Introduction: Design guide for non-profits

We love to work with clients who are changing the world. But they often work with low budgets, over-stretched staff and aboard that changes membership (and direction) every few years.

To get a fresh point of view, we called Jenny and Laura of Alexander | Carrillo Consulting. The superheros of Tucson’s non-profit world, their client list reads like a directory of local organizations. We asked about common pitfalls they see their clients run into with design. They had a LOT to say! Do any of these sound familiar?

  • No clear vision about what you need before jumping right into a project. Your publications should be planned out ahead of time .You need to know who you are trying to reach, and what you are “selling.”
  • Not knowing what your publications are supposed to do for your organization. You know you need an annual report, but never know what to put into it. Jenny and Laura say you do NOT need to list all your donors. (You will only hear about it when you leave someone out, or misspell a name.)
  • Not listening to the experts you hire. Or maybe it is the board not listening to the person running the project.
  • Trying to get stuff for free. In an effort to save money, you often have a lot of frustration and end up doing things over or being ineffective.
  • Trying to put a fresh stamp on things. Nonprofits often think they have to create something new to grab attention. But giving is a habit, and familiarity forms habits. Jenny and Laura said this is a hard lesson for a lot of groups.

We’ll be sharing blog posts about each of these topics over the next few months so come back to learn all you need to know about design for non-profits!

Copywriting: Jenni Pagano
Graphics: Julie Ray