How America’s Leading Arts Nonprofit Is Using Infographics to Promote Its Cause

Nayomi Chibana

Written by:
Nayomi Chibana

Oct 10, 2016

Why Nonprofits Need Infographics

Whether combating hunger or protecting human rights, nonprofits across the world deserve at least as much attention as the latest bit of celebrity gossip or the most recent Twitter war between political candidates.

If you have a cause that you are dedicated to and strongly believe in, you might also want to start a nonprofit to raise awareness of your cause. But many nonprofits have reams of data trapped in long and unengaging reports that often struggle to attract the attention of the general public.

One way nonprofits can cut through the overwhelming amount of noise online is to empower their messages through data storytelling.

Just take a look at how the ALS Association is using infographics to show the world they’re making a difference:

als ice bucket nonprofit infographics

Or how the United Nations Peacekeeping is using data storytelling to raise awareness of different causes:

united-nations nonprofit infographics

Data storytelling is one of the skills of the future. And nonprofits have the world to gain when it comes to translating complex information into bite-sized, digestible pieces of information that instantly attract the viewer’s gaze.

It can mean the difference between remaining an unknown organization and one that earns massive online exposure, right up there with the Kim Kardashians and Justin Biebers of the Internet.

But this is not just a popularity contest; in the end, it’s really about educating more people, saving more lives, feeding more mouths, and so many other worthy causes.

nonprofits infographics communication


How Americans for the Arts Is Doing It Right

americans-for-the-arts nonprofit infographics

One good example of an organization that is using visual content to give wings to its message is Americans for the Arts, based in Washington D.C.

As the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, it is using everything at its disposal to make the arts accessible to all people, from lobbying congress to teaching local arts agencies how to do grassroots advocacy to get funding for their cause.

For example, in order to attractively display the results of a public opinion poll on Americans perceptions and attitudes about the arts, they created a series of engaging visual reports:

projects nonprofit infographics

Kimberly Hedges, Vice President of Web and Technology Strategies at Americans for the Arts, used the online infographic tool Visme to create these reports herself, without the help of a designer.

profile-header nonprofit infographics

“We wanted to present the public with sort of snacks or little tidbits of information so they could easily say ‘Oh, people are experiencing art in unusual places; they see art in the airport, they see art in the park, arts are everywhere.’

So by giving them that little piece of data in the form of a graphic, it became really easy for people to understand the public opinion polls results and to use those results in their efforts to make a case for the value of the arts.”

If you would like to see for yourself how she uses the tool to visualize data, you can also watch the complete video version of our interview with Kimberly below:


Video: Why Nonprofits Need Infographics


The Rise of the DIY Infographic Designer

nonprofit infographics visme

Kimberly is a perfect example of a communicator who hasn’t limited herself to the spoken or written word to get her message across.

She’s experimented with several infographic tools and found Visme to be the most versatile and easy to learn, allowing her to completely customize her design by applying a different color scheme, inserting her own logo and changing the look of any element.

change-colors nonprofit infographics

But she wasn’t always sold on the idea of creating her own designs.

At first, she and her colleagues were torn between two options: Hire an agency and pay thousands of dollars or use a DIY tool to create your own professional-looking infographics.

But when she decided to take the plunge into visual content creation, she was pleasantly surprised by the results achieved--and at a very reasonable cost.

“If I had asked a graphic designer to do those graphics for me, it would have cost us quite a lot because in the end I created 20 to 30 of them; it was a large number of infographics. I was able to jump right in and actually start making things that were relevant to our members and our stakeholders. And we’ve seen an increased number of people visiting the website and more people sharing information than we have in the past.”


Visualize Data the Easy Way

Did you know that the 62 wealthiest people on Earth own as much money as the poorest 50% of the world population? Or that in the last 25 years, the rate of childhood death was cut in half?

Revealing statistics like these have the power to quickly shift people’s preconceptions on the spot. Now, imagine how much more impactful they can be when visualized in an attractive manner.

widgets2 nonprofit infographics

Kimberly from Americans for the Arts, for example, uses Visme’s infograph widgets to easily do this within a few minutes.

“There are so many little widgets that just make a data point really easy to illustrate: There are counters, thermometers, there are scales of people. It was really easy to decide which data graphic would best illustrate my information, and I could just drag and drop that onto the template and then customize it for my needs.”


Nonprofits Spread the Word

Considering the power that factual statistics can have on audiences, nonprofits most certainly have a lot to gain from visualizing their valuable research and data.

online-giving nonprofit infographics

This is why Kimberly is a firm believer in democratizing infographic design so that other nonprofits can spread their messages and get their voices heard.

“I think Visme would be a great tool for other nonprofits because as nonprofits we’re experts in our field, so we have a lot of knowledge and information to share, but it’s not always easy to share.

Using a tool like Visme that’s so graphic and so accessible is a really great way to break down the really important information that you have to share with the general public and your own industry to help promote your mission and your cause.”


Your Turn

In the end, the impact of any organization depends on how many people are aware of its existence.

If no one knows who you are and what you do, then chances are you are probably losing out to the endless stream of Internet memes, GIFs and viral cooking videos.

But if you use all the resources available to you, then you can also create meaningful visual content that cuts through the muddy Internet waters and gets your voice heard--sometimes even overnight.

Described as affordable, user friendly and shareable by Kimberly, Visme is a viable alternative for those who want to create their own visual messages. You can try it for free here.

And since Visme actively supports nonprofit causes, those looking for immediate access to all Premium infographic templates and features can also apply for a 25% discount here.

quote-b nonprofit infographics

If you have any questions on how you can use infographics to empower your communication, drop us a line in the comments section below, and we’ll get back to you.

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    About the Author

    Nayomi Chibana is a journalist and writer for Visme’s Visual Learning Center. Besides researching trends in visual communication and next-generation storytelling, she’s passionate about data-driven content.

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