Nonprofit and drone are generally not terms you’d find yourself talking about in the same setting. Nonprofits generate images of philanthropists, charities, and like-minded big vision people volunteering their time and talents to enact positive change for a cause or group of people. And drones evoke a pretty different picture.

The fact is that drones are being used in all kinds of businesses, and they can help your nonprofit as well. Most importantly, you can probably hire a talented drone enthusiast for a very small charge—for instance, the fee for their drone registration—or barter with them to trade services.

How could a drone help your nonprofit?

 

Connect With Donors:

Nonprofit organizations rely heavily on the support of donors, supporters and volunteers. Drones can capture beautiful pictures and video footage that will help your organization create professional cards, brochures, websites and even commercials. A professional image can set your nonprofit apart when it comes to the intense competition for media attention, funding, recognition and other resources.

Show Your Vision:

Virtual tours via exquisite drone footage are a great way to connect people with your organization’s vision. When people can see and feel like they know more about who you are, where you’re located, and how you’re serving the community, they are more likely to get involved. Promoting these videos via your website and social channels is a relatively inexpensive way to advertise as well.

Promote Your Events:

Most non-profits host fundraising events. Whether your organization sponsors a golf outing, fashion show, 5k, or a Texas Hold ‘em Tournament, drones can capture beautiful and engaging pictures and video of your event from a bird’s eye view. And because they are impersonal—not a photographer holding a camera—people are more likely to either ignore them and act naturally or even wave and smile. This footage is priceless to get people excited about and engaged with your event.

Register Your Drone:

Whether you or someone else is flying the drone make sure to fly in accordance with the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Public Law 112-95 Section 336)–fly within visual line-of-sight, give way to manned aircraft, provide prior notification to the airport and air traffic control tower, if one is present, when flying within 5 miles of an airport, and register your drone with the FAA. Also, it’s best to be sure to fly in accordance with the FAA’s Small UAS Rule (Part 107), which means whoever is flying the drone holds a remote pilot certificate or is under the direct supervision of someone who does.