Creating foundations for fundraising through graphic design

20 March 2019 Fundraising Graphic Design - 2019 World's Longest Lunch, Geelong

When working with a not-for-profit agency, designing for impact has a whole new level of importance. The role of graphic design in fundraising cannot be understated.

Recent research shows a decline in the proportion of Australians giving to charity. Therefore, the need to grab attention and engage with people to attract donations is more critical than ever.

However, it is not just about getting noticed but getting noticed by the right people. Successful fundraisers understand their efforts must attract people with an interest in or connection to their work and goals. For a designer, this requires balancing creativity and eye-catching images with upholding the charity’s credibility amongst its core support network.

Fundraising Graphic Design - Geelong Gala Day and Catwalk for Cancer posters

Achieving balance

Since the start of 2018, Martlette Graphic Design has been the design partner for Geelong’s Barwon Health Foundation. As part of the sponsorship, we provide pro bono design work for the foundation’s key fundraising activities. This includes high profile projects such as the World’s Longest Lunch; Gala Day; the 2018 Under the Big Top Charity Ball; and Catwalk for Cancer.

According to Barwon Health Foundation Executive Director, Zoe Waters, each event must generate enough funds to deliver essential medical and health services to the community.

“The marketing and promotional collateral for these events has to support our vision for excellence in health services. The design of these materials needs to shine through on many levels.”

“Brochures, posters, advertisements and online images have to look professional and instantly get attention from both current and potential supporters.  They need to stand out but be sympathetic to the Foundation’s image and integrity.”

Fundraising Graphic Design - Geelong's Under the Big Top Gala Fundraising Graphic Design - Geelong's Under the Big Top Gala Ball

Knowing the intent

Good graphic design is about understanding differences between creating for business and designing for philanthropy. Like designing for the commercial sector, visuals should be memorable.  However, there also needs to be an emotional bond.

Zoe Waters: “The Under the Big Top Charity Ball was our key fundraising event in 2018 with the aim of raising $100,000 for a new children’s rehabilitation centre. The event’s promotional material had to reflect its fun and colourful nature without distracting from its core purpose of helping children.”

“We worked with Martlette to achieve this by using bright and interesting visuals as a backdrop to the central message about raising money for our Kids Appeal.”

Often, the subtle elements in graphic design are most important. When designing for charities, these small but crucial features are part of a package of strategies for making the right impact.

Fundraising Graphic Design - Kids Appeal Geelong Giving Weekend