PictureHealing’s Huge Social Entrepreneurship Pivot

logo_finalBusy, understaffed, underfunded, and trying to find ways to take your organization to the next level. Does this sound familiar? For many nonprofits it does. That’s where LA startup PictureHealing comes into play. PictureHealing believes that technology, including a mobile app, is a powerful way to connect your nonprofit and its supporters.
PictureHealing focuses on two things:
  1. Providing nonprofit teams with technology solutions to help them reach their goals without having to spend much time or money.
  2. Giving supporters of the nonprofit the ability to be inspired and involved.
Communicating with your nonprofit supporters through their mobile devices has never been easier. Recently, PictureHealing has pivoted to a DIY app builder for not-for-profits. Not only that, but the startup is looking to change the name of the company as well. I was able to chat with the founder of PictureHealing, Chris Brereton, more about this pivot and find out what he believes this means for the social entrepreneurship space.

Chris Brereton

What was PictureHealing originally and how has your startup pivoted?

PictureHealing started as a photo sharing app, and it launched around the same time as Instagram. Originally, the startup was all about raising money for your favorite nonprofits. The more you shared photos, the more PictureHealing gave money to the nonprofits for ad revenue (CSR campaigns). The startup ran photo sharing contests to donate money to a nonprofit of their choice or get backstage passes to tours. Although these were appealing and sexy campaigns, the business development was costly. Lots of time went by before they collected money.

Chris and his team worked with executive directors of nonprofits and they realized that the PictureHealing model was something extra; it took people away from focusing on their nonprofit mission. The main idea behind the pivot that PictureHealing took was that it wanted to help support nonprofits, not impede them. The first week of October this past year, Chris and his team sat down and asked themselves: what are we doing here and what can we do better to support the nonprofits? They came up with idea for a “do it yourself mobile app builder” for the nonprofit community. With PictureHealing, you can build an iPhone/Android app in literally minutes, and it only costs nonprofits $200. The nonprofit’s new mobile app makes it easier for them to recruit, promotion, get donations, etc., and all in one place!

What’s next for PictureHealing?

Chris and his team rebuilt the platform and relaunched in about 2.5 months. One of the biggest improvements has been that the “speed and efficiency has become insanely awesome.” Chris says he excited for (at least) 2,000 new nonprofits to be joining the PictureHealing team very soon.

A huge advantage that PictureHealing has is that it gives nonprofits insight. “We’re able to understand user profiles of the donors/supporters. We then leverage that data and build patterns/insights for the nonprofits. This gives them the ability to more easily reach the supporters.” Nonprofits are often understaffed, under budget, etc., but these real-time tools that PictureHealing gives nonprofits amplifies their impact.

PictureHealing is also looking for a new name. Chris says that by the end of the month they will choose the top 3 names and then ask the community through social media to pick the final one. After the new name is selected, “PictureHealing” will re-launch and rebrand themselves. Chris talked about the crowdfunder campaign they are planning on doing. After raising $5,000, they will 100 apps free to 100 nonprofits! Nonprofits can enter this campaign by sending the startup a one-page story about how they’re changing the world. Chris and his team will then pick the top 100 and share all the nonprofit’s stories on the PictureHealing blog. Any ideas? Send them their way!

What does this mean for the social entrepreneurship space?

“How can we maximize impact? This is a statement all of us social entrepreneurs try to keep in mind.” PictureHealing is able to scale their impact across thousands of organizations. The data that PictureHealing gives nonprofits is also a huge part of this. They can gather tons of information for the nonprofits and the community at large. In other words, PictureHealing is cutting down time and costs for all. I see it as them helping others who are helping others who are helping others. A continuous cycle of giving!

Chris also mentioned his friend’s startup Thrd Place, a crowdsourcing community engagement service based on interest and location rather than organization.

Two apps to check out that are using PictureHealing’s app are Music Saves Lives (educates people about important life-saving causes and uses all forms of music and entertainment to motivate to get the message out) and Fender Music Foundation (encourages music education in our nation’s schools and communities).



  1. Christopher Root Brereton · January 24, 2013

    Anyone who has any name ideas for us! We’d love to hear them!!

  2. Amy Kniss · January 24, 2013

    Here are my name suggestions: UnderBudget, DonersDo

  3. Christopher Root Brereton · January 24, 2013

    Yo Amy! DonorsDo is pretty rad! We’ll add those to the list!! THANKS!

  4. Zach Sekar · January 24, 2013


  5. Christopher Root Brereton · January 24, 2013

    Oh man, Zach! That is SO good… trying to find a domain that could work.

    • Zach Sekar · January 24, 2013

      Probably a cool logo, too.

  6. Pingback: PictureHealing’s Huge Social Entrepreneurship Pivot
  7. Pingback: PictureHealing gives away 100 free custom mobile apps to non-profits | LA Tech Rise

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