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Not sure why your appeal packs aren’t converting? Concerned that your charity’s campaign designs are a little outdated or ineffective? These design secrets will help you to connect with your donors on a visual level to help achieve a higher response rate for your non-profit.

Fall in love with simplicity

Keep your content short and easy to read. You don’t want to lose those skim readers, or the attention of your donors who are getting older and whose eyesight isn’t as good as it used to be.

Tips to simplify your content and lead your readers to the most important sections:

  • Keep your fonts consistent and use up to two simple easy-to-read fonts that complement each other and are heavy or medium in thickness, rather than light. (And consider the average age of your donors when deciding font size).
  • Dark text on a light background is proven as easiest to read.
  • Highlight the most important bits with another colour, and/or by simply making the text bold.
  • See what content could be transformed into an eye-grabbing and informative infographic to break up and reduce text.
  • Use a matte paper rather than a glossy finish to minimise glare.
  • Be generous with white space in your design. Consider using two contrasting colours in your design – as long as this matches your branding, of course.

Which leads us to the next design tip…


Stay on brand

Don’t let fancy designs lead you away from your brand identity.

We all love familiarity. It’s comforting, assuring and safe. Remember that creating a consistent brand presence will also do these things for your audience. That’s why it’s always so important to do the hard work of establishing your organisation’s tone of voice, look and feel. Your brand conveys your organisation’s unique personality, values, and purpose. When your design is cohesively on-brand, you’ll continue to build trust with donors.

Keep checking to make sure your designs align with your brand and champion it (as tempting as the latest design tricks and colours may be).


Use a design tool that makes incredible design easy

When designing content for your non-profit or charity, having ready-made templates to edit will empower you to look professional and on-brand – this saves you time and essentially, money.

As a marketing and design agency for non-profits, although we often design appeals from scratch for our clients, we also look for efficiencies that we can create for them. Sometimes, this means creating user-friendly templates that the organisation can use to edit in future. Our favourite tools for templates like these are Canva and Over (PS Canva offers their premium version free for non-profits). These tools enable you to upload your brand colours, logos, content and photos, and you can also use stock photos from their library. We love empowering our clients with the right tools and helping them know when to invest in professional design and when they can take some elements in-house.

Which takes us to our final design tip…


Use photos that connect with your audience

Photos are a valued way to lift your design, as long as they are engaging and connect the donor with your cause.

To do this, they must evoke emotion and look authentic rather than staged. It’s important to keep in mind that front-facing images with the subject’s eyes towards the camera tend to have a higher response rate.

Don’t have the time, skills or funds to acquire your own photos? Stock libraries offer quality, cost-effective images – and they’re quick to access. You can even edit them so they match your brand. Good photography doesn’t have to break your budget. There are both royalty-free images and videos as well as paid options. Examples of royalty-free libraries include Unsplash, Pexel and Pixabay. Paid library examples include Austockphoto, iStock and Shutterstock. When using a stock photo however, it is always important to evaluate whether it adds to the message or whether it appears inauthentic. Where possible using real images from your cause is best.



Does your organisation need a set of editable templates for your next campaign? At Redstone Marketing we can customise a design that’s specific to your brand and campaign needs. Simply book a quick chat here to discuss further.