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Cassie Viele | Marketing

Nonprofit Fundraising 101: Telling Your Story Through Print

Effective nonprofit fundraising is all about telling a story. As a fundraising professional, it’s your job to be so fully immersed in the story of your nonprofit that it just automatically overflows into every conversation and interaction. Your love for what you do should be evident, and your belief in the importance of your work should be at the forefront. If you’re all in on your story, you’ll be in a much better position to draw others in, too.

Transferring that story to your print marketing materials relies on three essential elements of nonprofit storytelling: authenticity, integrity, and effectiveness. Let’s explore them one at a time:

1. Authenticity

For authentic print marketing, it’s essential that every piece of your design sticks with your thoughtfully planned branding strategy. In the same way that you would “read the room” before you speak, making sure that your design elements, from color scheme to font choice to imagery, line up with both the personality of your organization and the content of the piece you’re creating is imperative. What you say should always line up with what you do (or print)!

2. Integrity

Whenever possible, your print marketing should also demonstrate your organization’s trustworthiness. Donors will respond positively to messages that convey a nonprofit’s integrity, especially when it comes to distributing funds. In print, this can take the form of including the logo or name of any accreditations you’ve attained, a notation about your auditing and accounting procedures, or a directive to view your form 990 on your website or Guidestar. In addition, using thoughtful, clear language and compassionate imagery can contribute to a prospective donor’s perception of your integrity.

3. Effectiveness

A compelling success story will often motivate donors to give. Seeing (or reading) the redemptive story of one of your organization’s service recipients or the summary of all the past year’s wins can be very inspiring. Finding ways to share your nonprofit’s effectiveness in pursuing its mission organically within your printed designs can also increase the efficacy of your fundraising efforts. During the design process, this can take the form of testimonials, images, or call-out boxes with key statistics. You want the reader to come away from the experience certain that you can do what you say you will because you already have.

From Story to Print…

Every fundraising pro has a trusted two minute elevator speech at the ready. Successful print marketing is all about transforming those two minutes into one or more pieces of inspiring design magic. Read on for our best nonprofit templates and designs.

Postcards

Charity Fundraiser Postcard Template

Design via MyCreativeShop

Postcards provide you with an unobtrusive method of connecting with stakeholders and prospective donors. One of the least expensive print marketing styles, you can even create a multi-postcard campaign that allows you to get your message across in a relaxed and unhurried way. At the same time, the flexibility of being able to use both sides for your content gives you serious bang for your buck. MyCreativeShop’s nonprofit postcard templates are completely customizable and require zero graphic design experience.

Brochures

Bright Future Charity Tri-Fold Brochure Template

Design via MyCreativeShop

The expansive space inside the fold(s) of a brochure turns it into an incredibly effective vehicle for sharing your nonprofit’s story. Whether you go for a bi- or tri-fold design, you can divide your content up among the folds and direct the journey the reader takes. Start with the why, move on to the how, and share the opportunity for others to get involved. Tell your story thoughtfully, including only the imagery that adds to your call to action. MyCreativeShop offers a variety of nonprofit brochure templates that you can use to tell your story.

Business Cards

Blood Donation Centers Business Card Template

Design via MyCreativeShop

You may find yourself wondering how you can tell your story with a business card. While including your organization’s entire elevator speech in those 14 square inches (front and back) may be unrealistic, you can still make design choices that line up with your branding strategy and story. In addition, a thoughtfully-constructed business card is the perfect way to end an expertly-delivered elevator speech! MyCreativeShop’s nonprofit business card templates are ready and waiting to make their debut in your print arsenal.

Event Tickets

Event Fundraiser Ticket Template

Design via MyCreativeShop

Just like business cards, you may not see custom ticket designs as being a part of telling your story. However, spending a little extra time to create tickets that line up with your branding strategy and catch the eye can actually pay off in the long run. At a minimum, maintaining your design pillars across even the smallest print pieces contributes to your authenticity and consistency. There is also the hope that those donors who have already purchased tickets may show them off to friends who, inspired by what you’ve created, would want to learn more. Being faithful in the small things can lead to even bigger things, and our nonprofit ticket templates can be customized from top to bottom in just minutes.

Personalized Cards

Charity Invitation Card Template

Design via MyCreativeShop

Telling your story to your stakeholders and donors can and should also include writing them into it. You can achieve this in a variety of ways, but customizing your own cards is our favorite. Sending out personalized invitations to fundraising events, especially if they include a handwritten note of appreciation, can make the recipient feel appreciated and as though they belong. Depending on the depth of your relationship with donors (and your donor management system), you can also endeavour to create and personalize birthday or anniversary cards and customize a stack of thank you notes to have on hand for every donation received. MyCreativeShop’s nonprofit card templates are a great place to start, as are our generic and blank card templates.

Posters

Silent Auction Poster Template

Design via MyCreativeShop

Not just for your teenager’s walls anymore, a creatively-designed poster can help you to reinforce your story and promote an upcoming fundraising drive or event. Staying on-brand, make design choices that relate to your story and mission, utilizing eye-catching images that bring that story to life. Include a call to action (to donate or attend your event) along with a response method, and hang your posters in areas frequented by your donor base. The nonprofit poster templates in our catalog have been created by graphic design professionals, so you don’t need to have any design experience in order to get the job done.

Banners

Make A Donation Banner Template

Design via MyCreativeShop

On the opposite end of the spectrum from business cards and event tickets, the in-your-face banner also has its place in telling your story. In the same way that a well-done business card can serve as a reminder to your donor of what they heard from you in the proverbial elevator, an impactful banner can both notify and reinforce your stakeholders of opportunities they can get involved with your organization. You can utilize a custom banner to promote your upcoming fundraiser, to ask the community to bring donations in for a food or clothing drive, or to remind your neighborhood to donate to your org on your website or the next Giving Hearts day in your city. Our nonprofit banner templates have all kinds of space available to tell your story, so find your fit today!

Yard Signs

Design via MyCreativeShop

Finally, wrap all of your storytelling up into yard signs that line the streets and sidewalks in your community. Remind your neighbors of your annual Fill the Truck food drive event or spread the word about next month’s fundraising gala. Whatever your message, make sure all design elements stay on point and on brand, and give your content an extra onceover to make sure your text fits within your story. MyCreativeShop’s nonprofit yard sign templates allow you to save time on the design phase of your project, so you can start customizing right away.

Tell Your Story…

To summarize, telling your story is essential to successful nonprofit fundraising. With your story in mind and your branding strategy in hand, you can turn any style of print into a marketing marvel, as long as you maintain your authenticity and integrity and share your organization’s effectiveness.

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MyCreativeShop and You!


MyCreativeShop can help you tell your story in a variety of different ways. Check out all of our nonprofit print marketing templates to get your start!