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Reader Questions: Are Brochures Still Relevant for Fundraising?

brochure example

brochure example from Greenpeace

Today we are answering fabulous hardworking fundraiser reader questions!

I recently got a question from a fantastic environmental fundraiser named Erin, who asked about brochures. She writes,

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Dear Mazarine,

I’ve been wondering about something and I have attempted to search online for resources but thought you might be able to direct me. So, my organization is working on designing/creating a new brochure with a strong focus on membership for our organization.

We are an environmental organization and it seems our staff have mixed feelings on whether we even need a paper brochure anymore. I was telling someone the other day that this was a project I was working on and the first response was, “Why? Who uses brochures?” Well, it’s true that we use email, social media, our website most of the time but there seems to also be this feeling that we need a hard copy brochure for tabling events, meeting potential funders and members.

Do you have any thoughts on this? Or any resources that could speak to this? Are people moving entirely away from paper?

Any direction would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

Erin

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Hi Erin!

Thanks for asking. 🙂 Here’s what I think.

It is important to have something on paper for potential members or donors because reading something in your hand produces emotional processing and emotional processing is critical for giving

And this includes membership.

Even NTEN, the nonprofit technology network, sends a physical piece of mail, in addition to their enewsletters, as well as a membership card, when you sign up.

If the brochure feels outdated to some in your organization, here are some other ideas:

1. A one-sheet explaining benefits of membership (that they can take with them)

2. A poster with membership benefits, for tabling

3. A business card with seeds embedded in it, that they can pour water on and have a mini-garden at their desk

4. Some sort of pop-up brochure with a little windmill or solar panel pop-out (in keeping with your mission, and kinda fun!) So, something like this, but with a windmill or solar panel instead of a whale and squid?

ALSO if you want a swipe file to start getting ideas from:

0. Here’s a whole membership package plus brochure from the Soil Association (another environmental membership nonprofit) that you might want to take a look at.

0.1 Here’s the Longwood Gardens direct mail membership acquisition pack

0.2 And here’s the Greenpeace membership renewal pack

0.3 And here’s the Australian Greenpeace welcome pack to help you keep your members

Do you like any of these ideas?

You STILL definitely need something for people to take with them.

Was this helpful?

Peace,

Mazarine

What do YOU think? Do you think brochures are still helpful? Have you ever gotten a donation from a brochure?

One response on “Reader Questions: Are Brochures Still Relevant for Fundraising?

  1. I definitely think ideas around print materials are changing. It’s a challenging question, because folks are not always(1) honest (they’ll tell you they don’t want you to kill trees; then they’ll respond to the information/visuals they saw and touched on the killed trees); (2)alike, and (3) the same from day to day.

    I’m finding that folks are going towards smaller print materials. So, a one-page hand-out in lieu of a brochure or a pocket-sized annual report. And if you’re going to do it, clever is the way to go. I love the little pop-up example you gave. And the idea of a card with seeds embedded in it! If it’s something that folks want to save and keep on their desks, then it’s not really a “waste” to have killed the tree.

    I haven’t made a standard run-of-the-mill brochure in years. They’re boring and go right into the trash can. So, perhaps it’s a good idea to think of print more as a lasting form of awareness building rather than the ephemeral nature of e-communications.If you’re gonna do it, make it something worth saving.