18 Best Nonprofit Graphic Design Examples

With the rise of the digital age, people are consuming information faster than ever. In order to capture their attention before they click away or scroll to the next post, you need exciting graphics. 

Graphic design is an essential part of marketing your nonprofit organization to the world. A powerful graphic allows you to deliver information to your audience in a way that’s visually appealing, informative, and impactful. As a result, you’ll be able to maximize your nonprofit’s reach and improve your brand visibility.

For some nonprofits, graphic design can feel daunting, especially if you don’t know where to start. If you’ve found yourself looking for inspiration, you’re in the right place. By examining compelling graphic design examples, you can see what’s possible for your own website, social media, and more! 

In this article, we’ll show off 15 of the best examples of nonprofit graphic design by format, along with tips and tricks to creating your own. Specifically, we’ll go over: 

  1. Graphic Design Basics
  2. Nonprofit Logo Examples
  3. Nonprofit eCard Design Examples
  4. Nonprofit Website Design Examples
  5. Nonprofit Infographic Examples 
  6. Nonprofit Brochure Examples
  7. Nonprofit Video Examples

By seeing how other nonprofits have successfully used graphic design, you’ll be in great shape to plan your own designs and excite your audience. 

Ready to jump into the world of nonprofit graphic design? Let’s get started. 

Graphic Design Basics: Building Your Brand 

Your nonprofit organization might be serving the same need as another organization. So, how can you stand out from the crowd and maximize donations? 

A great graphic design will help build your brand recognition. By using a consistent theme across designs (colors, illustrations, messaging, and more!), your supporters will be able to immediately recognize your nonprofit and better connect with its mission. Better yet, more people will become familiar with your organization and want to contribute. 

There are many types of graphic design you can use to improve your nonprofit marketing strategy. Consider adding the following to your graphic design portfolio: 

  • A Memorable Logo – Shape the public’s perception around your brand in a creative way. A good design incorporates your organization’s values and is easy to understand. 
  • Engaging Website Design – Your design should engage visitors and make them want to stick around to learn more. Consider font, color scheme, and a layout that is accessible, modern, and unique to your organization.  
  • Helpful Infographics – These tools bridge the gap between visuals and text in an exciting way. Infographics are especially useful for education or to highlight your organization’s impact. 
  • Comprehensive Brochures – Digital and in-print brochures can help people learn about your organization and why they should become involved. Maximize engagement with clear formatting, helpful information, and graphics that evoke an emotional response. 
  • Impactful Video Graphics – Videos are a powerful form of story-telling that resonates with audiences. Use features like animated text and moving graphics to showcase your organization’s mission and impact on the community. 

As you look through examples in this article, consider which graphic design types would be most beneficial and relevant to your nonprofit. Remember to keep in mind your audience. Your graphic design should be inspiring and impactful for the group you’re targeting. 

1. Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States is a great example of nonprofit logo design because of its unique illustration.

Why We Love This Logo

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is an animal welfare organization that has three focus areas: end the cruelest practices toward all animals, care for animals in crisis, and build a stronger animal protection movement. 

Their mission to support animals in the U.S. is clear in the design. The logo features an illustration of America made from a variety of animals, ranging from pets like dogs and cats to wild animals like whales. The image is engaging to look at and immediately lets the viewer know that this logo belongs to an animal-centered group in the U.S., even if they aren’t familiar with the HSUS. 

The color blue is another key feature that makes this logo great. Blue conveys positive qualities like trustworthiness, reliability, and professionalism to viewers. Blue is also in the American flag, so this color helps emphasize the organization’s mission to serve all of the U.S. 

Top 3 Lessons From This Logo

  • Tap into your creativity! If your logo is boring, it won’t appeal to your audience. 
  • Make your logo relevant to your organization’s mission. This will help strengthen relationships with supporters and attract new ones. 
  • Select a color scheme that represents your values. Different colors make people feel different emotions, so consider your audience and how you want your logo to resonate with them. 

2. Feeding America

The Feeding America logo is an example of excellent graphic design because of its illustration of wheat and clean typeface.

Why We Love This Logo

Feeding America is a charitable organization that seeks to provide equitable access to nutritious food across the United States. 

The words are stacked on top of each other so each letter is perfectly in line, creating a simple yet effective design. Feeding America’s mission is well-reflected in the letter “I’s” which align to create an ear of wheat. The wheat illustration adds character to the logo without making the words difficult to read or distracting the viewer. 

This logo also uses color to its advantage. Feeding America’s color palette strategically ties back into their mission to tackle hunger. The orange and green colors feel earthy and can easily be linked to food production. 

Typeface is another feature that plays an important role in this logo’s success. Feeding America’s logo was created with the font Gotham Bold, which is a sans-serif typeface. Sans-serif feels modern, clean, and friendly, making it a great choice for Feeding America’s branding. 

Top 3 Lessons From This Logo

  • Integrate designs into your logo naturally. 
  • Be simple and intentional with your color scheme. If you’re using more than one color, make sure the colors complement each other. We recommend using 2 to 3 colors maximum to create a minimal look. 
  • Select a typeface and font based on the visual aesthetic you want your logo to achieve. 

3. Rethink Mental Illness 

Rethink Mental Illness has a great nonprofit logo design celebrating their 50th anniversary.

Why We Love This Logo

Rethink Mental Illness aims to improve the quality of life for people with mental illness. This U.K. based organization offers support groups, mental health training, and more to improve mental healthcare. 

For their 50th anniversary, Rethink Mental Illness created this special anniversary logo to commemorate their longevity. Developing an anniversary logo is a great way to demonstrate your organization’s longstanding commitment to serving its mission while adding authority to its brand. People want to feel confident that their donation is being put to good use, so highlighting your organization’s achievements can help attract more support. 

Rethink Mental Illness seamlessly wraps the number 50 around its traditional logo, creating a feeling of unity. The number is large, clear, and immediately lets viewers know that this organization is celebrating a historic milestone. 

Top 3 Lessons From This Logo

  • When creating an anniversary logo, stay true to your original branding. Use colors and fonts that your audience is already familiar with so they can easily recognize your updated logo. 
  • The numbers should be as prominent as possible. We recommend making it the biggest element in your design so it’s clear that your organization is celebrating this achievement. 
  • Make the numbers pop with a simple yet engaging design that ties everything together.

Nonprofit eCard Design Examples

Charity eCards are a fantastic way to bolster your nonprofit’s brand identity, raise money, spread cause awareness, and foster deeper relationships with stakeholders. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite examples of nonprofits putting this type of nonprofit graphic design to use.

1. Peace Winds America

Peace Winds America designed a series of cause-specific Father’s Day cards, making it one of our favorite nonprofit graphic design examples.

Why We Love These eCard Designs

Peace Winds is an international NGO that responds to natural disasters and man-made crises throughout the world. As part of their initiative to raise awareness of refugees’ situations, they launch a joint Father’s Day and World Refugee Day campaign.

Fundraising Letters’ donation eCards guide does a great job of explaining why this nonprofit eCard design works so well:

“For World Refugee Day, Peace Winds offered a visually-captivating eCard branded with original graphics, the organization’s logo, and its official colors. To top it all off, the typography emphasizes the purpose of the eCard and the organization behind the hard work. In exchange for a donation, supporters could send an eCard to honor refugees and raise awareness of their plight around the world.”

If you’re wanting to spread cause awareness, eCards like these are a great way to do so — especially if there’s a special cause awareness day, week, or month associated with your mission. Model your nonprofit graphic designs after these, and you’re sure to wind up with powerful greeting cards that supporters will love.

Top 3 Lessons From This eCard Campaign

  • Connect your eCards to other important occasions like major holidays to make them relatable.
  • Infuse your mission into your eCards by aligning the images and messages with your nonprofit, so supporters can spread cause awareness each time they send one.
  • Include your logo in the corner of each eCard to make it clear that it was designed by your nonprofit.

2. Youth For Understanding

Youth For Understanding design nonprofit eCards that program participants could send to former mentors and staff members.

Why We Love These eCard Designs

Online cards are such a fantastic way to recognize donors, volunteers, and anyone else who makes your mission possible. Youth For Understanding (YFU) launched a thank-you eCard campaign as part of their initiative to reignite program participants’ relationships with former mentors, staff members, host families, and anyone else who made their experience memorable. 

We love these designs because they incorporate the nonprofit’s colors and logo while also promoting a positive message. The organization offered an array of greeting card options, including everything from generic thank-you designs to more specific ones. Program participants could pick their favorites and send a customized, heartfelt message alongside them.

Top 3 Lessons From This eCard Campaign

  • Get creative with the eCard designs you offer. A collection of different choices will give supporters multiple options from which to choose.
  • Allow users to customize the messages that are sent with each eCard. This can make each eCard more heartfelt and meaningful.
  • Enable different sending options, so users can send their favorite designs via email, social media, text, or some other method.

3. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

For this nonprofit graphic design example, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium created Valentine’s eCards.

Why We Love These eCard Designs

Looking to spread the word about your mission and celebrate the holidays? Follow Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium’s lead by designing holiday eCards.

For this campaign, they designed a huge collection of Valentine’s Day eCards that featured different animals, aligning with their mission to save wildlife and educate the public about preserving their habitats.

Users could then select their favorites to send to loved ones to celebrate the special day and encourage them to visit the zoo. Smart nonprofit marketing tactics like these can take your outreach to the next level.

Top 3 Lessons From This eCard Campaign

  • While Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium offered these eCards for free, your supporters might be willing to pay for fun designs! Consider selling eCards to your supporters, and they’ll be more than happy to, knowing the funds will go to a good cause.
  • Offer plenty of designs, so your supporters can pick their favorites to celebrate special occasions. You’re not just limited to Valentine’s Day either. Create holiday eCards for every special day throughout the year, from Mother’s Day to Christmas.
  • Not every card you design has to be all about your mission. Instead, you can make the main purpose of your cards be spreading joy and then include elements of your brand (in this case, animals that the zoo protects).

Nonprofit Website Design Examples: Highlighting Your Mission

1. The End Fund

The End Fund has an engaging nonprofit website design with consistent branding.

Why We Love This Website Design 

The End Fund is a charitable organization that seeks to end the most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). This group is the only one of its kind with its critical mission to provide NTD treatments to over 1.7 billion people. 

This focus on improving the lives of people affected by NTDs is evident throughout their web design. On the homepage, The End Fund breaks down their organization’s purpose with educational and engaging sections. Each section flows smoothly into the next and utilizes the same color scheme of red, blue, and black with a consistent font. 

The End Fund maintains consistent brand colors and font which is a good nonprofit graphic design practice.

For example, “The Problem” section uses illustrations and bold lettering to highlight the number of people suffering from parasitic and bacterial infectious diseases. This design makes the statistics digestible for a wide audience. It also helps to illuminate the magnitude of the problem so people feel more passionate about The End Fund’s cause. 

The End Fund has an interactive map on their website which is a great example of nonprofit design.

Another great feature of this homepage is the interactive map that identifies where The End Fund operates and its impact when you hover over the red countries. This visualization grabs the viewers’ attention and makes navigating The End Fund’s website a positive experience. 

Top 3 Lessons From This Website 

  • Maintain consistent branding across your website. Use the same color palette, font, and tone of voice throughout to build brand recognition and avoid distracting users. 
  • Make your website well-formatted with clearly labeled headings and tabs. 
  • Break down complex information into easy to understand graphics. Instead of writing long paragraphs about your organization’s impact, display it in a map or infographic. 

2. MAHUBE-OTWA Community Action Partnership, Inc.

MAHUBE-OTWA has compelling nonprofit website design featuring several images.

Why We Love This Website Design 

MAHUBE-OTWA tackles poverty by empowering children, adults, and seniors to be self-sufficient. 

Its homepage features a slideshow of engaging images that change every few seconds. These pictures include prominent captions that explain MAHUBE-OTWA’s services as well as an easy-to-click “Learn More” button that takes visitors to a more detailed page. This makes navigating the website and finding information a breeze. 

MAHUBE-OTWA features a calendar in their website design so supporters can stay in-the-know.

Another great feature on this website is the interactive calendar located under the Events tab, which is displayed prominently on the homepage. This calendar makes it simple for site visitors to learn about in-person or virtual events so they can get more involved. The calendar also fits well with the rest of the website because of its purple and white color scheme.

Top 3 Lessons From This Website 

  • Feature one or several images on your homepage. This lets visitors visualize your organization’s services and can help create an emotional response that connects people with your mision. 
  • Include buttons with embedded links so visitors can easily navigate to another page on your website to learn more information. 
  • Create an interactive calendar that makes learning about upcoming events easy. This can be coupled with text message or email reminders so your supporters can stay in-the-know. 

3. Live Out Loud

Live Out Loud has compelling nonprofit website design through its engaging graphics.

Why We Love This Website Design 

Live Out Loud is a charitable organization that seeks to uplift LGBTQ+ youth through offering resources, role models, and opportunities. 

The branding across the website is consistent with the butterfly logo, which is featured prominently on the homepage. Here, visitors can see a slideshow of different teens in front of the butterfly logo as if these wings are their own. This ties back into Live Out Loud’s Mission to help kids become leaders in their communities. 

With a straightforward menu bar at the top of every page, users can easily find the information they’re looking for. Live Out Loud simplifies and brings attention to the online donation process through a prominent “Donate” button highlighted in blue in all caps. 

Live Out Loud's website design features an accessible donation form.

Once visitors click on the “Donate” button, a form is automatically generated with very few prompts, making donating simple and convenient. This helps donors feel more compelled to give again. 

Top 3 Lessons From This Website 

  • Incorporate your logo into your page in a fun and unique way! This helps maintain your brand and boosts excitement over your content. 
  • Include a clearly labeled “Donate” button on the menu bar that grabs visitors’ attention. Try using all caps or a different font color to set it apart. 
  • Embed an online donation form into your website with only a few prompts. This saves donors’ time and makes the donation process simple to complete. 

Nonprofit Infographic Examples: Developing Creative Resources

1. American Heart Association 

American Heart Association's infographic titled "How to be More Active" is an example of great nonprofit infographic design.

Why We Love This Infographic 

The American Heart Association (AHA) seeks to promote cardiovascular health and prevent heart disease and stroke. One key way they achieve their mission is through providing public health education.

This focus on health education is evident in AHA’s infographic design. It features the clear title “How to Be More Active” in all caps at the top, which grabs the audience’s attention and defines what the infographic is about. 

The layout, split between “Move More” and “Tips for Success,” is easy to understand and follow. AHA makes great use of illustrations to emphasize points and makes reading this graphic fun. The images, like the target by the “Set Goals” heading or the children playing, are relevant and help the infographic feel more approachable. 

Top 3 Lessons From This Infographic 

  • Place your title clearly at the top and choose a short, catchy phrase that encompasses the entire infographic. 
  • Choose a layout that makes sense for the purpose of the infographic and is easy to follow. Your readers will be more likely to stick around and learn from the information! 
  • Get creative and incorporate graphics that will excite your audience and make them want to read the corresponding information. 

2. World Wildlife Fund 

This infographic from World Wildlife Fund uses good nonprofit graphic design practices.

Why We Love This Infographic 

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is a conservation organization that seeks to protect the environment and the people and animals that inhabit it. 

This infographic explores the important role sea turtles play in the Mesoamerican Reef. While this could be a difficult topic to explain, WWF’s infographic makes complex information digestible through short information bullets, sections covering different subheadings, and an engaging life-cycle diagram.

The life-cycle diagram features fascinating graphics of sea turtles and brief descriptions accompanying them. Clear arrows make it easy for the reader to follow the material. 

The color scheme – made up primarily of blue, orange, and pink – helps the information pop. Blue, which is the predominant color, relates closely to the ocean and adds to the visual appeal. 

Top 3 Lessons From This Infographic 

  • Break down complex information using diagrams or brief bullet points. This helps your infographic appeal to a wide audience. 
  • If you’re using a diagram, make sure it’s easy to follow. Use clear symbols that your reader will understand, like arrows. 
  • Incorporate colors that complement each other well and, if possible, relate to the topic of the infographic. This will help your reader connect with the information. 

3. Amnesty International

Amnesty International explains the U.S. Maternal Health Care Crisis in this interesting example of nonprofit infographic design.

Why We Love This Infographic 

Amnesty International seeks to promote universal human rights and challenge injustices around the world. 

This organization strategically makes their infographic more captivating through a graphic of a pregnant woman, which is relevant to its subject. Inside of the woman, statistics are listed out in large, white text, which helps it stand out from the green color. The body font is simple and easy to read, inviting the audience to read the text associated with the numbers. 

Amnesty International has clear branding at the bottom of the infographic. This helps to build brand visibility and let viewers know more about the organization so they can get involved. 

Top 3 Lessons From This Infographic 

  • Make important statistics stand out by varying the text color and size. This will help bring your audience’s attention to the highlights of your infographic. 
  • Choose a body font that complements your title and header fonts and has a minimal feel. Your reader will feel more inclined to read over everything as long as it doesn’t feel too overwhelming. 
  • Include your organization’s name to increase brand awareness and, if space permitting, add the logo, purpose statement, and link to your website/social media handles. 

Nonprofit Brochure Examples: Telling Your Organization’s Story 

1. Doctors Without Borders 

Doctors Without Borders uses excellent nonprofit brochure design practices in this example.

Doctors Without Borders is a humanitarian organization that provides medical care for people in conflict. 

This digital brochure – 7 pages in length – gives a comprehensive overview of the organization including how they carry out their mission and use donor funds. On the front page, viewers can clearly see the organization’s name printed in the center and at the bottom as part of their logo. 

The first page also includes a large, clear image of the organization at work, showing a child receiving medical treatment from a volunteer. This image highlights the impact of Doctors Without Borders and creates an emotional response. 

The branding is consistent throughout the brochure, which uses the red, black, and white color scheme and the same header and body font. This strategy boosts brand recognition and maintains readers’ attention.

Doctors Without Borders explains how supporters can be part of a global movement with great nonprofit brochure design.

Another great feature of this brochure is the strong call to action at the end. Doctors Without Borders encourages readers to “be part of a global movement” and offers multiple ways (with links!) that they can get involved. 

Top 3 Lessons From This Brochure 

  • Use images to drive emotional impact! Include a powerful image on the front page that will make someone want to open up your brochure and read its contents. 
  • Maintain consistent branding throughout the brochure. Your font, color scheme, and tone of voice should align with your other communication channels and advertising materials. 
  • At the end of your brochure, include a call to action and let your supporters know what steps they can take next to get involved. 

2. Atlanta Humane Society

Atlanta Humane Society's brochure has great nonprofit graphic design features such as a clear image of a dog and a volunteer.

The Atlanta Humane Society (AHS) is a charitable organization that provides shelter and veterinary care for homeless animals. 

Their digital brochure can be flipped through like a book, enhancing the reading experience and inviting readers to engage with the material. AHS has a section dedicated to explaining the organization’s animal-driven mission and its impact in the Atlanta community. This helps supporters feel confident that they are giving back to a worthy cause. Plus, it can help boost local support because of the organization’s proud ties to Georgia’s capital city. 

Atlanta Humane Society's brochure has engaging nonprofit designs of pie charts showing how they've shifted their operations.

Another highlight is the use of graphics to represent how AHS has used donations to power change. The pie charts illuminate how AHS shifted from focusing primarily on shelter services to community outreach with COVID-19. These visualizations (and fun illustrations of pets!) help readers better connect with the material. 

Top 3 Lessons From This Brochure 

  • Let your reader know all about your organization! Within the first few pages of your brochure, there should be an about section that dives deep into your mission. 
  • Appeal to your audience! If you’re a smaller nonprofit organization, you’ll want to draw supporters from your area. A great way to do this is by showing your pride for the city or region. 
  • Include charts or graphs so your statistics resonate with readers. Include a clear key that explains the color scheme. 

3. Boys and Girls Club of York County 

The Boys and Girls Club of York County uses wonderful nonprofit graphic design features like engaging colors and text boxes.

The Boys and Girls Club of York County focuses their mission on empowering children to realize their full potential. This is done through a variety of programs for children, including summer camp. 

This brochure works well for in-print distribution because of its tri-fold layout. Rather than focusing on the organization as a whole, this example targets the summer camp experience to get more children to enroll (and spread their mission far and wide to increase donations)! This allows the organization to provide more focused details such as the summer locations and fees. 

The front panel establishes a clear purpose so people know that this brochure is all about summer camp. Colorful photos of kids having fun appeals to parents and will increase the chances of families reading through the brochure to learn more. 

Another great quality is the clear headers, distinguished by bold font and colors, to bring the reader’s attention to the different sections. Even though the brochure has three different panels, there is a consistent style with the blue and green background colors and white text boxes. 

Top 3 Lessons From This Brochure

  • In-print brochures are a great way to expand your outreach to people that may not be familiar with your organization. Choose a simple layout, like the tri-fold design, so your brochure feels more inviting to read. 
  • You can use brochures to focus on specific programs or events. Dive deeper into the details, but include a small section that explains your organization’s mission. 
  • Grab your reader’s attention! Your in-print brochure should stand out even when it’s placed with 10 other brochures. Opt for bold colors and exciting graphics on the front panel to intrigue people to flip through! 

Nonprofit Video Examples: Expanding Your Reach 

1. Smile Train

Why We Love This Video

Smile Train is a charitable organization that treats children with cleft lips and palates. 

This organization has designed their video to be both informative and emotional. The video begins with a lighthearted animated scene of a child throwing food around and giggling. This is coupled with an important statistic about how children eat several meals a day. However, the next part of the video tugs at the viewers’ heartstrings by explaining that this is a struggle for children with clefts. 

This video evokes an emotional response in the viewer and makes the audience feel more connected to their cause. Its simplicity draws attention to the problem Smile Train is trying to solve and why it’s an important issue to address. 

The video is only 17 seconds long, but it gets to the point quickly and effectively. Viewers immediately know why Smile Train exists and their interest is piqued to learn more. 

Top 3 Lessons From This Video

  • Make your graphics interesting and relevant to your organization’s mission. Animation, for example, can be a great tool for organizations serving children. 
  • Statistics can be powerful in highlighting an issue, but don’t go overboard with it. Just one statistic can help shed light on your organization’s mission without overwhelming your audience. 
  • You don’t have to produce a lengthy video to make an impact on your viewers! A video that’s short and simple keeps the audience’s attention and is a great way to introduce people to your organization. 

2. American Cancer Society 

Why We Love This Video

The American Cancer Society (ACS) seeks to end cancer through groundbreaking research, public education, and policy changes. 

This video shows real people affected by cancer and how ACS positively impacted their lives. Ranging from children to adults, the people in this video demonstrate the scope of this problem and how it can impact anyone at any time. Their stories are raw and vulnerable, with one woman even saying that she has a high chance of getting cancer again in the near future. 

Between clips of survivors, the video includes slides with short phrases to drive important points home, like “You can make a difference,” and “We need your help” in all caps. 

Along with cancer survivors, the Chief Medical Officer of the ACS is featured in the video. The video ends with his powerful appeal to the audience for donations to save lives like the people shown in the video. 

Top 3 Lessons From This Video

  • Featuring people and stories of impact can help build connection to your mission. People want to feel confident that their donation is going towards a good cause, so this lets your audience know how their money is making a difference. 
  • Add text to your video to emphasize important points, but keep it short and sweet! You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too much text. Stick to visuals as much as possible. 
  • Have a strong call to action in your video. Ask supporters to visit your website to learn more or donate. 

3. Education and Employers

Why We Love This Video

Education and Employers aims to inspire students by connecting them with volunteers working in a variety of different professions. 

This video follows a real-life case study of students to track gender stereotypes in the workforce – but there’s a twist! Three women ask the students to draw a surgeon, fighter pilot, and a firefighter, and the video follows the children’s drawing process. The majority of the children opt to draw a man for each of the professions, and are surprised when the women reveal that they work in these professions. 

The twist in the video is a surprise to both the children and the audience. Education and Employers accurately captures the problem of gender stereotypes in this video and why there is a need to help children, especially young girls, realize their potential. 

This video also interlays statistics about gender stereotypes and other key points with the clips of the classroom experiment. Black text on the white screen, as well as the letters formatted in all caps, grabs viewers’ attention. The typeface is easy to read and minimal, which increases the chances of the audience reading and internalizing the message. 

Top 3 Lessons From This Video

  • Share your mission in action! Showing the audience a real-life situation of your organization’s impact and the issue it’s trying to solve can help increase your number of supporters. 
  • Incorporating shock value can capture people’s attention and boost interest in your cause.
  • If you’re including text, make sure to use an easy-to-read font. Make your text stand out by using bold print, all caps, or a color that pops. 

Wrapping Up

Now that you’ve seen the best nonprofit graphic designs, you can dive into bringing your own logos, websites, infographics, brochures, and videos to life! 

Including some (or all) of these graphic design types will help get the word out about your awesome nonprofit (meaning more supporters and more donations)! Consider which types of graphic design would be most effective to bring attention to your mission and programs. 

And remember, you can always keep learning! Continue to gather inspiration from nonprofits doing great things with graphic design. Check out their social media and websites so you can create the most engaging designs possible! 

Interested to learn more about nonprofit graphic design? Explore these additional resources: 

Learn about the benefits, costs, and process of starting a foundation.

Starting a Foundation – Nonprofit Catalog

Starting a private foundation provides a lasting opportunity for philanthropists to donate consistently to a nonprofit and make an impact on causes they’re passionate about. If you’re considering starting a foundation or want to learn more about them, we’ll cover the basics and discuss all the important elements you’ll need to consider before diving into the process.

What is a foundation?

Instead of collecting donations from individual donors to launch their own programs and initiatives, private foundations act as the donors by giving grants to other nonprofit organizations to fund their operations. They can also provide scholarships to individuals in certain circumstances. 

Foundations are private 501(c)(3) organizations, meaning they operate independently from the government but still retain a nonprofit tax-exempt status. To qualify as a private foundation, organizations must have a defined purpose, such as:

  • Charitable
  • Educational
  • Scientific
  • Religious
  • Literary

Foundations are often started by a family or small group of people with a shared charitable interest, but they can also be started by a corporation. For example, Google provides grants for nonprofits for free advertising space to help them get their message out to wider audiences.

How do you decide to start a foundation?

Before making the decision to start your own foundation, do extensive research on the process and legal requirements. Evaluate both the benefits and costs of starting a foundation, and take stock of your existing resources. Consider the following information while deciding if you should start a foundation: 

What are the benefits of starting a private foundation?

Individuals and companies start foundations for a variety of reasons, but all foundations offer the unique ability to: 

  • Create a significant and long-lasting personal impact on the causes you care about.
  • Honor an individual or your family by creating a legacy foundation in their name.
  • Maintain legal control over your operations.
  • Access tax benefits, including tax-exempt status for your organization and individual tax deductions.

Consider how much you value each of these benefits and if you would be able to reap similar benefits from donating to nonprofits alone. 

Starting a foundation allows you to make a lasting impact and maintain control over your operations

How much money is needed to start a foundation?

Private foundations obtain funds directly from an individual, family, or corporation, instead of from a pool of individual donors. Therefore, to start a corporation, you need to have a sizable amount of funding available in your budget to set up the foundation’s endowment. Endowments are the funds your foundation uses to make grants and cover operating costs.

How to start a foundation

Ready to dive deeper? If you’ve determined that you have the resources, passion, and commitment to start your own, follow these steps for starting a foundation:

  1. Define your mission and goals. Determine a clear purpose for your foundation and exactly who you want to help. Think about what you want to accomplish and what types of organizations you want to fund. 
  2. Understand legal requirements and regulations. Research the difference between trusts and nonprofit corporations and what’s needed to establish each. Then, decide which type of foundation best fits your needs and goals. Generally, trusts have less legal requirements, but nonprofit corporations offer more flexibility. You may decide to hire a dedicated legal team to advise you on complex legal and financial matters.
  3. Identify potential trustees and staff. How personally involved do you want to be in your foundation’s day-to-day operations? Identify qualified staff members to help you run your foundation, along with the individuals who will serve as trustees. 
  4. Apply to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN), then apply to become a 501(c)(3) organization. You’ll need to complete both of these formal applications to obtain your foundation’s legal 501(c)(3) status before you begin making grants. 
  5. Set guidelines for using your endowment. Determine internal requirements for how your foundation will invest its endowment funds. For example, consider setting an annual minimum amount of funds that should stay in your endowment and a minimum amount that should be given out as grants.

Once you’ve set up your foundation legally, you can start getting familiar with the grantmaking process and considering how you want your foundation to appear to the public. Follow similar strategies for branding and marketing as other nonprofits use to ensure a positive, authentic reputation. 

Additional Resources

Learn what a nonprofit investment policy is and what to include in yours.

Nonprofit Investment Policy – Nonprofit Catalog

A nonprofit investment policy is the first step your organization should take before investing its reserve money. Creating a comprehensive investment plan will provide a clear roadmap and create continuity between your teams, ensuring that everyone’s on the same page about how to grow your funds.

If you’re creating a new investment policy or want to overhaul your existing document, we’ll make sure you understand the basic building blocks first!

What Is a Nonprofit Investment Policy?

A nonprofit investment policy is a document that outlines how an organization can invest the funds it raises responsibly. Think of it as a roadmap for your investment portfolio, guiding you toward smarter and more ethical financial management. It specifies the risks you’re willing to take, delegates responsibilities, and establishes investment objectives and guidelines.

An investment policy is not a set-it-and-forget-it type of document. Rather, you’ll need to regularly revisit it, making sure it continues to reflect your nonprofit’s priorities and needs year after year.

Why Do You Need a Nonprofit Investment Policy?

Just as there are several components to investing your reserve funds, there are also several reasons why you should invest them. For one, charitable giving is on the rise and increased an incredible 4.2% last year, according to fundraising research. Now more than ever, your nonprofit needs to curate strategies for making the most of those funds. That way, you’ll be in great shape to save what you need to take your mission to the next level.

More specifically, Infinite Giving’s guide to nonprofit investing outlines three primary reasons why nonprofits should invest their reserves and create a foolproof policy to guide their investments.

A solid nonprofit investment policy can help you:

  1. Save for the long term. Your reserves may be actively losing value if they’re sitting in a simple money market, CD, or savings account. Having an investment account along with a strong policy can allow you to grow your rainy-day funds. In other words, you don’t have to spend the money right away and won’t have to worry about inflation impacting your revenue. Then, when you do need to tap into these funds, they’ll be right there waiting for you.
  2. Build your nonprofit’s assets. Maybe you have a large project, like a capital campaign or a new program, that needs financial backing. Growing your reserves is a smart way to increase your spending power.
  3. Secure large gifts and grants. Grants Plus’ guide to grant management explains that “funders want and need to ensure that the grants they award will actually be put to their intended uses, create sustainable changes, and follow their stipulated requirements.” In other words, grantmakers and major donors want to make sure your nonprofit is a responsible steward of money. A strong investment plan can indicate that your organization’s financial standing is in good health and that you have a solid strategy for achieving your mission. Plus, an investment account will make it easier for you to accept large non-cash donations, like stocks, endowments, and cryptocurrency.

As you can see, there are multiple reasons why nonprofits should create an investment policy and open an investment account. Sound financial management practices can ultimately empower you to pursue your mission more effectively over the long run.

The Core Components of Nonprofit Investment Policies

As we mentioned, creating an official policy is vital before you actually start investing your funds. Note that your specific approach to creating your investment policy can vary based on your timeline, risk tolerance, and current assets. However, there are several components that any nonprofit investment policy should have, including:

  • Delegated responsibilities. List the specific roles, responsibilities, and limitations of anyone responsible for overseeing and handling your investment portfolio. This might pertain to your executive director, board of directors, oversight committee, and other stakeholders.
  • Goals. Clearly define your investment portfolio’s objectives, including factors like potential risk allowed.
  • Guidelines for investing. Cover which types of investment vehicles are allowed, as well as which ones are prohibited. You’ll also want to include target percentages for each type.
  • Reserve expenditures. Add guidelines for how your nonprofit reserve funds can be spent, reasons why funds can be withdrawn, and how much can be withdrawn.
  • Donor restrictions. Include a statement expressing that the investment committee agrees to any stipulations donors give regarding how their donations can be invested.
  • Reporting standards. Define the metrics and frequency at which your board members will measure performance.
This chart breaks down the components of a nonprofit investment policy.

A lot goes into creating an investment policy for your nonprofit. Fitting these puzzle pieces together will give you a solid foundation for moving forward. Just make sure to treat your policy as a living document that you regularly revisit and update based on organizational changes.

Additional Resources

Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog.

How to Accept Stock Donations: The Ultimate Nonprofit Guide – Thinking of accepting stock donations to strengthen your sources of revenue? Check out this guide to learn how to accept stock donations and why it’s worthwhile.

Nonprofit Fundraising Training: FAQs and 8 Top Resources – Improve your financial literacy and strengthen your fundraising strategies with these training tips and suggestions!

Discover how your organization can use nonprofit marketing to further its mission.

How to Use Nonprofit Marketing – Nonprofit Catalog

Both nonprofit and for-profit organizations around the world depend on marketing to communicate with their donors or customers. Strong marketing allows organizations to create meaningful touchpoints with new audiences. One of the reasons marketing is such a powerful tool is that it’s highly adaptable to your organization’s needs.

Without marketing, it would be very difficult to connect with the people who share an interest in your nonprofit’s mission. Cultivating that base of support is essential. Donors, volunteers, and mission ambassadors are the foundation of a successful nonprofit.

Let’s get started by discussing how nonprofits can use different marketing channels to reach their audiences.

What is nonprofit marketing?

Nonprofit marketing is using marketing strategies and campaigns to raise awareness, reach existing and prospective donors, and fundraise to help an organization further its mission.

Marketing can be carried out through a variety of media channels. Social media platforms, email, and video ads are a few ways messages can be distributed online. The internet is one of the most common ways to reach supporters, but don’t discount the value of other channels as well. Nonprofits also find success running campaigns through other channels like direct mail, radio ads, or print ads. The specific channels you choose to employ depend on your audience and your goals for the campaign.

The most effective way to leverage marketing is by creating one integrated marketing strategy so your organization can reach its supporters across a variety of channels. This approach is also helpful for pinpointing the channels your supporters use the most.

What are the benefits of nonprofit marketing?

While marketing can be a significant investment of time, effort, and funding for many nonprofits, it also provides a wide variety of benefits to both the nonprofit and those they serve. Let’s dive into a few reasons marketing is valuable.

Nonprofit marketing can help:

  • Spread awareness. Nonprofit marketing spreads awareness of a nonprofit’s mission, its brand, and the specific ways it furthers its mission. It’s a chance to directly communicate what your organization does and why. Just increasing the number of people who are aware of the organization can attract new donors and volunteers, and this is especially true when considering the international reach of digital marketing.
  • Raise funds. More awareness means an organization has a better chance of attracting new donors and volunteers, increasing an organization’s ability to meet its fundraising goals. Marketing is also a useful way to engage current donors and volunteers, motivating them to continue to support your organization. Promoting a specific fundraiser through sending an email or by posting on social media to existing followers is one example of how you might make the most of your nonprofit’s marketing efforts.
  • Promote programs. Marketing doesn’t just reach the donors and volunteers who help further your nonprofit’s mission. It can also be used to directly reach potential beneficiaries the organization might be able to help. Marketing materials can contain information about specific programs and how those in need can take advantage of them

Intentionally crafting a marketing strategy for your organization sets your organization up for success by giving you the means to attract and retain supporters.

This flowchart lists the steps needed to get started with nonprofit marketing.

How can organizations get started with nonprofit marketing?

Don’t let getting started with nonprofit marketing overwhelm you. Gaining a better understanding of your audience gives you the tools to implement a valuable plan. To kick off a successful nonprofit marketing campaign, there are a few key steps to follow:

  1. Research. Organizations should make sure they understand important internal and external factors before planning a marketing campaign. This involves analyzing the current market landscape as well as looking into peer organizations to understand their strengths and weaknesses. As part of this evaluation, nonprofits should also take stock of their existing donors’ traits to create a better constituent experience through a more personalized marketing experience.
  2. Define a target audience. After researching their existing donors, nonprofits should compare this donor data against their goals in order to choose a target audience that is interested in their cause. This is a good way to spur an organization’s expansion and growth.
  3. Develop strategies. Choose strategies that resonate with your nonprofit’s chosen target audience. Determine which channels will suit your target audience and choose which mediums will speak most to them. Consider methods such as emotional photos or videos, impactful statistics, and storytelling.
  4. Create the campaign. During this step, your nonprofit should create concrete deliverables that align with the strategies you outlined earlier in the campaign. This might mean creating pieces of direct mail or graphics for social media, for example.

Consider working with a marketing agency that specializes in helping nonprofits. Partnering with an agency with knowledgeable staff and years of expertise in marketing can help you create a strong marketing campaign that will deliver impactful results.

Meaningful Nonprofit Marketing

Nonprofit marketing is an essential part of maintaining and growing a nonprofit. It allows organizations to reach their intended audiences, leading to more donors, volunteers, and supporter engagement. Organizations should take the time to learn more about their field and intended audience so they can use that information to create a robust strategy and meaningful marketing campaign.

This valuable tool is accessible to almost every organization. Nonprofits of any size can use marketing, which might look like launching a free social media campaign or working with an agency to market on every available channel. Marketing at any capacity can help your organization grow and reach new supporters.

Additional Resources

Learn the basics of nonprofit endowments and how investing can support your nonprofit.

Nonprofit Endowment – Nonprofit Catalog

For many nonprofit professionals, endowments can seem like a tricky subject, causing them to veer away from creating this type of fund.

And though they’re often managed by universities and other large organizations with sizable donor pools, nonprofit endowments aren’t just for wealthy organizations. In fact, professionals at small and mid-sized nonprofits can also boost the sustainability of their work when they take the time to learn about smart fundraising strategies like managing an endowment.

We’ll explore the basics of developing and managing a nonprofit endowment fund for any-sized nonprofit.

What Is a Nonprofit Endowment?

A nonprofit endowment is a pool of donations set aside and invested, allowing it to grow and financially support the work of a philanthropic organization. After the seed money (i.e. the principal) is invested, part of the earnings is paid out as an annual distribution.

Educational institutions, religious organizations, and social-service organizations all use this type of investment fundraising to grow their assets. These funds can be used for a range of purposes, such as:

Unlike your reserve fund, endowments are planned to be grown rather than spent in full. With an endowment, your initial investment amount will stay intact and growing.

Types of Nonprofit Endowments

We can categorize nonprofit endowments into different types depending on how they can be used. Infinite Giving’s guide to nonprofit endowments breaks them down into these five categories:

These are the five different types of nonprofit endowments.
  • Unrestricted endowments aren’t subject to any restrictions regarding how and when they can be used. As the most common type of endowment, unrestricted endowments allow you to use funds whenever and wherever it’s needed most.
  • Permanently restricted (or true) endowments are subject to restrictions that never end. The principal and its earnings can only be used for the specific purpose the donor defines.
  • Temporarily restricted (or term) endowments are similar to true endowments, except that restrictions only exist for a limited period of time. During that time, funds from these endowments are subject to conditions the donor places, such as what it can be spent on. After the term expires, the principal and interest money may be used without restrictions.
  • Quasi endowments are created by the organization’s board of directors via a transfer of reserve funds. The board sets stipulations regarding when the principal amount and any earnings can be withdrawn.
  • Micro-endowments are small endowments that make endowment giving more accessible to donors. When managed effectively, micro-endowments can grow substantially and fund salaries and programs just like any other endowment.

When looking at these options, consider which types will best support your nonprofit’s needs. For instance, smaller organizations may lean into micro-endowments, attracting a range of donors.

What to Consider Before Starting a Nonprofit Endowment

Smart investment strategies can strengthen your nonprofit’s sustainability. However, there are a few aspects you’ll want to consider before committing to this approach to investing.

Benefits of Endowments for Nonprofits

Organizations of all sizes turn to this type of fundraising and for good reason. Creating an endowment for your nonprofit provides you with a stable source of income, taking the pressure off your team to meet your minimum budgetary needs. You’ll be able to grow your assets alongside your general annual fundraising practices.

Benefits of Endowments for Donors

Just as organizations are drawn to this type of fundraising, nonprofit endowments attract major donors as well. For one, it gives donors a way to stay connected with your cause over time.

What’s more, micro-endowments are a great way to attract low and mid-level donors who want to deepen their engagement with your cause. As with any donation, donors can also typically claim their endowment gift on their tax deductions.

When it comes to true and term endowments, donors have more control over their gifts. They can be confident that their funds are going to the programs they’re most passionate about.


As with any fundraising strategy, there are some challenges you’ll want to think through before diving headfirst into endowment fundraising, including:

  • Managing a nonprofit endowment might not be financially viable if you have an immediate need for funds.
  • There’s an inherent risk when it comes to investing, so you might choose to keep part of your endowment as cash reserves.
  • You might need to outsource management to a professional investment manager or invest in in-depth fundraising training.

Luckily, modern tools that streamline investment processes have revolutionized the nonprofit world, making it easy to overcome these challenges without breaking the bank. Backed by the right tools, you can accept and manage your endowment donations with confidence.

How to Start an Endowment for Nonprofits

Follow these steps to start a nonprofit endowment.

You’ve weighed the pros and cons of starting a nonprofit endowment and decided it’s a smart move for your team. Great!

Now, it’s time to take the next step and actually create your endowment. To make sure that it meets your organization’s needs and goals, follow these steps:

  1. Craft your endowment policies. Define the endowment’s purpose, what it’ll be used for, what type of endowment it is, how it’ll be funded, and how funds will be invested and managed.
  2. Gain buy-in from your board. Your board is responsible for setting your organization’s strategic direction and ensuring proper fund management. Present your policies and explain how a nonprofit endowment can fit into your financial strategies.
  3. Choose an investment platform. An investment platform can simplify endowments significantly, enabling you to accept and invest endowment donations. Choose a provider with secure management tools, an easy-to-use interface, and trustworthy services from a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA).
  4. Set up an endowment fund. Create an account with your provider. You’ll likely need to share your application, Articles of Incorporation, and 501(c)(3) IRS Determination Letter. Once they activate your account, you can select a portfolio and your annual disbursement.

From here, you’re ready to market the opportunity to donors and start accepting donations. Your giving platform will handle the heavy lifting, so you can focus on engaging donors and soliciting gifts.

Additional Resources

Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog.

How to Accept Stock Donations: The Ultimate Nonprofit Guide – Investment fundraising is an incredible opportunity for nonprofits. Start accepting stock donations by following the guidance in this article!

Managing Nonprofit Reserve Funds: The Ultimate Guide – Explore this guide to make sure you’re prepared to weather financial setbacks by properly managing your reserve funds.