Create things your donors can READ


The other night I went to a new pizza place with my parents.

As we walked up to the restaurant, I began to think the place might be a little too… hip… for us.

We got seated at a booth in a dark dining room and we each were handed our own tiny menu.

I looked at the menu and… I couldn’t read it! I moved it closer to my face, then further away. I squinted. Not much help.

9-point font, maybe even 8-point. Muted red text. Dark cream-colored paper.

Did I mention the room was dark?


As I looked around the room, I began to wonder. Do they not want us here?

Here’s the thing. This what happens to your donors all the time! At a pizza place. In the grocery store. And sometimes when they open your fundraising letter.

They can’t read it.

The thing is, I’m not THAT old. I’m about 25 years younger than your average US donor.

And I won’t go back to that pizza place again.

Do you want your donors to feel like that? I imagine not!

The most fundamental thing you can do to honor your donor and let them know they matter is to send them stuff they can read. WITHOUT squinting.

This is an EASY thing to do. But so many organizations ignore this easy thing due to brand guidelines or the blissful ignorance of being under 40 years old when you can still read everything with no problem!

Here’s where you can start to create communications your donor can actually READ:

  • Black text (not a hip shade of charcoal – black!)
  • White background (no graphics behind the text)
  • 14-point font (absolutely no smaller than 12-point!)


The stakes are high here.

If your donor can’t read your materials, she is less likely to send in a gift. And if she doesn’t send in a gift, that affects your ability to carry out your mission.

So take it seriously!

Your donors will thank you.


Sarah Lundberg

Sarah is a Fundraising Advisor with Better Fundraising. She has been part of the nonprofit world for over 18 years, most recently as Director of Marketing and Communications at an international ministry. Sarah loves helping organizations see what’s possible when they put proven fundraising practices into place.

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