Using Marketing Materials To Attract Donors And Community Support
You have successfully followed through on your commitment to give back to the community by creating a nonprofit organization. Your organization has obtained its 501c3 tax exempt status and created a website to establish an online presence and generate interest in your activities. So what is the next step in growing your nonprofit organization? Many board members would assume that the next logical step is to begin applying for grants and soliciting for corporate sponsorships. However, there is an extremely vital component of business development that all nonprofit organizations should consider prior to requesting funding or seeking program volunteers.
Every nonprofit organization should understand the value of creating professional looking marketing materials when establishing their brand in the public eye.
A majority of small nonprofit organizations are under the impression that graphic design begins and ends with logo design. However, business cards, stationary, tri-fold brochures, flyers, print and online ads, wall banners, trade show banners, signage, popup banners and more make up popular graphic design products that will greatly benefit your nonprofit organization.
Consider applying for a grant as an example of the power of graphic design. The first thing that perspective donors are going to see is your letterhead. Is it professional looking? Does your logo clearly represent your mission and the target demographic that you serve? Consider the Red Cross symbol or the Susan G. Komen ribbon. When individuals see their logos on printed materials, they immediately know who the organization is and the needs of the community that they address. Your directors will want to ensure that your materials clearly state your mission and are distinguishable from other organizations. A logo that includes two shaking hands is used by thousands of nonprofit organizations and will not differentiate you from the others.
Also consider the impression that your representatives make when they are interacting with community members at events and outreach services. Do your directors have business cards that they can leave with corporate sponsors or potential volunteers that would like to set up a meeting at a later date? Do you have banners or signage to attract visitors at community events? Do you have brochures to distribute to individuals that further educate the public on the community’s needs and empower them to take action? If done correctly and consistently by your marketing manager, these promotional marketing materials will assist your organization in become visible and effective in your local area and beyond. If your organization is lacking in the quality of design for attention, it may be time to undergo a rebranding effort and develop a rebranding strategy checklist.
If you are looking for creative ways to market your nonprofit without depleting you limited resources, here are some examples to get you started:
Printed Material (nonprofit business cards, logos, brochures, flyers, etc.) Small nonprofits have relied on this relatively inexpensive method of conveying marketing information for decades. Keep in mind when purchasing these items that you want your print material to stand out. You want people to remember who you are because of an attractive design that really catches their attention and clearly states the types of services that your offer.
Signs – Don’t forget about “signage.” Signs work best if they’re bold, professionally done, and consistent with your nonprofit values. Keep in mind that they should be easy to read and tell the viewer your message quickly.