We’re back with another set of pointers for Rally users, this time taking a look at how to use the best photo images for the Cover page of your Rally. (We’ll address video Covers in our next post.)
We call the main page of your Rally fundraising campaign a Cover because it works like the cover of a book or magazine: The cover entices you to pick it up, check out the table of contents or book summary, and decide if you want to buy it or put it back on the shelf.
In order to bring supporters for your Rally page, you need a compelling and attractive Cover image.
We’ll get to the technical requirements for your Cover photo in a moment. Let’s start with what types of photos help tell your Rally’s story and draw people to your crowdfunding campaign. Some of the most powerful images focus on the people benefitting from your Rally. You don’t need professional headshots or anything slick. A simple photo of the person’s face, in focus and taken with a digital camera, will do.
Regardless of whether your Rally is fundraising for something exciting, such as a high schooler’s study-abroad trip, or to help someone facing a serious illness or medical condition, always use an uplifting photo of that person. You want to inspire donors by showing the person at their best: strong, happy, looking to the future.
Check out the above snapshot of Tonya Hubbard, 38-year-old mother of three whose boss is rallying to help cover the cost of chemotherapy to treat her breast and ovarian cancer. Or the first picture in this post of Felicity Palma, a 29-year-old fighting breast cancer: The Cover page photos show both women smiling confidently at the camera.
Plenty of Rally campaigns are raising money for sports teams, academic groups, or families and include group photos on the Cover page. These are great, too, just be mindful that our donation box might cover up part of the group image. As with the Covers featuring a single person, a close-up group photo works best, like this image from the Olive Tree Yoga Foundation’s Rally page.
Avoid using a Cover photo comprised of text—for instance, slogans or descriptions of an organization that is fundraising on Rally. The words distract supporters when they’re reading your “Let’s rally for” Mad Lib. Photos of logos can work well if the logo is simple and bold; logos that are small and full of intricate details detract from your Rally message. We love the subtle use of text and logo on the Rally page for the Caritas homeless shelter.
When in doubt, the less text in your photo, the better.
For an environmental or nature-related Rally, find a landscape photo that shows a variety of details and terrain and, preferably, people in the environment enjoying its natural beauty. The young man in this Cover image (from a Rally for non-profits dedicated to sports and adventure therapy) more effectively draws you in. It also feels more personal and accessible than a far-off landscape picture because you are seeing, in real life, the individuals and lives benefitting from the Rally.
Photo Dimensions and Technical Specifications
A photo in a landscape format (wider than it is tall) works better than a portrait layout. The ideal image size (or pixel dimensions) is 1300 x 1000 or 900 x 600, both in landscape format. The larger the size of the image, the better the resolution will be, giving your Cover page the best-quality graphic possible. Avoid thumbnail-size photos at all costs.
If you really want to get technical about the image quality of your Cover, aim for a DPI (dots/pixels per image) quality of 72 to 150 DPI.
You’ve heard the expression about how good artists borrow great ideas from others. The same applies to your Cover image. Check out stock-photo sites to see how the professionals frame and shoot pictures. If you own a smartphone or cellphone with a built-in camera, or a point-and-shoot digital camera, it’s easy to practice taking multiple photos of your subject until you get just the image you’re looking for.
You can find and use photos that have a Creative Commons license—this is a series of free and simple licenses that allow photographers to set conditions for how other people can share and use their work—at search.creativecommons.org.
Keep an eye out for our next post, about using video on your Rally page.