The Importance of Developing a Print Strategy for a Nonprofit

May 29, 2018

With everything being on the Internet, it’s easy to see why everyone would want to stay away from a more traditional marketing strategy such as print; however, I recently participated in the West Virginia University (WVU) CreateAthon where my team developed a mostly print campaign for a local non profit organization.

Read on to learn why.

What is WVU CreateAthon?

CreateAthon is a national organization that was founded in 1998 in Columbia, South Carolina, by Teresa Coles and Cathy Monetti. CreateAthon was created for professionals to get the opportunity to work with nonprofits for pro bono.

The WVU Reed College of Media gives students the chance to use their skills to create a campaign plan for local nonprofits, and it gives local non-profits the opportunity to get a solid marketing strategy that they may otherwise not get due to budget.

The organization I worked with, Libera, is an organization approaching women to address their barriers to find freedom (emotionally, relationally, intellectually, spiritually, financially and physically) through a six week model.

While working with my team to create a campaign plan for Libera, we wanted to utilize print materials. Once we started brainstorming ideas, I began to realize the importance of using a print marketing strategy.

My Key Takeaway


My key takeaway from participating in CreateAthon is the importance of a nonprofit having a print marketing strategy.

Print marketing is a form of advertising that uses printed media, like newspapers or magazines, to reach consumers. We created an infographic, a label to go on chapstick, a coaster and a handout for Libera to use at events.

Print marketing is important because it gives consumers a brand experience that will have a long lasting effect on consumers.

The importance of print marketing:

  • Print is tangible: Brochures, posters, publications and other forms of print media are physical items. These items can stay with a person for months after they are received, giving them the ability to call on the leave behind and build brand recognition.
  • Establishes a brand: It is important to have a well recognized brand, and using printed materials is a great way to establish your brand. You can use aesthetic qualities like colors, fonts and images to help a consumer remember your organization.
  • Reaches your target audience: The placement of your printed materials can help you reach your target audience. You can place these materials in the right place at the right time with the right audience.
  • Engages: While many people use websites, a person can be engaged longer with a print piece.

I think it is important for nonprofits to use print marketing because of the effectiveness of a tangible item. We developed several print materials for Libera so consumers could physically see these items, instead of them getting lost on the Internet or scrolling past them. These print materials will also help the nonprofit bring awareness of their organization.

As mentioned earlier, Libera used a more traditional approach; however, utilizing non-traditional media such as email campaigns and social media in conjunction with print isn’t a bad idea.

Using non-traditional media can also be beneficial for a nonprofit:

  • Engagement: Social media is the perfect platform for asking questions and starting conversation with your audience in real-time.
  • Traffic: Having your audience follow you on Twitter or like your page on Facebook allows for your page to appear on their feed daily to remind them of your mission. Social media can attract volunteers, donations and bring awareness for your nonprofit.
  • Audience reach: If your nonprofit is present and actively posting on social media or sending out emails, then you have the opportunity to reach a larger audience.

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