projects are all about exploring and building on the positive impact music-making has on young people's lives, and how they can all 'embrace youth culture to make projects relevant and get young people involved in really planning the delivery they want.'

To celebrate, and to explain to the Bay what the projects are all about, they are staging a Launch Party at Parkfield all day on August 31 from 12pm. You can, they say, expect to see some of the best bands around, hear some amazing beats and even have a go yourself at creating some killer tunes. The best thing is you get to tell the project deliverers what music you're into and how you want music making in Torbay to look in the future.

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