Trying to create a communication that speaks to both donor and consumer audiences of a nonprofit is a recipe for failure. Rarely is the same message appropriate for both. Rather, in addition to a mission and positioning statement, organizations should develop audience profiles that lead to communications that target, engage, and educate more effectively.
The Achieve Program, a nonprofit program for Boston middle school students, has two very different audiences: prospective families and program donors. In the past, Achieve produced one comprehensive brochure for both targets. However, after reviewing the proposed content, we discerned that it needed to be curated and customized based on the recipient. We needed to develop two pieces that complemented each other.
Our first step was to create an identity and brand guideline for the organization. Enhancing the program’s generic logo, we developed a visual brand that featured an active and engaged photo direction, a vibrant color palette, hand lettering, and playful graphics. These components became the backbone of the design directions for the brochures. While visually unified, the two brochures now featured specific copy and statistics that were relevant to each audience.
These visual guidelines later served as the framework for the organization’s annual report. While the final piece was more understated, it also highlighted the importance of the communication’s content and data.