Simplicity rules.

I’m a follower of advertising design, especially as it relates to nonprofit organizations. I have no formal training in the field, mind you, but over the years I’ve honed my opinions of what works in print advertising, and what fails miserably.

Flipping through a stack of magazines recently (yes, of the paper variety), an ad for Share Our Strength jumped out at me.  Its simple design uses a contemporary mix of gray and orange; a great black and white photograph anchors the ad.  The page is clean and employs a generous use of white space. The design catches one’s eye, but the message touches the mind and the heart.  Again simplicity rules.  There are a million hungry kids who are sick and struggle to learn. And most importantly, there is a direct call to action.


When you answer that call, you arrive at stunning website that shares the same design aesthetic.  It has a great balance of photos and text, with a strategic use of orange to direct you right where they want you: taking the pledge and making a gift. So impressed was I, that I answered the call to action, including making a gift. It was a nominal amount, because I wanted to see how I was treated as a donor. This, my friends, is where nonprofits often fail.

SOS didn’t disappoint. Like most online systems, I received an email acknowledgement within minutes. But after making the gift, I was taken to a new page that acknowledged my gift with a short video from the president of the organization. Oh, such sweet donor acknowledgement!  I’m a huge fan of video acknowledgement, yet so few people are using it.

Take a look — I think you will be inspired. I know I will be revisiting this frequently as I work with clients on their websites.


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