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Tips for Designing a Fundraising Poster

written by: sherisaid•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 6/13/2010

Design a fundraising poster with punch, make it memorable, and above all, get your message across. Find out how to include the necessary elements and inspire people to take action-be there, buy this, or donate to a cause-to get the best results for your efforts.

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    Design Punch

    The first element to consider is design. You have one chance to attract and intrigue passersby, so make your design bold. If the fundraising event is associated with a team or organization, put a large graphic of the team symbol on the upper right or left of the poster and use team colors as accents. For example, if your team is the Wilson Elementary School Bumblebees and the team colors are blue and yellow, paint a very large blue and yellow bumblebee in the upper right hand corner of the poster and add a line of yellow dots or dashes that wanders around the page in a bee-like fashion, then use the bright blue for your headline text. Using the school mascot and colors draws the attention of people familiar with the school, and bright colors draw attention from just about everyone. Use glossy poster paints to really make the colors pop. If your team or organization has no team affiliation and no mascot, try using a symbol of the sport or activity, like the silhouette of a dancer, balloons or a pig to represent a barbecue event. If you don't have an artist on hand, download a simple image from the Internet or use a child's coloring book image. After the poster is completely dry, add glitter sparingly if you wish. Choose glitter that matches the theme colors of your design and put it only inside the colored areas for best effect.

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    Know Your Audience

    Target marketing is the single most effective concept in advertising. Ask yourself who is most likely to attend this event and design a fundraising poster to attract those people. Use cartoon-like images for small children and their parents, sophisticated silhouettes and elegant lettering for a black tie benefit or an event at an art gallery, or a glossy picture of the event entertainment to attract teens.

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    White Space is Your Friend

    When you design a fundraising poster, avoid the mistake of crowding the poster with symbols and decorations. Filling the white space may seem like a good idea, but it can detract from the central message. Limit the information to the name of the event in big letters, preferably in a bright color outlined in black, followed by smaller info in black marker including contact information, the time and date, the event location and the reason for the fundraiser. Make your text readable. Not too big, not too small, and not crowded together. To make the lines straight and even, use a ruler and a sharp pencil to draw very faint lines that you can erase after the poster is completely dry.

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    Hook and Reel

    You've got their attention, now reel them in. Add short bullet points about activities they can expect at the event, like "Giant Inflatable Slide" and "Carnival Games". Put the words at an angle and vary the placement to add interest. Make some words bigger, but try to keep the font styles the same. A lot of different fonts and colors is usually a mistake. Simple block printing works best in the design of a fundraising poster. Avoid adding too much explanation, too many words, or any unrelated information. People walking past a fundraising poster don't need to know that the team won a national trophy in 1962.

    Following these basic guidelines can help you design a fundraising poster that will draw attention and convey your message with style.