Design Elements of Brochures for Nonprofits

Design Elements of Brochures for Nonprofits

An effective brochure convinces. They motivate the target market to give and get involved.

The space in a brochure is limited which means that everything must serve a purpose. If any of the constituent elements seem without a purpose, it probably does not belong in a brochure. Given below are elements of a brochure that would motivate readers to help an organization.


Brochures are common, so they do not stand out automatically and make an impression. It is wise to do something different with the size of the brochure.

Something can be designed from scratch and envelopes can be made specially to go with it. Getting a graphic designer to design the brochure is also a good idea.

While designing a brochure, four basic goals have to be kept in mind. A brochure should get the reader’s attention, it should hold the reader’s interest throughout, convey key information, and make it easy for the reader to take action.


Not many people read brochures. Most of them flip through the pages. Some take it for granted that brochures make pretty dull reading.

Thoughtful planning can result in a brochure that people might actually read. The copy should be sharp and have small words rather than big ones. Sentences should also be short rather than long.

Points should be made in as few words as possible.

A brochure’s copy is broken into subject areas with the help of headlines. Heads or headlines like headlines in a newspaper should catch the reader’s eye. Headlines can serve as guideposts for the reader and help to guide the reader’s eye from point to point throughout the brochure.


To make the brochure interesting, appropriate photos, graphics, and illustrations can be used throughout. Graphics can elevate the appearance of a brochure and make it more effective.

It would be wise to run a test copy of a brochure and show it to people who know nothing about the organization. It should be noted where their eyes linger and how quickly they tire of it.

They can also be asked questions to see if they have learned anything about the organization from the brochure.

Name of the Organization

The name of the organization should be visible on the front panel of the brochure.

The name should be in a distinctive and stylized typeface and linked to the logo of the organization.

People should remember the visual image of the organization’s name.

The name of the organization may not be a household word yet, since name recognition is an aim, it should be put on everything, including brochures.


A nonprofit should have a strong tagline. The tagline should be short and high-impact. It should convey what the organization does and why it matters.

It should also appear on the front panel of the brochure. It should also be visually linked with the name of the organization so that the reader links the two in their mind.

Ronn Torossian is the Founder & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States.

With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals.