Non-profits: Why hire a professional for your design project?

Many of my most rewarding jobs have been for non-profit clients. I get to work with the kindest, most generous people, and they always end up teaching me something new about our community.

Small non-profits think they can’t afford to outsource creating flyers, brochures, websites etc., so employees or volunteers with other duties end up adding these tasks to their “to-do” lists. I think with all the DIY tools and supposedly “cheap” online printers out there, print design is undervalued. It’s an accepted notion that good design pays off for businesses, but design can be a wise investment for non-profits as well.

Why bring in a design professional for your print project? Here are some of the reasons:

1. Carrying the Message

A professional can help you craft your message and speak to the heart of the potential donor or volunteer who cares about your mission. Consistent messaging increases the likelihood of rising above all the other groups asking for money and time.

2. Credibility

Clean, beautiful and updated materials send potential donors the message that professional people run the organization, and that you will be good stewards of their money. Potential volunteers get the feeling that your organization is worthy of their time.

3. Speed

We do this all day, every day. We can work much faster than you can, freeing you up to do what you do best — doing your core job or approaching potential donors.

4. The Right Tools

We spend a great deal of money staying up-to-date on software and other tools that allow us to lay out text and photos with much greater precision than Microsoft Word, Publisher, etc. Precision is one of the things setting professional work apart from amateur work. Doing graphic design with tools invented for creating presentations or letters can be very frustrating.

5. Paper Nerds

We have access to an extensive number of options for paper stock, sizes, etc. and can help you select the best materials for your message. For example, some papers can be written on while some are durable but can only be written on with a Sharpie. If you are an environmental organization, we can get you soy ink and recycled paper.  We have wholesale trade accounts with several suppliers, and experience has taught us how to give you the best value for your money. On printing, we can make your money go farther than you might be able to on your own.

ticketphoto6. Making the Most of Special Events

  • You only have a few weeks to get your message out, and you need to come up with materials that will be easily noticed and read at a distance. This is hard to do without years of experience and the proper software. Large format printing at the local Kinko’s or Office Depot is quite expensive. I get my clients much better prices than that.
  • Your event may be the first time members of the public meet your organization, so you want your visuals to be consistent with the rest of your marketing efforts. Otherwise, people who attended your event won’t make the connection the next time they see your name. Now is not a good time to experiment with your logo colors!
  • On all printing, but especially on large-format items, planning saves you money. Last-minute banner printing is horrendously expensive.

7. Consistency

Designing or redesigning all of your pieces together saves time and money and results in a more consistent product. Materials that are consistent with one another are more likely to stand out and be and remembered.

These are just are a few reasons why enlisting a professional for your marketing communications needs may cost less than you expect, and could be a net gain to your organization.

Check out a few of our past non-profit projects. I would love to visit with your non-profit organization and discuss how your print or online marketing can help take your non-profit to the next level. Contact us!

 

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