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How do you design a campaign pack that stands out, attracts the eye but doesn’t give the impression that your organisation has money to burn on expensive marketing? There’s a fine line between clever design and an overdone appeal pack that ends up having the opposite effect on your donor. Below, we share some key design tips and our best design secrets for you to implement or use as a checklist across your own fundraising appeals.

Use real photographs when possible

Although in times of crisis and emergency, it is sometimes impossible to source, real, recent photography that can be used in your campaign pack, where possible we always advise using real images. The reason being is it connects the donor to the cause/ beneficiary. Selecting images that are natural and not staged or posed removes the sense of this being “marketing”, and gives a very honest, transparent representation of the situation at hand that you’re fundraising for. Real photos can also evoke emotion in ways that a stock photo never will. According to our own learnings from testing design across multiple packs, we also suggest that front-facing images with the beneficiary’s eyes towards the camera will evoke a higher response rate.


Less is more when it comes to your design

No matter how tempting it is to add that extra texture, pull out box or super stylised letterhead, remember to never let your design overtake the message. Think about how you can use design to assist the skim readers with quick grabs that highlight the most important bits. Sometimes an infographic, or image in place of text is even better to convey or evoke the full emotive response that you’re after.


Don’t overdo your typography

Ever received a newsletter that feels like it’s been rebirthed from the archive of a 90’s marketing agency that let the intern guy get a bit carried away with stepping up to the challenge of taking on the design? Trust us when we say: limit every pack to two typefaces. E.g a handwritten font, paired with a basic sans serif, or mix it up with a light and bold font weight. This makes your design consistent, professional and not so overwhelming that you just want to look away. Remember, easy to see and read text is vitally important – and with two typefaces you can create an information hierarchy, leading the reader to the most important sections in order. Bonus tip: white space is equally important as it gives the eyes a rest, and time to absorb the information.


Keep it on-brand

But what does that mean? Keeping your appeal on brand is not just about adding a logo in the top corner of the page. It’s about establishing a whole, consistent brand identity that’s targeted at your ideal consumer. Brand identity is important because it:

  • helps establishes a tone of voice and look and feel.
  • creates cohesion, trust and authority (shows it is coming from the same place)
  • helps you portray your organisation’s personality and values
  • establishes how a supporter should view you
  • establishes what a supporter feels about you

If your brand’s purpose is to inspire, then your design elements should aim to do the same and ensuring your complete brand identity is consistent in this effort is key.


So, which design tip can you use to amplify the power of your current fundraising? If you found this article helpful you may also be interested to read about our take on ethical imagery and what that means for your next fundraising appeal.