Inspiring Non-Profit Brochure Designs: Examples and Best Practices Checklist

By Anne Lauth

Inspiring Non-Profit Brochure Designs: Examples and Best Practices Checklist

Non-profit organizations often have limited resources when it comes to producing marketing collateral. How can you still effectively spread awareness about your cause and inspire action with these conditions?

Good question!

Engaging digital brochures are a great way to bridge the gap between mission and impact. However, creating a compelling brochure in the non-profit industry doesn't come without its challenges.

In this blog post, we'll provide you with some insights on creating brochures that resonate with your target audience as part of your non-profit marketing strategy. We'll also explore examples of non-profit brochures from our amazing customers in the industry to illustrate best practices in action. Get your notebooks ready; here comes your checklist for creating a perfect non-profit brochure.

We had a look at how the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) does it. LISC's success lies in tackling complex social issues and fostering vibrant communities, making them a valuable source of inspiration for any non-profit organization looking to create a brochure.

1- Make it short and clear

LISC's brochure is a great non-profit brochure example of how to translate complex social issues into clear, concise messaging. Their copy is short, and the brochure stands on one page. The paragraphs never exceed three sentences. This is enough to get their point across without losing their reader's attention. That's an A in brochure creation!

2- Dive straight into it

The opening line immediately establishes LISC's national reach and dedication to community development. Short, action-oriented sentences like "helping forge vibrant, resilient communities" paint a compelling picture of their impact. 

Avoid beating around the bush to get your message across quickly. Raising funds is tricky, but readers prefer to get straight to the point rather than reading pages about things that don't necessarily relate. So focus on the reason you're collecting funds, explain what the money will be used for, and clearly state your goals. 

LISC - Non-Profit Brochure 1

3- Structure for skimming

LISC's brochure utilizes a block layout, ideal for busy readers. Bite-sized chunks of information are easily digestible, and headlines act as road signs, guiding users through the content. 

Keep your reader's attention span in mind

This is primordial when creating a brochure; remember that your reader's attention span is very limited. You're probably competing against other organizations with non-profit digital marketing efforts that also have important messages to get across. Making your brochure consumable in less than 2 minutes will allow you to set yourself apart. 

LISC Foleon Non Profit Brochure  (1)

4- Don't get greedy on numbers

LISC doesn't shy away from data. They leverage impactful numbers and data visualizations to showcase the tangible results of their initiatives. This data is presented visually, making it instantly engaging and reinforcing the written message. 

Choose the right numbers

Don't overwhelm your reader with a barrage of statistics, though; instead, select data points that directly showcase the tangible results of your work. This could be the number of people you've served, the percentage of a problem you've helped address or the quantifiable impact of your programs.

Use data visualization

Data visualizations are a fantastic way to present complex information in a clear and engaging way. Consider using charts, graphs, or infographics to make your data pop. However, avoid overly complex visuals that might confuse your audience. Keep it easy, clear, and understandable. 

Add a story behind your numbers

Don't let your data exist in a silo. Weave it seamlessly into your overall narrative. Explain what the numbers mean, how they were achieved, and the impact they represent. This helps your audience connect emotionally with the data and understand your work's true significance.

LISC - Non-Profit Brochure 2

5- Make sure your content is harmonious

In LISC's brochure, images and text work in synergy. Carefully chosen visuals complement the data and narrative, creating a well-rounded and visually appealing experience. 

Keep it on brand

Establish a visual style guide for your brochure. This ensures a cohesive look and feel throughout the piece. Consider factors like color palettes, fonts, and image styles to create a unified aesthetic. Don't use visuals simply for decoration. 

Everything should have a purpose

Each picture should serve a purpose, either reinforcing a data point, illustrating a narrative point, or evoking an emotional response.

Find the right balance

Last but not least, make sure to strike a balance between visuals and text, using concise language to complement your visuals and guide the reader's journey through the brochure.

6- Make it actionable:

The brochure keeps its purpose laser-sharp: encouraging user engagement. It avoids lengthy text, opting for a straightforward approach that directs readers to a strategically placed contact form. This eliminates unnecessary steps and streamlines the conversion process. If you want to give them more information about a specific topic, CTAs are your best friends. Take them to a new page, but make sure it opens a new window and doesn't close your Doc.

LISC - Non-Profit Brochure 3

We had a look at how another one of our non-profit customers created their brochures. You might have heard of them; they're called Greenpeace. And as you probably know, they're a worldwide organization that works toward one goal: saving the planet. No easy mission, but great interactive content can certainly help achieve that goal. 

Here's their checklist for creating great non-profit brochures.

7- Use powerful visuals

Greenpeace’s brochure throws readers right into the heart of the action with captivating visuals. Images of Greenpeace activists in demonstrations, at sea, or confronting palm oil producers showcase the dedication and courage behind their fight. These powerful visuals personalize the narrative and allow readers to connect with the human element of the cause. The brochure relies heavily on visuals, with minimal text. This minimalist approach keeps the message clear and avoids overwhelming the reader.

Add hero images that spark emotion

Showcase your cause visually with high-quality images that evoke an emotional response. Images of activists working on the frontline, communities impacted by environmental issues, or the beauty of the natural world you're protecting can all be powerful tools.

Interactive maps for deeper dives

Don't overwhelm your reader with text about all your global initiatives. Consider incorporating a QR code (dynamic QR code vs static) or an interactive map. This allows viewers to explore specific projects or campaigns in more detail while keeping the brochure concise and engaging. For example, Greenpeace used an interactive map to showcase its ongoing efforts worldwide. The map pinpoints the locations and provides background information on the situation.

Green Peace interactive map Non-Profit Brochure

8- Inspire your reader to be part of something big

Greenpeace understands the power of emotional connection. By showcasing the heroism of their activists, they subtly invite readers to join the movement. The closing line, "Make the difference" (Machen Sie den Unterschied), empowers individuals to feel like their contribution, through donations, can be a part of something impactful.

9- Nudge donations with visual progress indicators 

A clever touch lies in the use of progress bars for specific fundraising goals (e.g., communication gear). These bars tap into our innate desire to see things completed. Witnessing an almost-filled bar subconsciously nudges readers to contribute and "fill the gap," creating a sense of accomplishment and participation.

Choose the right goals

Don't overwhelm your audience with too many progress bars. Select specific, achievable fundraising goals that resonate with your mission. For instance, you could showcase progress towards purchasing medical equipment, sponsoring a child's education, or planting a certain number of trees.

Spark a sense of urgency

You can subtly nudge donations by incorporating a time element. For example, you could mention the deadline for reaching the goal or the number of days remaining in the fundraising campaign. This creates a sense of urgency and encourages viewers to contribute before the window closes.

Celebrate milestones

Don't just focus on the end goal. Consider highlighting smaller milestones along the way. This lets you showcase the progress and keeps your audience engaged. You could update the progress bars on your website or social media platforms to maintain momentum.

Green Peace - Non-Profit Brochure 2


Limited resources shouldn't limit your impact. As we've seen, compelling brochures can be a game-changer for non-profit organizations.

We explored actionable takeaways from the success of LISC and Greenpeace. Now, you have a blueprint for creating a brochure that resonates with your audience and inspires action.

Remember, keep it clear, concise, and visually engaging. Don't be afraid to leverage data and emotional connections to showcase the power of your cause. Most importantly, makes it easy for readers to get involved.

With a well-crafted brochure, you can bridge the gap between mission and impact, transforming limited resources into a powerful force for good.

Anne Lauth

Anne is the Customer Content Marketer at Foleon. She loves chatting with customers and discovering the secrets behind their content. Anne's extensive experience in content creation fuels her genuine passion for all things content-related.

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