Strategic Marketing Elements for Nonprofits, Part 1


I have recently expanded my services at Gerald & Joan to include brand consulting because I love helping clients achieve clean design and tell their stories in an inspiring and efficient manner. I have also seen so many cases where the design and marketing falls to poor, overworked staff members who would be much better off using their talents elsewhere.

As these well-meaning folks don't have a clue where to start with marketing but know they need help, I wanted to highlight three key elements of strategic marketing for nonprofits -- logos, branding and print marketing:

Logos: Should be clean, easy to read/identify and high-resolution. Not every nonprofit will have access to Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, but they should know a designer who can provide them with high-res files of their logos (these logo files should be property of the nonprofit once they have been created). EPS or AI files are always preferred over JPEGs for print-ready art, and they ensure that a logo doesn’t look fuzzy or stretched on posters, t-shirts and everything in between. A designer can also help create program logos that match the organizational logo to ensure branding is consistent.

Branding: Branding means different things to different people, but the key elements are colors, fonts and the overall look of a brand. These elements set a professional nonprofit (and business) apart from the pack. It's important to work with a designer to develop a color palette (with Pantone, CMYK, RGB and Web colors), two or three preferred fonts and design elements that can be used for all of their marketing needs.

Print Marketing: Brochures used to be the key collateral material, but I've found that not every nonprofit wants the typical tri-fold brochure because program changes and staff turnover. If a nonprofit doesn’t want to invest in a brochure, I recommend a professionally designed one-sheet that gives an organizational overview, a list of programs and how to contact the organization as a donor and volunteer. These can be easily updated by the designer and then printed by the nonprofit. Other key pieces include branded business cards, letterhead, envelopes, thank you notes and envelopes, donation envelopes and folders. Together with a press release, these pieces form a press kit. With a personalized letter, they also serve as a welcome kit for donors.

Nonprofits, contact me if you'd like to talk through these strategic marketing elements in greater detail or if you'd like me to help your organization with its branding and marketing efforts. 

Next Monday I’ll highlight the ten marketing pieces that every nonprofit needs!