Community Thread





"Flickr is the perfect solution. There are lots of ways to show appreciation for volunteers, and pictures say 'you were here and here's the proof.' Its a thank-you."

— Mary Webber, associate director 



Community Thread Keeps a Small Town Feel Through Photographs

Seniors snowshoeing. Teens painting porches. Volunteers giving rides to medical appointments. These were the images that Community Thread, the Minnesota nonprofit that connects people through service, wanted to share. But Community Thread kept running out of room. Photos overflowed its computers and server, racking up extra fees, forcing the staff to delete images and save them elsewhere, and making the search for photos to use in outreach materials difficult. 

Associate director Mary Webber, who is always on the lookout for new ways to help her nonprofit improve its services and save money, relies on TechSoup.org for technology donations and free expert advice. She was thrilled when she learned about the Flickr Donation Program. With the help of Flickr, Community Thread staff and volunteers are taking more photos than ever before. Thanks to Flickr, they are able to help volunteers and clients feel connected, give printed images as gifts of appreciation, and document special events and the organization's work. "We use photos more freely now," says Webber.

Flickr's functionality, like the ability to tag and organize photos into sets, has been an invaluable tool for the organization. In the past when Webber put together the annual report, each staff member would send an email filled with attachments, and she'd have to open each file. Now she can pick and choose, which has really streamlined the process.

Founded in 1967 and located in Minnesota's oldest city in the St. Croix River Valley, Community Thread aims to build small-town connections. And now thanks to Flickr, it is able to do just that. Community Thread displays its photos throughout the building, sometimes within hours or days of an event. The photos help achieve the organization's mission by making volunteers feel welcome and cared about.