following are tools, solutions, tips, tricks,
secrets, and best practices for nonprofit organizations.
Be sure to share this page with your colleagues
so they can benefit from them as well.
Organization Web Resources
Influence of Graphics for Nonprofit Organizations
One of the fastest and easiest ways Nonprofit
Organizations can reach donors is through effective
visual communication. People think using pictures.
Before we can talk, we learn through seeing and
responding to our surroundings. Dr. Lynell Burmark,
Ph.D. Associate at the Thornburg Center for Professional
Development and author of several books and papers
on visual literacy, asserted that ideas and concepts
not associated with an image are harder to process
by our long-term memory. In short, words are processed
by short-term memory, and images are immediately
tucked away in our long-term memory. If this assertion
is correct (and many other researchers have proven
so), then using visuals for marketing materials
to promote a Nonprofit's goals, presentations
to how funding is applied, and all other communications
will help reach your audience and promote your
Consider the following:
- Professional, visually appealing
graphics increase your likelihood of success
by 43% (3M-sponsored study at the University
of Minnesota School of Management).
- Research at the 3M Corporation
concluded that we process visuals 60,000 times
faster than text.
- 83% of what we learn is through
our eyes according to a study by the United
States Armed Forces
- According to Dale Carnegies Training,
graphics allow the audience to follow at their
own speed because visuals accommodate all learning
- 200% improved learning when
visuals were used. (University of Wisconsin
- 40% less time to explain complex
ideas with visuals. (Wharton School study)
- 38% improved retention because
of graphics. (Harvard University study)
This does not mean that graphic
communication is better than text. However, the
combination of graphics and words has a communicative
power that neither singularly possesses. J.R.
Levin said it best in A Transfer of Appropriate
Process Perspective of Pictures in Prose: 'Pictures
interact with text to produce levels of comprehension
and memory that can exceed what is produced by
Graphics for Nonprofit Organizations
When creating graphics, ask
yourself the following:
- What is the most important idea
or concept this graphic should relate?
- Who is your audience? Would
they understand any technical terms or prefer
- How do you want to say it? What
form of graphic (photograph, area chart, illustration,
timeline, etc.) will best reach your audience
and help them to understand the idea/concept?
Rules for Creating Graphics for Nonprofit Organizations
- All graphics should play a specific
role and have a reason for being chosen and
- Stay consistent.
- Show or say it correctly. Don't
try to be original.
- Keep it clean and simple. Too
much visual clutter can be overwhelming and
lose the primary objective of your message.
- Label elements directly to avoid
confusion. This rule is especially true if you
are introducing new image and ideas.
- Use recognizable imagery. Seeing
a familiar face evokes trustworthiness in your
audience. This is one reason celebrities are
used in advertisements.
- Focus on your audience. Show
your audience in your graphics. Allow your audience
to see themselves learning and benefiting from
your services or applying your services.
Graphics for Nonprofit Organizations
Consistency throughout your communication materials
is the main reason to create a template for your
presentations and maintain a database of graphics.
You don't want your audience wondering why certain
slides in a presentation are colored differently
(if there's no reason) or why different illustrations
are used to explain the same concept. These differences
will distract from your message and you want your
message to be communicated clearly and remembered.
To maintain a database of graphics
for your Nonprofit Organization, consider the
- On your server create a folder
specifically for graphics (primarily photographs,
illustrations, charts, and logos).
- Create subfolders for each graphic
type (i.e., Photos of Donors, Photos of Sponsored
Events, Photos of Services Provided, Charts
of Funding Statistics, Organization Logos).
- Inform everyone in your organization
of the availability of these images.
- Create a standards guide to
inform your associates when, where, and how
they can use these graphics. Include the following:
- Photo or illustration size limitations
- Type of communications in which to use
the graphics (i.e., for newspapers, brochures,
- Logo guides for size, colors, and style
- Stationery guidelines (i.e., logo, margins,
body text, colors, etc.)
To create a template for presentations,
use the following guide. Open a blank document
and populate it with this information:
- Title slide template
- Background templates (be sure
to include all versions for different sections
or larger titles)
- Primary color
- Secondary color
- Tertiary color
- Color palette of boxes tinted
with your chosen colors
- Font and text styles
- Font style
- Font size (For graphics, use at least
12 pt. for best visibility when projected
on a screen)
- Font color
- Bullet styles
- Labeling styles
- Box styles (different boxes
for org charts, flow charts, benefits boxes,
- Arrow styles
- Line style (width and color)
- Logos for your organization
and any sponsors/donors
- Samples of graphic icons/photos
used in other graphics (e.g., blue cylinder
- Samples of graphic styles (area
charts, bar charts, etc. used within presentation)
Organization Graphic Solutions
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Successful nonprofit organizations
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their ideas and words into clear, communicative,
- Fundraising graphics
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- Medical graphics
- Explanatory graphics (information
- Pie charts
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- Gantt charts
- Promotional graphics
- Web graphics
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- Any visual solution
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more about the Training and Workshops.)
Solutions for Nonprofit Organizations
Your challenges are unique.
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