Anne Marino


Anne Marino is a seasoned freelance art director and strategic storyteller whose award-winning work spans the profit and nonprofit sectors. After years as a print designer, Anne earned her master’s degree in communications and new media to expand her strategic communication skills. She is currently the senior graphic designer at Phillips Academy, an independent secondary school in Massachusetts, where she focuses on advancement communications. In addition, Anne serves on the Board of Directors at the Windham Endowment for Community Advancement, where she is the marketing and communications chair and a member of the executive committee.

Specializing in brand development and integrated visual marketing solutions, Anne’s work supports organizations of all sizes — from small grass roots nonprofits to large fundraising campaigns. Anne is passionate about connecting donors to the causes they care about and is most involved with education access, community building, youth leadership, environmental restoration, community arts, and recreation.

Tell us how and why you became involved in socially responsible communications, any thoughts on why design can be an especially effective tool for this goal, and, if you wish, give us an example of a project of which you are proud.

Designing for mission-driven projects can be fulfilling and rewarding in ways that commercial work simply isn’t. My pivotal moment happened after years of designing for business-to-business clients. An agency hired me to design a direct mail package to raise money to provide prenatal care to women in remote villages in the West Bank.

Someone who had never donated before made a single $10,000 contribution after receiving my piece. This wasn’t my most notable project, but it was a turning point for me. While I would never meet the women who benefited from that donation and all the money raised, I learned that my creativity and talents could be used to help others. From that point on, I focused on socially responsible communications that use design to tell a story and connect with the audience.

I am most proud of the rebranding of PA Giving Day — the biggest fundraising event of the year at Phillips Academy. The new brand was launched with a fun and energetic multichannel marketing campaign, including the “Support What You Love” tagline, which prompted donors to reflect on what matters most to them. PA Giving Day 2022 was the most successful giving day effort yet, raising more than $2.4 million.

Given the confluence of events and challenges our society now faces, does this moment in time present any special opportunities, urgencies, obstacles to designing for good?

It’s not enough to design for good causes. It needs to have meaningful impact.

Society is inundated with constant news and communications, and we are exposed to about 10,000 ads every day. Great, effective communications should be strategic and innovative to differentiate and break through the nonstop noise. It needs to tell a story that resonates with the audience and inspires their involvement. This is especially challenging for cause-related work, because often nonprofit organizations have limited resources.

Changing the world will not come from one designer or one big project — it’s collective and collaborative. If we each elevate the quality and effectiveness of our cause marketing, our communications will have the impact that we need to make a true difference.