Ten Marketing Pieces Every Nonprofit Needs


During my career in nonprofit communications, branding and marketing, I LOVED creating nonprofit marketing pieces. If I could have done that part of my job every day, I would have stayed in nonprofit communications and marketing forever. It was my JAM!

With all of those years of experience behind me, I have a really good grasp about what small and big nonprofits need in order to tell their stories to donors, volunteers and the general public. Today, in the next segment of our marketing for nonprofits series, I'll highlight the ten key marketing pieces that every nonprofit needs at their disposal:

1.     Organization one-sheet – The one-sheet is the more affordable version of the brochure, but it features the same key points – the mission/vision of the organization, where its located, who it serves, how long it has been around and what programs and services it offers. The one-sheet will always include a staff person’s contact information (phone, address and email), as well as website and social media.

2.     Program one-sheet – This piece goes hand-in-hand with the organization one-sheet. It can feature an individual program, or it can give summaries about all of the programs offered by the organization.

3.     Business cards – Even in our high-tech world, they are still a no-brainer. Bring them into the 21st century by including social media and your website. A QR code linking to an organizational video is a nice touch. P.S. Your email signature should always match your business card!

4.     Letterhead/envelopes – Letterhead and envelopes should feature a clean design that matches the rest of the organization’s brand.

5.     Donor remittance envelope – In a sea of matching black and white remittance envelopes, I like to see some personality. Photos and a thoughtful message get a donor’s attention and don’t change the printing cost!

6.     Thank you cards/envelopes – Like the letterhead and envelopes, thank you cards and envelopes should feature a clean design that matches the rest of the organization’s brand.

7.     Giveaways - T-shirts are best because everyone loves them, and they allow the wearer to become a walking billboard, but pens, cute key chains and travel cups/mugs are other inexpensive items that work well as giveaways. The key is to choose a giveaway that people will use and carry in public!

8.     Newsletters – Donors, volunteers and the community need to know what a nonprofit is doing. They need to feel the nonprofit is reaching its goals and establishing itself as an expert in its field. I like to see a mix of print and email newsletters used to reach a nonprofit’s audience. It’s always a great idea to ask the donors and volunteers how often they’d like to receive email/printed mail and always, always, always respect their wishes!

9.     Basic ad – Once the basic design has been created, a basic print/online ad can easily be resized for future needs. The key is to have the look and messaging designed so that it can be shared quickly. Ad deadlines always come up sooner than we expect!

10. Pocket folders – Pocket folders aren’t cheap, but they pull together a nonprofit’s branding package to ensure a professional image is conveyed to donors, funders and partners, and they double as a print media kit. I like pocket folders with two business card slots. 

Know a nonprofit who needs help with their branding, marketing and communications? I would love to help them! 

In addition to designing each of these pieces, I can also work with my printer vendors to ensure the best possible price and highest quality is achieved. Let me know how I can help.

Read the rest of our nonprofit marketing series here: