PhotoPhilanthropy inspires and connects photographers with non-profit organizations around the world to tell the stories that drive action for social change.

The organizational concept grew out of my own work with non-profits. As a photographer, I wanted better access to socially-driven organizations, and I was often willing to donate my skills to enhance the work that they were doing. I began by shooting in the Bay Area for non-profits that I was involved with through my kids and my community, then I began to seek opportunities to shoot in the field. After returning from a shoot with the International Rescue Committee (www.theirc.org) at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, I turned over my images but was still nagged by wanting to get their story out myself; I had been so impressed by the scope and complexity of the need that I had witnessed, and the effectiveness with which it was addressed. I began to look for more ways to help my non-profit clients tell their stories, and wondered if I could inspire other photographers to similarly engage in photography for social purpose. In May, 2009 I launched an organization that would strategically inspire, reward, and facilitate this action - PhotoPhilanthropy.

PhotoPhilanthropy has now completed its second year, and we are excited and inspired by the results of our Activist Awards which represent photo essays from 405 non-profit programs operating in 86 different countries, with photography that is powerful and evocative. Mostly, we are inspired by the generous nature of photographers to engage in the service of visual storytelling for organizations that work daily to better the lives of others in their community.

Our organization is founded on the shared passion for change among non-profits, photographers and engaged citizens. We fundamentally believe in the non-profit model, and that we can help drive capacity in this sector by engaging photographers to create high quality photography to inspire people in a variety of ways. We also believe in people’s interest in knowing more, in understanding better, in seeing the story, which can then lead to action and involvement. We believe we can make a difference by bringing these communities together for social change.

We are excited to be part of this new movement, existing as it does in a universe of evolving media use, changing roles for photographers, and funding challenges for non-profits. In this universe also lies compassion ignited by a powerful image, the human drive to connect with others in need, and the generous act of giving of our talents to effect social cause. This is our universe in 2011, and we intend to make a difference through our actions.

We encourage you to get involved with your camera, your intellect, and your support. Join our movement. Become a PhotoPhilanthropist!

Nancy Farese
January, 2011

Change the world, one photo at a time

Learn more at the website, www.photophilanthropy.org