If yours is like most non-profits, you have a plethora of data that can help persuade people to donate—secondarily to the story you tell. While the sheer weight of these metrics might be compelling, the quickest and most impactful way to convey it to people is through imagery.
How Your Visitors Digest Information
Our attention spans are an increasingly scarce and coveted commodity. People don’t wait long for your page to load and once it does, if they’re still around, it had better deliver fast.
In general, people don’t so much read web content as skim it. People tend to scan. Your nonprofit’s visitors and donors are no different.
You need to get their attention fast and hold it. A quality infographic will perform both of these tasks.
People process visual information very quickly. An image can create an instant emotional response. Not only can it grab information, but it can provide the impetus for someone to donate.
Infographics Make Facts Simpler to Understand
You don’t want to exclude anyone from donating to your non-profit because they don’t understand what you’re saying. Data visualization is one of the simplest ways of conveying information. An image can explain what your organization does, why it does this, and how people can help.
The Difference Between an Infographic and Data Visualization
Some people use the terms infographic and data visualization interchangeably. I think it’s helpful to identify the difference between the two.
A data visualization takes complex data and displays it as a graphic, such as a chart or map. Anyone viewing this can then get deeper insight into trends or patterns.
Check out this great example powered by Google Trends. Google tracked flights flying to, from, and across the US the day before Thanksgiving 2015. By watching the visualization, viewers can see the popularity of international and domestic flights at different times of day, as well as which hubs are the busiest.
This historical data visualization takes data from Wikipedia and presents it in a way that is easy to absorb. It becomes useful in terms of the comparisons and the perspective it provides.
An infographic, on the other hand, combines text and other tactics with data visualizations. The purpose is to communicate a concept, make a point, or tell a story.
Check out this infographic depicting the daily routines of creative people. The data is labeled and color-coded to convey information to viewers quickly and in an engaging way. Quotes from the creators provide additional depth, as does the text that appears when hovering a mouse over any colored area.
Data Visualization Tools
Data visualizations can be stunning and very effective at helping visitors decide whether they wish to engage with your non-profit. They look professional, but you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create a valuable data visualization that converts.
Infogr.am, for example, is a free, online, data visualization tool. Use it to upload your data and turn it into interactive charts and tables that you will then be able to embed on your website.
You can sign in with Facebook or Twitter, so getting started takes seconds and you’ll be greeted by a simple user interface. This tool will help you turn your ideas into professional-looking charts. There are also templates that you can use to display these data visualizations as part of an infographic.
Tableau Public – If you prefer to work using desktop-based data visualization software, try Tableau Public. Many large organizations use this to create their data visualizations. A free web-based version is also available.
Infographic Creation Tools
Easel.ly – If you are still wondering how so many infographics on the web look so good, know that many creators will be using free web-based apps like this one to create their sophisticated-looking graphics. Easel.ly allows users to start with a pre-existing themes or start from scratch. Take a look at its 24 background choices, ten libraries of objects/icons, and 19 fonts.
Venngage – Like Easel.ly, Venngage providers users with templates to use as a starting point, or they can start from a blank page. It’s not as comprehensive as Easel.ly, but you will be able to choose from several chart types, embed the image on a blog or website, or download it as an image.
A 14-day free trial will allow you to see just how easy it is to use and explore what infographics can do for your website’s conversion rate.
How to Use Data Visualization
You can use data visualization to support an argument or to express the need for your non-profit organization. Data viz can also effectively demonstrating that a non-profit is accountable and transparent, showing your donors and other visitors exactly where the money goes.
Data Visualizations Increase Sharing
Not only do data visualizations make an impact, but they are very shareable. When your visitors are sharing your content with their networks, this can lead to significant increases in your web traffic and donations received.
In this fast-paced world, people love data visualizations to absorb and share information quickly and easily. When you are creating these visual representations, be sure to consider the point of what you are doing. Don’t create pretty images for the sake of aesthetic.
With compelling, accurate, well-researched data as the underpinning to a great story, you can use data visualization to turn more of your visitors into donors and subscribers.