As a nonprofit leader, you have a very straightforward task: raise funds for your nonprofit’s cause.
At a very high level, storytelling is one of the ways you can raise those funds for your nonprofit.
Connecting your audiences, your supporters, and your biggest donors to the work that your nonprofit does and the people it directly impacts, is essential. It’s how you develop that emotional connection and compel people to care.
But, like most nonprofit leaders you’ll have limited resources, wear multiple hats, and a need to be constantly creative. In the midst of a sudden crisis or emergency, you’ll need to communicate a lot of information at once, and doing that effectively can be a challenge. Now is the time to step up your nonprofit marketing game.
With the recent pandemic that has disrupted entire countries, you’ve likely had to pivot your strategies, but also communicate new goals and campaigns to your supporters. Having the right visuals to do that makes a big difference.
If you’re in need of ready-to-use templates, you can check out this bundle of resources to manage nonprofit communications.
Generally, what can you do that’s easy to execute, easy to scale, and still tells your nonprofit’s story in a convincing and engaging way?
Design simple, visual content.
Your content doesn’t need the latest bells and whistles out there that design agencies or professionals designers can whip up. Creating things that are complex and full of flash is great, but how often can you do it and what will it cost?
Instead, you can focus on telling your story often, and in the simplest way possible, with straightforward visuals.
With all the online designs tools available today, a non-designer can still create professional, attractive content. Whether you want to make an infographic or print off brochures, with the right tool and set of templates, you can create engaging content on a regular basis.
I want to share a few different visuals that will help you tell your nonprofit’s story, whether you’re speaking with donors or board members.
- Fundraising progress infographics
- Impact report infographics
- Infographic posters
- Nonprofit brochures
Fundraising progress infographics
In her post on marketing fundraisers on Instagram, Julia Campbell encourages nonprofits to share their fundraising progress. She includes a couple neat examples in her post that are simple and engaging. Infographics are visuals that work across channels
The fundraising thermometer infographic is a very familiar visual to most people. It shares everything the audience needs to know at a glance. There are plenty of ways to get creative with the design. But even the simplest design works because it gets your message across clearly.
Fundraising progress infographics are a key visual to share with your audiences. They communicate essential information for people to understand what your organization is doing, and how they can contribute. Fundraising timelines demonstrate progress over a period of time. They also generate a sense of urgency, letting people know that the final day of the campaign is getting closer and if they want to help, it has to be soon.
The most important thing to note about a fundraising timeline is that it directly involves your audience. They see the day-to-day progression. They understand that even their contribution among hundreds or thousands of others makes a significant impact. They know that real actions need to be taken for there to be an impact. Also, your audience understands that a community of people have already bought into your cause and organization by supporting it.
Impact report infographics
Impact report infographics are among the most important visuals you can put together. An impact report infographic is a visual breakdown of the different types of impacts your organization has made. They can be included in your annual reports, monthly reports, newsletters, social media posts and more.
The impact report infographic is an easy and clear way to tell donors where their contributions have gone. The key is to not simply report the data, but also frame it in a way that connects the data with the people that have been helped.
This is where the art of nonprofit storytelling is essential. For example, literally taking a page out of Wholesome Wave’s 2015 annual report, we see a great impact report infographic.
If we use marketing lingo, infographic posters can be a great acquisition tool. They’re simple enough to design. They don’t require a lot of text, either. They can be shared anywhere, including in print, social media and email.
The formula for an infographic poster is easy.
You take a mind-blowing or shocking statistic, pair it with a creative or engaging visual, and encourage people to interact with your organization through a call-to-action. With the help of stock photos and a few choice icons, you’ll effectively complement your message.
Check out the simple infographic poster example below, which uses that formula.
The most important part of your infographic poster is the call-to-action. Always include one!
You’ve done something to entice or shock your audience. Now they may have questions, they may be eager to learn more, they may want to volunteer or donate. But if you don’t suggest a next step, there is no guarantee that they will contact your organization, visit the website, or learn more about the issue you’ve pointed out to them.
In this digital era, brochures are still very helpful and relevant pieces of collateral.
For one, you can give them to people. They can actually hold it, keep it, annotate it, and refer to it. Whether they’ve visited your office or are on a mailing list, it can be something of yours that they keep with them.
And brochures neatly pack a lot of information. A well-designed brochure manages to do that with a handful of neat visuals, and a generous amount of negative space.
Now, what would you create a brochure for?
Kivi Leroux Miller, founder of Nonprofit Marketing Guide, shares her nonprofit brochure basics.
When it comes to choosing a topic for your brochures, Kivi suggests focusing on the questions that typical donors, supporters, and the people you help all have.
How do you find this out?
Well, you can send out a survey to your email subscribers. But with a bit of keyword research, checking Google auto-fill suggestions or even the “people also ask” section that comes in the search results page, you can get a sense of what people want to learn about or don’t understand. These topics can range from basic health questions to particular government support programs or grants and other things.
Creating content around those topics not only establishes thought leadership and authority, it helps you to establish trust with your community and broader audience.
Now these aren’t all the different communications and marketing collateral nonprofits should design. Not even close! But once there’s a process in place to create content like this on a regular basis, your outreach efforts and marketing impact can really take off. Rather than relying on designs you’re not happy with or less content than you’d like, you are well-equipped to communicate your message and share your nonprofit’s story in an professional and engaging way.
What’s missing here? What have you found works and is just super essential? Let me know!
Read more: 6 Reasons Why Nonprofits Must Blog