Reaching Supporters is Part Art and Part Science

By Terri Hawes, Principal of I On Design

Compelling reports and campaign materials include the art of storytelling, combined with the science of data-driven results.

What is your story?

Every story reflects a journey. Think of your key messages as the destinations along the way and identify why you want to go there and the best route to reach them.

Where do we start?

Interview your stakeholders and identify the vision and campaign goals early. I always recommend starting with a content outline and asset list. As we proceed through the campaign, our outline becomes the checkpoint to assure that you’ve covered essential topics and milestones.

Why are we doing what we do?

A story includes narrative and testimonials. This shares the organization’s culture, goals, and motivations. Keep it tight and to the point. Your word choices are important and need to clearly articulate the problem and promote the vision for an actionable solution.

What’s art got to do with it?

To quote Rod Stewart, "So remember, every picture tells a story." We live in a world of visual imagery; to communicate effectively, yours must stand apart from the rest. Select compelling images that appeal to your community and provide engagement, then plan so that your design and imagery can be repurposed across social platforms as an extension of the campaign.

Connect to your constituency

Your journey is meant to start a dialogue. Speak their language and appeal to their desires. Their responses help drive your goals!

At I On Design, we always suggest creating data-rich infographics to foster the reader’s understanding of the need and what the funding provides. This helps in reaching multiple audiences, appealing to the emotionally driven readers as well as analytical thinkers.

We partnered with Essex and Drake to deliver an influential campaign supporting the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries, unifying a modern vision for the 10-branch library system.

Terri Hawes, principal of I On Design, provides marketing and communication services to nonprofit agencies for capital campaigns, annual reports, community outreach and brand initiatives that have demonstrated success for the past 30 years. Learn more at