5 Pieces of Marketing Collateral Non-profits Should Use

Non-profit leaders are constantly looking for ways to increase mission awareness and gain more donations and volunteers. Marketing efforts can play a crucial role in achieving those goals, but marketing can also be expensive.

In addition to the sometimes high costs associated with marketing efforts comes the fact that there seem to be limitless marketing strategies and opportunities. With ample marketing opportunities and limited budgets, non-profit leaders may struggle to decide which marketing efforts make the most sense and will generate the most value. Today, we are pleased to share the five pieces of marketing collateral that, in our experience, make the biggest impact for non-profits.


1. Brochures

While brochures may be a little old school, they play a vital role for non-profits. Often brochures will provide an individual with their first description of a non-profit organization’s mission. The best brochures include compelling information about organization benefits, programs and other membership information. It is possible multiple brochures will be needed, such as an overview piece that can be used for any market segment or separate brochures based on association membership levels.


2. Flyers

The messaging on flyers is usually short and to the point. Flyers are great when used to promote events, sponsorships or annual membership renewals – all of which are extremely important. Flyers are usually just one page and can be simply designed, making them more affordable than other marketing collateral. Depending on your goal, the design work can be completed in-house with simple software like Microsoft Word, or a design freelancer or volunteer can be used.


3. Personalized emails

Personalized emails are a great way to promote events and program participation. While there are many email service providers that provide templates for easy personalized emails (and some even offer discounts for non-profits), Microsoft Word’s email merge tool is a powerful, easy way to create simple emails. The simple act of personalizing the email with someone’s name or other information can increase the chance that the email will be opened and read.


4. Email newsletters

Save on printing and mailing costs by investing in email software that enables you to create and send email newsletters that feature upcoming events, noteworthy news and more. Scheduled on a regular basis, this effort can help grow your non-profit’s network. Take your email address list and segment it based on specific groups in order to personalize your messages to new members, existing members or potential members, for example.


5. Videos

Video is an incredibly powerful medium. While it can be expensive to produce a video, it can be a very worthwhile effort if done well. Simple, inexpensive videos can be quickly produced and posted to social media to promote events or news. Invest more time and effort into videos that focus on the mission of an organization or share success stories from members. These videos can be shared via social media, email newsletter and the non-profit website. Try to include stories that stand the test of time, so you aren’t spending money on a video that will be outdated in the next year or two.


There are many other marketing collateral pieces that may be worthwhile beyond what is listed here. Blogs and testimonials, for example, can be powerful, but they can also be a little more labor-intensive. In order to achieve more from marketing, utilize not only staff marketing professionals, but organization volunteers. Micro-volunteers, who volunteer but have limited time, can be utilized to create content for some of these pieces of collateral, for example.

When it comes to marketing, consistency is key. One flyer for one event isn’t going to increase mission awareness and donations, but a long-term, strategic marketing initiative that involves multiple different types of collateral can. When planning marketing efforts, keep branding consistent, as well. Especially when more than one person is creating marketing materials, branding and tone can vary. To keep each item consistent, determine one person to be the final set of eyes on all marketing items. This person can adjust messaging and imagery to best match the organization brand guidelines.