There are two cool things about this letter the Native American Heritage Association sent to Uncle Maynard.
You'll notice the first thing right away:
It's a mess!
Red! Black! Different fonts! All kinds of clashing elements all jumbled together in a visual salad.
Most designers would tell you this is bad. In a sense, they'd be right. But really, they'd be wrong. This is direct-response fundraising design. Oddly, it works. We don't know why. But ask anyone with experience, and they'll look past the messiness of this design and nod approvingly.
Yeah, this is how you motivate donors to give.
The second thing worth noting here is the prominent placement of the Charity Navigator Four Star Charity logo.
They earned those stars, and by gum they're going to show them off.
As they should.
Even though it only makes a messy layout even more messy.
If you have cred from watchdogs of any kind, don't hide it. If your organization is in a charity sector that has a bad reputation (as does the Native American aid sector) make sure people can see it.
I doubt any nonprofit that has brand guidelines would allow a letter that looks like this. It's just not cool, calm, professional enough.
Too bad. It probably does well. Better than the high-end nicer design that most of us are forced to use.