Marketing Ingredients For Increasing Donors

Every foundation needs help building their donor base. Since we have worked charitable organizations from global to national to regional sizes, we offer tips on the key marketing basics most organizations should have in place.

Your organization should have an internal staff that includes at bare minimum, an Executive Director or Development Director and a Marketing Manager or Marketing Coordinator for support. This internal staff usually directs marketing work and the actual elements are often created externally. This is because it can be costly to maintain an in-house creative staff.

Most campaigns include the following elements:

  1. Visually consistent and uniquely defining logo and tagline.
  2. Brand Style Guide with design guidelines that clearly layout how the logo, fonts, color palette, photography and graphic elements are to be used in a consistent and cohesive way across web platforms and print pieces. Any designer should be able to work from these as a guide. We can share examples if you contact us.

Most annual budgets include the following marketing program elements:

  • Marketing brochure for cultivating donors. This piece needs to pack a punch through emotionally compelling stories and simple messaging.
  • PowerPoint or Keynote presentation for sponsors, partners, donors, etc. that does the same.
  • CMS-based and mobile responsive website that is consistently updated, search optimized and easily to manage. It should always have a donation area.
  • An informative and emotionally-riveting video used for events, community affairs, online and for potential sponsors and donors presentations.
  • Program brochures for clients and other advocates. These should further define your services, initiatives or programs. The brochures should be inexpensive to print and laid out in a consistent design that ties them together while differentiating each program. These should be in a design template that your staff or any designer can work in and update using InDesign.
  • Flier mastheads for various fliers describing your work, programs, opportunities and events.
  • Banners for electronic communications / e-marketing:  ‘E-News’ and ‘E-Update’ emails to keep your community of donors and partners informed. The emails include photos, text and link to website.
  • Printed vertical pull-up banners. Generally this includes three to six banners used at events, trade shows and as photo backdrops.
  • Vinyl horizontal banner(s) with grommets for events.
  • Folder used for donor solicitations and press. The standard two-pocket folder has a graphic cover and pockets on the interior.
  • Step and repeat for press, media and photo opportunities. A simple step and repeat design that is eye catching, yet simple.
  • Event materials and for quarterly (at minimum) friend-raisers and annual fundraisers. This would include a template that could be replicated with slight color or photo modifications year after year. Materials include a save the date, e-invitation, printed invitation and letterhead.
  • Business working papers:  Letterhead, stationery, business cards, envelopes, solicitation letters, gift/auction item acknowledgement, thank you cards, mailing labels, donation envelopes, etc.
  • Basic one-sheet handout defining the organization’s mission and goals, its benefits to constituents – what you do in a nutshell.
  • Branded social media presence and program:  LinkedIn, FaceBook, YouTube, Vine, Twitter, etc.
  • Outreach program planning and ongoing idea generation
  • Press/media outreach plan that includes press releases, news stories, human interest, amazing accomplishments, partner/donors announcements, etc.
  • Donor advised funding pla

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