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6 Unique Ways To Leverage Printing For Nonprofit Success


Competition for digital communications is higher than it has ever been, and your nonprofit is no exception. There are many different methods of messaging audiences and raising public awareness of your organization. Utilizing physical communications like professional flyers, full color brochures, or signs out on the highways takes a classic route to standing out from the crowd. 

Charities and other nonprofits are always looking for new ways to highlight special events and, often an undervalued option, print marketing has the ability to capture audiences in ways digital communications still cannot emulate. Personal touches like cards, event programs, and handwritten envelopes that include your name, contact information, and branding give the majority of physical cards a sense of credibility. Let’s discuss the different possibilities and how each option can lend credibility to your organization. 


#1. White Papers, Reports, & Guides 

A white paper is a detailed explanation and examination of a specific topic, and usually offers solutions for any of the issues it discusses. Formal publications like these, along with other reports and mission-specific guides, are typically highly researched and designed to include as much value as possible into one publication. 

Creating formal publications can be instrumental in allowing you to show your expertise about and contributions toward the topics on which you work or the issues you confront. They are a great way to educate your audience on how your organization is helping communities by providing statistics, before and after comparisons, or detailed guidelines on future organizational plans and how the program will alter the future landscape. 

6-unique-ways-to-leverage-printing-for-nonprofit-success-white-papersTrish is curious about how she can leverage printing for her nonprofit.

You can use this form of content creation to showcase anything you want to bring attention to, with the opportunity to go as in-depth as you would like. Ultimately, it increases your credibility and solidifies your status as an expert in your field. This content can be printed as leave-behinds to donor organizations, giveaways for conferences, sent to potential donors or new donors, or made available in your offices for staff and visitors to view at their leisure. 


#2. Event Invitations

To maximize your event attendance, consider mailing out physical invitations to the public. If they are interested in attending the event, they can put the invitation on their fridge, which will remind them as the day approaches. When you do this, it can be a very unique way of rounding up people to come to the events you host, particularly in the case of more formal events like galas or black-tie affairs. 

Be sure to tell the invitee what exactly the event supports. It is a good idea to make the invitations enticing, warm and welcoming. If you want to go above and beyond, you may choose to send out two rounds. The first could simply serve as a notification and information about the event, while the second could include an RSVP system to make the invitee feel recognized. Similar to a wedding with a formal invitation, choose a tasteful format on hearty, quality paper to give your event an air of sophistication.

Pro Tip: Make your invitations as personalized with added touches of style and care. Use their name, and hand write it where possible. This can make your invitee feel special, maximizing their chances of accepting the invitation and visiting your event. 


#3. Calendars 

Everyone needs a good wall calendar! People give calendars as gifts, pick them up on a whim, and sometimes purchase them from our favorite charity. When you make a custom calendar to sell, you generate extra revenue, and you put a reminder in someone’s home or office about your organization. You can sell these at your fundraising events, in your online store, or around the holiday season.

Generate and print attractive calendars that are aligned with your organization’s purpose. If you manage an animal shelter, you could design each month with a photo of a different animal from the shelter. You could personalize it further by adding the name of the animal or an inspiring quote, and this concept can be applied to a number of different themes. When printing, ask for pricing for a number of sizes and whether there are discounted rates for larger orders. 

Pro Tip: Try to really nail the theme of your calendar to match the energy of your organization. Make it as specific as possible, and avoid using freesourced images. It might take a little work on your part, such as hiring professionals to take photos and create designs. This unique spin will make your calendar stand out with a clean and sophisticated feeling. 


#4. Brochures

Full-color brochures are an easy way to raise awareness of your mission, an event, or any given project. You may choose to have a brochure specifically designed to educate readers about your nonprofit. This kind of marketing is useful in many ways,  it can easily be left on a front desk at your physical location for any visitors to take with them. 

They can come in handy at meetings, you can mail them out or use them to support your conversation when you bump into someone and find yourself discussing your organization

nonprofit-printing-designOliver loves the idea of making brochures!

Well-designed brochures are usually colorful with clear and discernable headings, they are easy to read, and they have creative information delivery. If your brochure is educating your community about a project or an event, keep the important information distinct, and explain all the defining features in a brief synopsis. 

Use the best paper for flyers and incorporate appropriate and engaging photos that are chosen according to the topic and theme, and be sure to include information about how to donate if it is appropriate. The most popular paper size for a brochure is a standard 8.5" x 11" letter tri-fold option.


#5. Direct Mail Campaigns

To raise funds and generate higher levels of awareness about your actions, design a direct mail campaign. If possible, work with a team to send your community engaging letters right to their homes that educate them about your most recent projects. You could use this moment of connection as an opportunity to request their support in your ventures, and include a second envelope for them to mail back their donation if they choose to send one. 

If a large number of people feel passionate about the project, they may respond quickly. You will not be competing with too many different offers, since this method is far less competitive than an email inbox and there probably is not another donation request in their mailbox that day. Your community may appreciate the lengths you went to in order to bring the project to their attention. Whether you choose postcards or traditional letters that include items like bookmarks or return address labels, they will understand how much you care, and all of this works in your favor. 


#6. Event Signage

When you host an event, make sure you have adequate signage to notify passersby that they are welcome to stop by. Event signs are the most successful when they are bright, simple, and use only the most important information. Make sure your posters look clean, are easy to read, and have a clear contrast between the text and the color of the background. These are going to be read at a glance, so make sure they do not have misspellings and the words are short and snappy. 

If possible, it is a good idea to include your logo and branding. This kind of advertisement notifies people in real-time when something is happening within the community, and they are able to choose at that moment to just walk over and visit the event. When your logo is present, you create a clear reminder that you are the orchestrator, and this helps you to connect with your community on a more personal basis. 

Pro Tip: For signage for events that happen on a regular basis, ask your printer or a graphic designer for creative ways to design your signage in a reusable way. For example, a nonprofit nursery school may have an open house every year. Rather than printing a new sign each year, they may want to invest in a more robust sign that has hooks where the month and day can be changed each year.


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Communication & Marketing