Your Brochure is Dead!


Your brochure is a lousy fundraising tool and should probably be put out to pasture immediately.

Strong statement, I know.  But in my experience, brochures suck up a lot of time and money – and very little results are ever tied to your brochure.  Here’s why:

  • Your brochure is all about your organization. Great fundraising materials are about your beneficiaries and what your donor can do to help one of them.  Most brochures are about what the organization does, not what a donor can do.  There’s a big difference.
  • Your brochure has too much content. Most brochures try to share everything about the organization.  The result for most readers is information overload.
  • Your brochure doesn’t have a clear call to action. Most brochures include contact information for the organization, but don’t give the reader a good reason why they should contact the organization. (And, “If you’d like to help, call 800-555…” is not a good reason why they should contact you.)

We advise clients to spend almost no time or money on their brochure.  Instead, replace your brochure (or its content) with something that explains the most compelling, easy-to-understand thing that a donor’s gift will do.  Then have the brochure ask the donor to give a gift to do that one thing. If they do that and like it, THEN they’ll want to know more about your org.


Steven Screen is Co-Founder of The Better Fundraising Company and lead author of its blog. With over 25 years' fundraising experience, he gets energized by helping organizations understand how they can raise more money. He’s a second-generation fundraiser, a past winner of the Direct Mail Package of the Year, and data-driven.

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