Innovation In Giving

Photofoundation is a social enterprise which enables people to give to charities by donating their best photos to an image bank. Charities can use the images for free, for their websites or marketing campaigns.

Great imagery carries a hefty price tag in the commercial sector. Photofoundation allows the public to support charities by giving photography, rather than donating their hard-earned cash, which charities can use for communications. Partner charities get free access to great images, plus a share of the profits from commercial sales, while buyers get to give something back, happy in the knowledge that their purchase has helped a good cause.

Created by Miura, a design consultancy which builds digital networks and communities, Photofoundation’s vision is to create ‘a new way of giving’, through an open platform where users can contribute to the causes they care most about, with their photos and time.

Javier Garcia, founder of Photofoundation and CEO of Miura, says: “The global value of the commercial photography rights management stock imagery market this year alone accounts for £1.5-3bn. There are seven billion photos in Flickr, and five million images are uploaded to Instagram every day. Photofoundation has created a marketplace where these dormant assets can be put to good use.”

Launched in March 2011, in its first four weeks Photofoundation received donations of more than 188,000 images. It is currently working with seven charity partners: Samaritans, Youthnet, BeatBullying, Guide Dogs for the Blind, CoppaFeel, Groundworks UK, and RICC (Research into Childhood Cancer), with a further 29 charities waiting to join.

Over the next year, the organisation will invest in the platform to further increase giving, through the launch of a mobile application to boost donations via mobile devices, by ‘socialising’ the platform to allow contributors to follow each other (and the charities they care about), and more.

The award

Photofoundation has been awarded £50,000 to help fund the organisation’s expansion plans. This includes:

-Developing and launching the mobile app.
-Building the platform’s social features.
-Launching a user-assisted tagging facility to help make photos more discoverable through adequate image descriptions.
-Working with the third sector to find innovative new ways for the platform to support UK charities and deliver public benefit.


Javier Garcia, founder

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