Benchmarks 2023

Let's dig in! The annual M+R Benchmarks Study uncovers nonprofit fundraising, advocacy, and digital marketing trends. In its seventeenth year, we served these sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter reflections with a side of wit thanks to the theme: Food. This study supports the nonprofit industry by compiling data from over 200 organizations, which allows organizations to use these findings to measure their programs against other organizations in the same sector and prepare their strategies for the upcoming fiscal year. The M+R Benchmarks Study is delivered to audiences as a print booklet and a website.


Art Direction: Melissa Hines and Laura Klavon
Collage & Visual Design: Melissa Hines
Print Design: Laura Klavon
Creative Direction, Copy: Will Valverde
Web Development: Bobby Burch
Executive Sponsor: Madeline Stanionis

Benchmarks is an enormous project requiring the expertise and passion of individuals across the agency. Full project credits are here.

Behind the collages

For this project, I designed 15 collages and wrote companion summaries, which people could read or listen to on the website. Many of the collages were used as hero images, introducing each section. Each collage tells a different story, sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, but always connecting to food's role in our lives. 

We chose collage for this project's design style because of the medium's ability to tell cohesive stories using many different visual elements. We especially liked this medium because it allowed us to bring in personal details, such as handwritten recipes and aged paper.

Animated gif of the introduction to the Benchmarks website.


I also led the visual design for the website. A few goals that drove the design execution were creating an accessible user experience, engaging audiences with diverse content types, and offering a streamlined way for audiences to navigate the site. These goals led me to create designs featuring a single-page website with sticky navigation and opportunities for audiences to uncollapse copy from each main content area as needed. We also tried new content types, such as audio and video. interaction examples
Key design features from