I was on a flight home to Ottawa last week. I’d had a long day of meetings, so decided to delve into the travel magazines that I’d brought along. Have I mentioned how much I love to travel? My secret indulgence is subscriptions to all of the best travel magazines.

I sat back, ordered a glass of wine, turned on my overhead light, and opened the first of the two magazines. I realized I had a problem as soon as I got to the table of contents. I couldn’t read it. I put it up closer to my face. Nope. I held it out at the end of my arms. Nope. I put my glasses on. Nope.

I couldn’t read it. Not just that page, but all the pages. So, I flipped through the photos feeling annoyed. I then moved on to the next magazine. Same problem.

I’m 49 years old, and I have pretty good eyesight for my age.

Think about it. I’m 49. I have pretty good eyesight. I can no longer read my travel magazines because of the teeny tiny type, or type put on dark backgrounds. So, I skip the text and flip through them, feeling annoyed.

What’s the average age of your donors? I’m betting it’s older than 49. Are you making your fundraising and communications materials accessible to them? Are you using a minimum of a 13 pt font (14 pt is even better)? Are you using black text on a white background? Serif font (for offline communications)?

If not, you’re basically putting your materials directly into the recycling bins of your donors. They can’t read them, and they’re not going to put the effort into trying.

Studies have been done around legibility and comprehension that are simply fascinating. I recommend you go order this book as soon as possible (and I see used copies are going for as little as $0.01). It’s a must read for non-profits.

This post was written by Leah Eustace, ACFRE, former Principal and Chief Idea Goddess at Good Works.