Message & Design
HOW DO WE FIND THE STORIES?
By asking a lot of questions and digging into the heart of your program – the extraordinary individuals who support you as well as those who your program supports. We’ll interview the people who deliver your programs and serve your constituents. We’ll visit your projects and ask questions the way a donor would. We’ll talk to your leadership and even your donors. We’ll look for facts the way a good journalist does, and human interest stories the way a good writer does.
TELL STORIES OR SHOW FACTS? INSPIRE OR REPORT?
Both. At different times, through different channels. The real question is when to adopt a focus. An appeal is part of a communications flow. There is a time to appeal straight to the heart, a time to report project results and a time simply to say “thank you.” We will help you strike the most authentic and effective balance of messages, stories and story-tellers for your program.
DIRECT MARKETING PRINCIPLES? YES.
COOKIE-CUTTER TEMPLATES? NO WAY.
Because we’ve created thousands of direct mail appeals, e-mail messages and web pages, the professionals at Next Generation Fundraising know – and helped develop – the most enduring principles of fundraising. That’s why we’re asked to teach, conduct workshops and facilitate leading conferences. We know that a fundraising appeal – long or short, factual or poetic – needs a clear, effective call to action that stirs people. A strong appeal needs to produce a great feeling for your donor and a great result for you.
But your appeals need to follow best practices without looking like they came out of a sausage maker. Whether in print, online, on the phone or on film, the Next Gen creative team first identifies the unique elements of your message and only then begins to apply fundraising principles.
DOES DESIGN MATTER?
YES! Whether an appeal is in print or electronic, the images, color and even choice of type face send an immediate signal to a donor. The direct mail designers, web developers and film makers who work with Next Gen strive to convey the character of your organization and support the call to action. Whether you need the simplicity of an urgent appeal, or the rich images of a sweeping campaign, design can make your fundraising cohesive and compelling.
DO YOU HAVE YOUR OWN WRITING OR DESIGN TALENT? LET’S SUPPORT THEM.
Sometimes you have material that has worked in the past. Let’s give it new life and boost its performance with a new twist or fresh look. And if you have internal talent on your team, we can help develop their skills with coaching and training. It doesn’t matter to us where the creative process starts or ends – as long as the fundraising results surpass your goals.
We never forget what it is like to be on the other side of that donation. When someone supports your organization or institution – with a gift in any amount – they are investing in you, in your mission and in the promises you made that helped secure that gift.
It all starts with strong, creative communications.