4 visual design tips for nonprofits

Nonprofit marketing has a very different set of challenges than regular businesses. Although there may be intersections between the two, nonprofit marketing must spread the message of the institution or organization, call for volunteers, and seek donations. But beyond these short-term goals, nonprofits need to publicize their causes and ideals, and they aren’t necessarily trying to sell products and services. The stakes are higher because there are beneficiaries to fight for and a mission to defend and protect.

Additionally, nonprofits need to be on top of trends if they want to get their mission across. Nonprofit marketing done right means more people support the cause and more people are helped, especially when younger generations, known to be passionate about worthy causes, are engaged.

Here are some key visual design tips, ideas, and trends for nonprofits to consider in 2022 if they want to capture the attention and engagement of their target audience.

Establish a brand identity

Nonprofits can be, by definition, nonprofit, but that doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from a strong visual and brand identity. This includes all visual elements of a particular entity, such as the following:

  • name
  • Logo
  • Fonts
  • The color palette, shapes and other visual aspects
  • Tone of voice or language
  • How staff and volunteers interact with external parties

Once a nonprofit has all of this in hand, they have all the building blocks they need to create the other visual elements of their content, from promotional materials to social media content to web design and others.

Consult specialists

If no one on your team specializes in visual design, consider partnering with a company that caters to various organizations and institutions. Find companies with a proven track record of working with brands of all sizes and industries and specialization in various areas like government contractor marketing and more. Working with a team that has a wide range of projects under their belt will help you find the best visual identity for your nonprofit. They will know how to reach your target audience and bring your vision to life at the same time.

Be human-centered

Since nonprofits typically work with people and for people, a human-centered approach to design is crucial. Here are some examples of how this can manifest:

  • One of the biggest visual design trends of recent years is 2D sketches of people. An example of a great brand that does this style well is Slack. Another trend worth noting is the company’s inclusive visuals, which prioritize showcasing a diversity of people, meaning individuals of all ages, races, faiths, sizes and genders are featured in their portraits. and their contents. If you must go for this trend, make sure to be inclusive as well.
  • If you want to include photos of your recipients, make sure you have their consent to post their photos online. This is particularly important, especially if you are working with traumatized people or if your advocacy is sensitive, such as providing shelter for victims of domestic violence. If you are working with children, make sure you have their legal guardian’s consent. But if you’re working with particularly sensitive advocacy, consider hiding or blurring the faces of your beneficiaries. There are ways to showcase those photos that are still creative and engaging without breaking confidentiality or sacrificing the privacy of the people you care for.

Be direct

As soon as a visitor opens your website, they should be able to see what your nonprofit represents. For example, if you have an animal shelter, your banner should feature a photo of the animals you care for and want to protect. The same goes for your social media channels. As soon as your audience opens your Instagram account, they should have an outline of what you are trying to achieve.

One organization that does this well is the Philippines-based nonprofit Rohei Foundation, a child placement agency that aims to help alleviate the orphan crisis. As soon as you open the group’s website or Instagram account, you will have the outline of their mission through the photos and visuals they use.

Nonprofits need to capitalize on good visuals to communicate their mission and advocacy. Marketing is a powerful tool that can help them reach their goals faster, and it’s worth the effort.

About Nereida Nystrom

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