How much can good design improve fundraising?

Roy Williams raises a great point at Mountains and Molehills.

The “molehills” he’s talking about are the logo, colors, and design standards you use in your fundraising:

Customers who buy from your competitors aren’t choosing your competitors because they have better logos. Your problem is something else entirely.

Customers care about things like products and procedures and policies that might affect them. They care about your offers and assurances. They care about the experience you create for them.

Design is a part of that experience, but a very, very small part.

Design matters. Terrible design that’s unreadable and confusing will chase away donors and kill your revenue. But the best design in the world won’t take you anywhere if your fundamental call to action is not interesting to your donors.

If someone tells you they can change everything with a new logo, color palette, or design scheme, you’re talking to a designer — not a fundraiser.


Comments

4 responses to “How much can good design improve fundraising?”

  1. Hi Jeff, I enjoy reading your posts. This one though I’m not sure I entirely agree with. Like it or not, we make our first decisions with out eyes, and its important to capture that initial intention. Having an instantly recognizable brand and quality design is key to developing strong fundraising. It creates consistency of message, donor recognition and above all lets donors know that you are an organization that is oproud of who they are, reflected through their presentation.
    I can’t stress enough to my clients how important image is, people connect with an image so quickly it makes your head spin. All I need to do is show a picture of Apple, and I dare say many would associate it to a computer before a fruit. It’s this approach that has made apple what it is today and while it for profit, couldn’t we all take a page from these types of books?

  2. Hi Jeff, I enjoy reading your posts. This one though I’m not sure I entirely agree with. Like it or not, we make our first decisions with out eyes, and its important to capture that initial intention. Having an instantly recognizable brand and quality design is key to developing strong fundraising. It creates consistency of message, donor recognition and above all lets donors know that you are an organization that is oproud of who they are, reflected through their presentation.
    I can’t stress enough to my clients how important image is, people connect with an image so quickly it makes your head spin. All I need to do is show a picture of Apple, and I dare say many would associate it to a computer before a fruit. It’s this approach that has made apple what it is today and while it for profit, couldn’t we all take a page from these types of books?

  3. Katy Schafer Avatar
    Katy Schafer

    Chronicle of Philanthropy published this earlier this year:
    http://philanthropy.com/article/Visualizing-Data-Helps/130990/
    I work specifically in direct mail. Is there any data out that about using more images to tell your story than words in a direct mail piece?
    It seems like a great and informative image would capture the donors attention and make them want to read more.

  4. Katy Schafer Avatar
    Katy Schafer

    Chronicle of Philanthropy published this earlier this year:
    http://philanthropy.com/article/Visualizing-Data-Helps/130990/
    I work specifically in direct mail. Is there any data out that about using more images to tell your story than words in a direct mail piece?
    It seems like a great and informative image would capture the donors attention and make them want to read more.

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

Recent Comments

About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog