Design tips and insights for nonprofits and social enterprises.


top 12 nonprofit resources everyone needs to know

Creativity
07.26.17
top 12 nonprofit resources everyone needs to know

One of the things I love about what I do is that I always keep learning. It’s important to stay up to date on happenings in your industry when trying to get better and do more. Which means that I read a lot about the design and nonprofit worlds. I check a few sites regularly, but I was wondering what else should I be reading. So, I asked the Facebook group Nonprofit Happy Hour for some recommendations. Below is a list from a few members of the group:

Prefer to listen instead of read? Check out these podcasts:

  • The Nonprofit Happy Hour
  • Nonprofit Hub Radio
  • Nonprofit Leaders Network Podcast
  • SproutCast
  • Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio

If you’re not a member of the group Nonprofit Happy Hour, I suggest you request to join. They are a great resource for advice, feedback, and support when you’re deep in the trenches of nonprofit work.

Did I miss one of your favs? Add your go-to resource in the comments.

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3 Simple Steps to a Brand Personality that Converts

Branding
07.11.17
3 Simple Steps to a Brand Personality that Converts

Are you as obsessed with branding as I am? Probably not. Why am I obsessed? Because branding is the heart of who your organization is. It’s a big reason why people love working with you and supporting you. It helps you to instantly stand out from the pack before anything is even said.

It’s what makes your organization different from all the other lookalikes.

So how do you find out your brand personality?
In smaller organizations, the brand personality can often be the Founder’s or Executive Director’s personality — which has its pluses and minuses. To find out your brand personality:

  1. Ask yourself this:
    “If this organization was a person, how would I describe them?”
    If you’re working with a team on your brand personality, I suggest first answering this question alone, then come together and share your answers. You might be surprised by the similarities and differences.
  2. Edit your answers
    Narrow down your list to approximately 4 adjectives/descriptors of your brand. Choose the most important words. Don’t just list them all, prioritize them to get to the essence of what the brand is. The words you use will help dictate what your brand will look and feel like.
  3. Check out the competition
    Don’t forget to check out your competition, or other similar organizations in your area or that have a similar mission. What’s their brand personality?

Insider Secret: Brand personalities can change over a long period (10+ years), or after a major change in the organization like a merger or mission. If this describes your organization, is it time for a rebrand?

 

Do you need a brand that helps you expand your audience and end brand confusion? 
Download the FREE Nonprofit Brand Boost pdf today to learn my system to a brand that helps you succeed. LEARN MORE

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How I created an authentic website that reflected my goals

Web Design
06.26.17
How I created an authentic website that reflected my goals

I’m so excited that I feel like shouting from the rooftops, “I have a new website!!”

After being in business for 1 year I knew that my website had to reflect the goals I wanted to achieve. It was time to update my website to really show how design can improve the impactful work you do.

Your website should reflect your goals
If you don’t remember my site before, it was a simple one-pager and it wasn’t really doing anything to help you or me. I needed something more robust and I didn’t want to do it completely on my own, so I hired a writer. I’m pretty confident in my writing ability, but honestly, I was going to design and program it and I just didn’t want to do everything. Besides, sometimes an outside voice — who is an expert in their field — can make a big difference.

The truth about most designer’s websites
Most designer/agency sites are really about the portfolio—with good reason. But they also mainly focus on showing how “cool” they are. I wanted a site that spoke directly to you. I wanted you to see yourself and your organization reflected in the language and visuals and to give you some inspiration on how design should multiply your hard work, not distract from it.

Websites need to change regularly
I believe all websites should be living things that are constantly changing. I still have a few things to add to my site. Primarily examples of recent projects, like the killer brochures I recently did for the Human Rights Foundation.

So head over to Studio Civico and check it out. I’d love to hear your feedback.

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The design secret to increase email open rates

Design | Marketing
06.09.17
The design secret to increase email open rates

The key to a successful email is hierarchy. Why? It helps the reader skim, read, and understand the content, makes it more visually appealing, and increases click-through rates. And that’s really want we want, right?

If you’re not sure how to add hierarchy to your email here is a handy list:

3 steps to better emailers

1. Get your content together

  • You content first and foremost, so get your draft together. This may consist of a brain dump and just putting it all on paper, or collecting content from team members. Either way, gather everything you want and need to say in your emailer.
  • Edit, check for grammar, on-brand language, links, etc., etc.

2. Review your template and edit content accordingly

  • Next step is to look at your template and reorganize and edit the content to fit. Start thinking about the headlines, subheads, links, etc.
  • If your copy is missing some of these, add them in.
  • This works both ways. Sometimes your template will have to be tweaked to accommodate your content.

3. Use font size and style to make it interesting

Most people will see the larger, bolder, and colored items first. This is what tells them what they should pay attention to first, second and third. The sizes below are only guidelines. Depending on the font used, color, whether it’s bold or normal, etc., you can maybe go a bit smaller or larger.

  • Stick to 1-2 different fonts.
  • Large headlines should have a font size of 26-36px, depending on its length.
  • Subheads are used to break up large amounts of text, differentiate content and add visual interest. They should have a font size of 20-26px.
  • Body copy should consist of short blurbs of 1-3 sentences and should be 14-16px. Break up long content with subheads and images.
  • Also, mix up the bolds, color, italic to help as needed. But don’t go crazy. Think about how it supports the content and hierarchy.

People have more than enough to read in their inbox, so make sure your emailers get the attention they deserve by making them easy to read and visually appealing.

Got any other ideas on how to make emails better?

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