The story behind the photos

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Press Christmas for All is now in full swing. Donations large and small are coming in, fueled by compassionate neighbors with generous hearts.

But what about those photos?

We’re referring to the photos that sometimes accompany Press Christmas for All stories about some of the individuals and families who will benefit from your kindness this Christmas. The group shots of businesspeople, clubs and other organizations that are giving hefty sums to help reach the $175,000 goal. What about them?

The photos might not be what you think.

The vast majority of those pictured have to be persuaded to pose for a shot. Many would prefer to give anonymously, but whenever possible, Press Christmas for All volunteers try to talk them into sharing their smiling faces with many thousands in the community.

Here’s why:

Photos attract attention. Stories are fine, but they consist of gray hunks of text. Photos, especially featuring someone you might know, are a magnet to eyeballs. And as Press Christmas for All organizers have long known, donations often follow eyeballs.

The deal is this: Whenever the program receives a contribution of $500 or more, the donors “qualify” for a photo in the newspaper. But what that really means is that by allowing their photo to be taken and published, they’re actually encouraging others to donate. It’s a proven strategy that leads to more fundraising goals being attained and misses being rarer.

So please, don’t think for one minute that these generous people are out for publicity. They’re being persuaded to pose for newspaper photos so that others might be encouraged to give.

Now then, what about you? If your company, club, church group or other collective can donate $500 or more to Press Christmas for All, we’d love to share that image with readers.

It’s an act of benevolence, not selfishness.

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