How nonprofits design campaigner toolkits to empower supporters

How does one nonprofit reach millions of people across the world?

Think about it. Even if you have millions of followers on social media, there’s no guarantee that everyone will see or engage with your posts.

“People think that if you create one thing everyone's going to see it, and if you create a series of communications everyone's going to see every point of communication,” said Joélle Azoulay, Creative Strategist at WaterAid. “But that's not the reality.”

That’s why it’s important to build a network of supporters and influencers who can help spread the word about your cause across engaged communities. And one of the best ways to do that is by creating campaigner toolkits.

These are packages of assets of that people can download from your site, share on social media, print in their own homes, or recieve in the mail. They empower supporters to tell their friends about your mission and help keep your cause alive.

Here are four ways nonprofits—including charity: water, Pencils of Promise, and Operation Groundswell—design campaigner toolkits to help people share their message.

1. Create shareable social posts

charity: water is committed to bringing clean and safe water to people in developing countries. The nonprofit has funded over 24,500 programs for 7 million people across 24 countries to date. But they don’t do it alone. They rely on their community of advocates to help drum up support, and they use design to make it happen.

For example, website visitors can head to the download assets page under resources to find a media kit, high-quality original photography, and logos. They can also download Facebook Timeline Photos and Twitter backgrounds to share on their social channels.

nonprofit-charitywater-facebook-cover

charity: water also created a downloadable poster that people can print or share online. It showcases an alarming statistic: each year, 443 million school days are lost due to lack of clean water and sanitation. It also uses bold text and engaging graphics to grab people’s attention and draw awareness to charity: water’s mission.

nonprofit-charitywater-water-poster

Create your own downloadable poster in Canva with templates like Blue Water Poster and Blue Water Tap Campaign Poster.

“With everything we create, we think of the audience first and how and where they are most likely consuming content,” said charity: water designer Ryan Dutch. “Our strategy changes drastically when designing for different mediums.”

When Dutch creates graphics for social media, for instance, he considers that people are probably seeing this content on their phones and tablets. So he tends to create short, easily digestible content for these mediums, even when sharing complex issues and information.

2. Design teaching materials for schools

WaterAid is a nonprofit that builds wells and delivers clear water to those in need. They designs content to reach influencers—not just on social media, but also inside the classroom. That is, they build assets for some of the most powerful influencers in the world: teachers.

The People Pipeline is a program that provides teachers across the US with posters, stickers, lesson plans, and activities to educate students about the water crisis and raise funds to help children in need. This initiative helps Pencils of Promise ensure that teachers are equipped with accurate, up-to-date information about this cause, so that the nonprofit is helping to lead the conversation for new and young supporters.

Pupil Pipeline resources: Science/Geography
Pupil Pipeline resources: Science/Geography

Create your own lesson plans in Canva with templates like Blue Pencil Icon Lesson Plan and Blue and Yellow Simple Daily Lesson Plan.

The People Pipeline launched in August 2017, and has already been implemented in schools across nine US states.

3. Empower millennials to influencer their networks

Millennials want to influence, not be influenced.

That’s a major lesson learned by the designers at Pencils of Promise, a nonprofit organization that builds schools and provides quality education to children around the world.

Millennials are some of the most vocal and tech-savvy consumers on the Internet. If you can reach them, chances are you can reach their networks and communities as well. You just have to take the right approach.

“By empowering our supporter base with the tools to advocate on behalf Pencils of Promise, they can be catalysts that drive both awareness and donations,” said Carlo Dumandan, Head of Brand Innovation & Talent Relations at Pencils of Promise.

Still, Pencils of Promise doesn’t just target millennials as one generation. It sees and speaks to the millennial in all of us.

“Rather than focusing on ‘millennials’ as an age group, we've always thought of ‘millennial’ as a mindset and a thread of common values (solution-focused, have global mindset, value transparency and authenticity) that resonate with a wide audience, regardless of age,” Dumandan said.

That’s why the organization places campaigner toolkits on its website. These are PDFs that anyone can download to access tips and ideas for creating an effective campaign on behalf of Pencils of Promise.

nonprofit-penciofpromise-campaigner-toolkit

Create your own Campaigner Toolkit with Canva templates like Yellow Black Photo Simple General Media Kit and Yellow with Grayscale Photos Photographer General Media Kit.

Similar to charity: water, the campaigner toolkits also include links to downloadable assets such as photographs, logos, Facebook cover graphics, and Twitter backgrounds.

2014 Pencils of Promise Ghana 200th

With these resources, Pencils of Promise makes it as easy as possible for supporters to share their campaigns with friends and family, raise funds, and update their networks as they near their campaign goal.

The nonprofit also invites supporters to pledge their birthday and raise money in lieu of gifts. For every $75 raised, a child in need can receive a year of education. This digital flyer explains the process clearly.

nonprofit-penciofpromise-birthdaypost

Everyone who launches a birthday page will gain access to a suite of ready-made graphics that help them promote their campaigns. Just look at this one, which lets family and friends know that they have five days left to donate.

nonprofit-penciofpromise-countdown

Create your own birthday graphics with Canva templates like Colorful Confetti Birthday Ticket Invitation and Colorful Baby Birthday Invitation.

Inspiring supporters with design

Getting people’s attention is the hard part. Inspiring them to share your message should be easy. That’s why campaigner toolkits are so important. They put the power in your supporters’ hands and allow them to quickly and easily spread the word about your cause.

That much is clear. But there’s also another important benefit in creating these design assets. By putting your stamp on each piece of content, you can better maintain a unified brand voice across all channels—both online and off—that represents exactly what you want to say to anyone who will listen.

Amanda Walgrove is a freelance copywriter based in Los Angeles. She has written for Facebook, A&E Networks, Advertising Week, Entrepreneur, and Variety, among others. She likes to write comedy, too: amandawalgrovecomedy.com