Simplicity rules in non profit advertising.

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.


Non profit advertising and the power of video to unite brands with donors.

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.

Leave a Reply