Sharing Your Non-Profit’s Pictures Online: Picasa or Flickr

Once you have your website, your Facebook page, and possibly a YouTube channel set up, it’s time to get some photos of your work and your organization online.

When it comes to photo sharing online, there are too many options and sites to list.  I am only going to focus on Picasa, by Google, and Flickr, by Yahoo.  I am not suggesting that these sites are better or worse than any other offerings, just that they are the most frequently used services, which means there are more ways to use and share your photos.

Of the two services, Flickr is the most social.  By social, I mean that people generally discuss and share their photos more frequently on Flickr versus Picasa.  To begin, register for a Yahoo.com account and head over to Flickr.com to begin using your account.  Once you’re registered for an account, you might want to download the Flickr uploading tool, which will make easy work of adding your photos to the site.  You can also add photos using your secret email address, available here, once you register.

Once you get a few photos online, you will want to learn a bit more about the functions and features of Flickr.  I highly recommend this tutorial from CNet for the beginner.  For a more advanced view, check out this Lifehacker.com article.

You can find many Flickr plugins for your blog or website.  A quick search on WordPress reveals over a hundred plugins for Flickr.  These plugins generally allow you to easily insert photos from your account into webpages and blog posts.  Although Flickr has many of users and is an excellent service, I have trouble recommending it to nonprofit users.  Flickr only allows you to upload 100MB of photos per month and limits the image size to 10MB.  For many users, this might be enough, but if you want to exceed these limits, you will have to pay $24.95 per year for a Flickr Pro account.

Because it lacks these restrictions, I recommend Picasa for most nonprofits.  Picasa provides 1GB of storage space and allows files up to 20MB each.

To use Picasa, you simply need to head over to the site and use, or create, a Google Account to log in.  Once logged in, you can access Picasa Web Albums, or download Picasa 3, a desktop program that will organize, edit, and upload your photos.  Picasa 3 is the simplest way to add photos.  Once you install the program, you can have Picasa automatically detect and import all the photos on your computer.  You can also select the pictures you would like to upload and organize them into albums.

I recommend taking each of the services for a test drive.  Since both are free, you don’t have anything to lose but an hour or so registering and uploading a few photos.

At the end of the day, Picasa is not quite as social or quite as flashy as Flickr.  But, to me, functionality always wins.  Picasa provides more storage space, a more straightforward interface, and a pretty useful photo organizer and editor.  I am also pretty partial to the kPicasa Gallery plugin for WordPress.  This plugin makes adding your photos to your blog or webpage very simple.  Picasa gets my recommendation, but please feel free to send me any comments or suggestions if you disagree.

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Comments

  1. Well I really think it is a bad idea to even suggest Flickr at all since there is only one way an organization can use flickr and it is through the Flickr for Good system, anything else immediately violates terms of use and can cause their account to be closed and deleted with no notice.

    Flickr for Good allows organizations to get a few flickr accounts, except you are still bound that the accounts are not for the organization, they belong to the individual they are assigned to. It states you have to assign the account to a member of your staff and they have to be the ones to upload the images to their login account, from there if they leave the organization the account goes with them. This means if your webmaster or whoever is doing the Flickr work leaves you loose that account and everything on it, if you transfer it you violate the terms of use, and this still have the account closed and loose everything.

    So what happens to all of the contacts, friends, contributions to groups and messages you send in Flickr after this. Well simply they are all gone.

    I feel like this is poor solution by Flickr when they close on a regular basis the accounts of other non-profits like churches, relief organizations, hospitals on a daily basis all of whom had no issues paying the $24.95 for the Pro account.

    Why not just allow them to register as a group, make an addendum to the terms of use keeping non-commercial use but allowing groups to use the portal as well. That would have been simpler and kept the same financial structure.

    In the end I completely suggest Picasa as the solution for non-Profits, and any other organization or group.

  2. Matt,

    Thanks for the comment. This is the first I’ve heard of this problem with Flickr. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  3. thank you for your analysis! I am creating some websites for some nonprofits, and was investigating the best option for uploading photos and keeping event archives. Strangely enough… I am using the thesis wordpress theme (i have the dev license) for these websites too!

  4. Debbie Taggart says:

    I’m trying to create a Picasa album for my Rotary Club, so we can all upload and share photos of Rotary events and activities. However, when trying to create an account, I’m told I must be an individual and not an organization. We change officers each year, so I don’t want it in my name, either! How is this handled? (I’m having the same issue with YouTube, too. Am I missing something?)

  5. Debbie,
    Sorry for the late response. I think the best option is to sign up as an individual, but using a generic name, like SeaIslandRotary@gmail.com or something similar. If you need to use a name, you can always use something like Rotary as the first name and President as the second. Worth a try.

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