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Social media is a very powerful tool for charities and NGOs as people naturally like to share their support for good causes.

It’s also an easy way for supporters to share fundraising initiatives and raise extra money.

We’ve previously blogged about five charities with excellent Twitter feeds as well as our own tips for how these organisations can improve their social presence, and now I thought it would be useful to highlight the ways in which charities are making the most of Twitter’s new header images.

There appears to be a trend among charitable organisations and NGOs to use the header as a way of promoting various causes and campaigns, which leads to the images becoming clogged up with text and phone numbers.

Personally I’m dubious that many people are going to spend time reading an appeal within the header image, so it’s perhaps better to opt for an impactful visual instead. A picture is worth 1,000 words after all. 

So with that in mind, here are 10 examples of charities and NGOs with inspirational header images...

UN Development

The UN has opted for a collage of three vibrant images that depict different cultures around the world.

The colours are incredibly bright, particularly the red of the fishing net and the blue sky in the middle shot, so it immediately puts the viewer in a good mood.

This is the type of header image that could be copied by most NGOs or charities that have a presence in foreign countries.

WaterAid

WaterAid’s header image uses text front and centre to promote its new #ToBeAGirl campaign, alongside an image of a young girl carrying water.

As the text is concise it’s a good way of drawing attention to the campaign, though for added impact it might have been a good idea to pin a similar tweet to the top of its feed so that users can easily click on the hashtag.

Amnesty UK

Charities rely on public support and the header image is a simple way of saying thanks and celebrating the hard work that goes on.

Amnesty’s image is both a striking visual and a way of highlighting its supporters rather than just the causes that it’s involved in. 

Bletchley Park

The enigma code breakers at WW2’s Bletchley Park have come up trumps with this header image.

I do feel it would be improved slightly if there was more of a contrast between the blue background and the black symbols.

Dogs Trust

A simple header image that makes great use of negative space and contrasts neatly with the bright yellow avatar. Bravo to the Dogs Trust.

Greenpeace

Greenpeace is probably best known for its boats that roam the seas causing problems for whalers, oilers and other dodgy characters.

This header image showcases one of the iconic boats, though I feel it would have been more impactful if taken from afar with a panoramic shot of the sea.

RSPB

The RSPB’s image is almost perfect, though it’s unfortunately a bit blurry.

Still, I like that it hasn’t gone down the obvious route of having a flock of birds as its header.

Fairtrade Foundation

Fairtrade Foundation has opted for a colourful image of a woman who symbolises the type of people the charity helps in developing nations. 

It’s a simple, eye-catching image that manages to convey what Fairtrade stands for without relying on loads of text.

CPRE

The Campaign to Protect Rural England has chosen a glorious image of the countryside that is enough to bring a tear to the eye of any Englishman and send Nigel Farage into raptures.

However, it does need to sort out its blurry avatar.

Macmillan Cancer

Cancer charities face a difficult task in social, as it’s impossible to creative a positive, inclusive tone of voice if you constantly focus on the horrors of the disease itself.

To this end, Macmillan has opted for an image of its supporters setting off to take part in some unknown event. It successfully portrays a sense of unity and positivity that encourages Twitter users to get involved.

David Moth

Published 17 June, 2014 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1678 more posts from this author

Comments (3)

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Lauren Barham

Hi David, thanks for this post, it's really interesting to see the different directions these charities have chosen in making the most of Twitter’s new header images! I think they are all effective in their own unique ways and it just goes to show the power of social media and that these images can have a great impact on viewers and of course benefit the charities. Personally I do like the use of images relating to the charity supporters as it is nice to acknowledge them in this way as they are going to also be part of the charities social media following and therefore see and read their tweets. I work for a marketing recruitment agency and we have recently changed our Twitter header to let our Twitter followers know about our new app, as they will of course be able to benefit from using it so we thought it would be a fun, effective way to inform them! Kind regards, Lauren

about 2 years ago

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Joe

Thanks for the mention and the tip - something we'd overlooked but now corrected!

Joe Downie, WaterAid Social Media Manager

ps. Pedantic point: we're 'WaterAid' not 'Wateraid' (always "on brand", me!)

about 2 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

@Joe, apologies, have changed that. We suffer a similar problem with random spellings of Econsultancy, E-consultancy and eConsultancy!

about 2 years ago

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