Posted by Pamela Kilzer

If your nonprofit organization has examined the world of meme marketing, then you've probably encountered the meme's crazy cousin: the animated GIF. GIFs have dominated the world of online memes for some time, and marketers—and nonprofits—have started picking up on it.

A GIF shows a series of still image frames which have been coded into a single file. The argument over pronouncing it GIF (hard G) or JIF (soft G) has gone on for awhile, but for our purposes we're going to do things the right way, and say GIF with a hard G.

So how can your nonprofit organization use this medium to promote your cause? Today we're going to take a look at how your NPO can get groovy with GIFs.

Where did the GIF come from?

The animated GIF has actually been around for some time. It was first introduced by Steve Wilhite of CompuServe in 1987 as a way to present a moving image. GIF stands for graphics interchange format. During the 2000s, the animated GIF lost some popularity, but then made a comeback as people realized how they could feature them in unique and interesting ways. Twenty-nine years later, the GIF remains relevant and growing.

Why should my NPO consider using GIFs?

There are lots of ways your NPO can implement GIFs—from personal blogs, to social networking platforms, to even presentations and productions. If you’re not sure if your nonprofit organization should implement a GIFs marketing strategy, check out some of these benefits animated GIFs can offer:

How can I get started?

Fortunately, GIFs are pretty easy to make on your own. All you need is a series of still images (frames) which can be compiled together. These can be photographs your NPO takes, clip art or files created in Photoshop. Make sure you know what set of images you will be using and how, together, they will convey your message. Once you’re ready to go, there are a couple of online tools that can compile it all for you: MakeAGif, Giphy, Imgflip and EZ Gif to name a few.

If your nonprofit wants to boost your marketing efforts and demonstrate your cause, GIFs are a great step to take. Whether you say GIF or JIF (we won’t judge), these eye-catching, quick-moving images will show your brand’s fun side, and boost your volunteer hours and donation dollars.

Before you know it, you’ll have something like this:



Want to learn more about how to market your nonprofit organization through technology? Firespring is here to help! We offer useful webinars, materials and seminars on how your NPO can market itself to further its cause. Learn more by giving us a call at 877.447.8941 or email