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Hands Planting Image by Shameer Pk from Pixabay
Cassie Viele | Business, Marketing

Creative Print Strategies to Boost Nonprofit Donor Engagement

Running a nonprofit is a true labor of love. In order to be successful, you have to be passionate about what you’re doing. This can often mean long hours, low pay, and minimal recognition. Your joy comes from knowing that the work you’re doing matters and the quality of life of the population you serve is being improved. 

That joy is rewarding in and of itself, but the real truth is that the services you provide require the support (financial, social, and more) of donors whose hearts are aligned with your mission. Fostering engagement from and within your donor base is the role of any nonprofit fundraising professional. There are a variety of creative ways you can seek to build donor engagement with print, but here are our top three strategies and preferred print marketing mediums to get your message out.

1. Share your story

Story Chalkboard Image by yogesh more from Pixabay

Share your story to connect authentically with your base.
Image by yogesh more from Pixabay

Reminding your donors why you do what you do is an incredibly effective way of renewing their commitment to your mission. Allow them to go back to why they first supported your cause in the first place. Retelling your origin story, including updates from along the way, may actually end up motivating YOU to keep going, in addition to spurring your donor base to stay onboard and continue their support. 

Another added benefit of sharing your story is the opportunity it creates for others to see themselves IN your story. That may mean that they are able to see how their involvement helped your organization to grow or that their own story is part of the reason they began supporting your cause in the first place. Sharing your story enables it to have a future beyond the first telling. 

2. Share your successes

Victory Sunset Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay

Success is inspiring!
Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay

Nothing brings joy to a donor’s heart quite like a compelling success story. A victory for one of your organization’s service recipients, progress in reaching out to your community, and even the receipt of a significant financial gift or a specific met need. Maybe you launched a new program and received an overwhelming response from those you were hoping to reach, or perhaps someone your organization helped in the past has achieved success in their adult years because of your assistance. Both of these stories need to be told.

Sharing the joy is always the right way to build engagement. Knowing that their gifts are being used to make a difference helps to keep the passion for your cause alive and inspires them to continue giving, so featuring a success story in every communique you send out to your donors just makes sense!

3. Share your need

Need Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay

Sharing your need inspires generosity.
Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay

Another way to connect with a donor’s heart is by letting them know when you have a need they can fill. Being able to respond to a call for help is an authentic way to build donor engagement, because the individual is able to truly feel as though they are a part of something bigger than themselves. Most of your donors are looking for an opportunity to get involved in a tangible way, so sharing needs they can meet allows them to both be and feel needed. End result? They feel invested in your organization and its mission. 

Sharing your need could take many forms. Perhaps you have a wishlist of items for a program you’re operating and donors can get involved by purchasing from an online list or contributing towards the total price. Or maybe you have a need for volunteers to help administer your services and those who are committed to your cause could step in and participate. No matter how you choose to express it, sharing your need can make all the difference!

Now what?

Once you’ve got these three strategies in hand, it’s time to decide on your delivery method. Keep reading for our best print marketing picks for boosting donor engagement!

1. Newsletters

Nonprofit Adventure Newsletter Template

Design via MyCreativeShop

Sending out a newsletter to your stakeholders at regular intervals is an effective way to keep your donors involved and engaged in the important work you do. When you create your own custom newsletter, sharing your victories is as simple as designating a specific area of your design to be that issue’s featured success story. Spreading the word about your current needs can similarly take the form of a special call-out box that you build into your design, and you can find a way to retell your story in just about any editorial you include. Keeping your layout and base elements consistent allows the reader to anticipate what they’ll find in each issue and encourages them to keep reading. Best of all, you have complete editorial control, ensuring that your organization’s mission and personality will shine through in each edition of your newsletter!

MyCreativeShop has a variety of professionally-designed, customizable nonprofit newsletter templates that make it easy for you to create your own design and reproduce it over and over again. If you’d rather start with your own inspiration, check out our blank and generic newsletter templates to save time.

2. Postcards

Adoption & Family Services Postcard Template

Design via MyCreativeShop

Creating and sending custom postcards to your donor list works best if you utilize one of our engagement strategies at a time. While you can send a postcard anytime, you could consider a coordinated campaign of all three over a period of time, perhaps leading up to your annual fundraising drive, event, or gala, depending on the personality of your organization. Decide on the sequence you’ll use (Story, Success, Need or any of the other five available combinations) then either start from scratch or find a postcard template that meets your needs from a trusted source.

MyCreativeShop has all kinds of nonprofit postcard templates just waiting to be personalized, along with generic and blank postcard templates you can customize to your heart’s content!

3. Brochures

Awesome Charity Tri-Fold Brochure Template
Stop Hunger Charity Bi-Fold Brochure Template

Designs via MyCreativeShop

The tried and true brochure can be a vehicle for one strategy at a time (“who we are,” “what we’ve done,” “how you can help”) or you can build all three into a compelling document that flows organically from one to the next. If you opt for a tri-fold brochure, you can dedicate one panel to each strategy in order to make the case for your donors to engage with your need. The layout of a bi-fold brochure can also be structured in such a way that it weaves all three elements together. A custom brochure can be an effective asset to any donor engagement or fundraising campaign.

MyCreativeShop’s online catalog includes a plethora of nonprofit brochure templates that can be easily customized to fit your needs. Already inspired? Start from scratch with one of our blank or generic brochure templates instead

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Wrapping It All Up

If you want to boost donor engagement, it’s essential that you learn to share – your story, your successes, and your needs. Newsletters, postcards, and brochures can all help you to get the word out, and MyCreativeShop’s professionally-designed templates can make the entire process less mysterious. Choose your template and get started today!