Booklet and Catalog Marketing Ideas for Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations are continually challenged by the need to effectively market to attract donors without risking valuable PR by spending too much money on marketing efforts (which might repel donors). Compounding the dilemma is the constant sea of competition in the form of startup nonprofit organizations, businesses and economical downturns. In short, raising funds for a good cause is one of the most precarious tasks in the marketing world. Fortunately, many nonprofit organizations are achieving success by using innovative and intelligent marketing mediums to simultaneously raise funds and increase awareness. Direct-mail booklet and catalog campaigns have proven to yield high return rates and should be a consideration at the top of any nonprofit organization's list when planning continued fundraising efforts.

The following are a few direct-mail booklet and catalog marketing ideas for nonprofit organizations:


You probably know that booklets offer the perfect opportunity to remotely interact with donors one-on-one; the question becomes what to put in them? First of all, booklets should be educational, so including features and facts about your topic interspersed with persuasive tidbits about your cause is essential. One way to do this would be to give an overview of the cause, but there are methods that are more interesting to potential donors and increase the likelihood your booklet will persuade them enough to make a donation.

If your nonprofit organization is a charity, such as a food kitchen or a battered women's shelter, you can provide profiles of people you've helped. While these should be true accounts, you can still protect the identities of your charges by changing names and using other peoples' pictures (or even a silhouette). Now, showcase some donors whose contributions helped the profiled person. By charting the plight of those you have helped and demonstrating how another kind heart positively influenced their life, you're showing potential donors what the impact of their dollars will be before they donate.

Even though booklets are primarily educational, you'll still want to include a great call to action. Try including a tear-out to send in donations or directing readers to your website where they can submit donations.

Make sure your booklets are printed with professional ink on professional stock paper run through state-of-the-art offset or digital printing presses, and make sure you're getting a good deal. You'll also need to make sure you have a targeted mailing list of potential donors, as well as a mail house to handle the mailing. A good online printer that can handle all of these things and still offer excellent pricing for nonprofit organization booklet printing is PsPrint.


If direct-mail booklets are educational, catalogs are commercial. In fact, they can be both because with a catalog you can insert educational pages (think of the profiles mentioned before) between product listings. Instead of giving away promotional trinkets, you can actually raise money for your cause through product sales. But what to sell?

Naturally, you can sell promotional products such as T-shirts, coffee mugs and ball caps with your organization's logo and tagline, but you have to ask yourself if your buyers are simply making a purchase to donate or whether they really want a T-shirt with your organization's advertisement. While it's great to have such dedicated donors, if you want to really influence sales and reach a much broader audience you should offer something that has lasting value through use.

Relevance is key here, as proper distribution can position your catalog as the authority on a specific type of products. A battered women's shelter could mail a catalog that promotes self-defense gear, for instance. Many athletic facilities are nonprofit, yet could still sell athletic items such as rackets, basketballs and swim gear.

If your nonprofit does not have a big budget to spend on catalog printing, try cutting a few pages and offering the rest of your products online. Just as in the booklet, you'll also want to include a call to action for donations; and likewise have your catalog professionally printed and mailed by a company such as PsPrint.

If you want to take your nonprofit organization fundraising efforts to the next level, give booklets and catalogs a try. If you make the material both motivating and relevant and include a powerful call to action, you'll get a great response from new and repeat donors.