Nonprofit brands and branding are all about how others view your organization and your efforts. If you know what American Red Cross, UNICEF, or AARP does regularly, you know that nonprofit branding works. Creating a brand leads to more recognition, clarity and potential donations ― all in all, making your nonprofit more successful.
In a perfect world, charitable organizations would not have to worry about creating a strong brand image to have a successful organization. Making a solid brand is a long and relentless procedure ― it takes a lot more than just designing a new website or logo.
But if you’re dedicated to creating a strong brand for your nonprofit, you can make lasting change. By showing off your strengths, forming a groundbreaking board, drafting brand strategies, and drawing more support, your organization will be more prepared to further your cause.
1. Articulate Your Brand Vision
Funders, board members and policymakers are increasingly interested to know what value your brand provides to a community and what change they exist to create. This means your vision must be clear and concise.
Intelligent networking or communication will not help a nonprofit that’s unclear about its objectives. Therefore, before creating a nonprofit branding guide or designing a logo, take some time to do the following:
- Review your nonprofit mission and vision statement.
- Reflect on your past failures and learnings.
- Review your goals and existing organizational strategy.
- Understand the target audience of your organization.
- Speak to donors, board members, and stakeholders to gather their input.
2. Credible, Recognizable Leadership
Assembling a board of directors with some big names in the nonprofit sector is one of the simplest ways to build your brand. Mainly, if the leader gives keynote speeches, writes articles, or is seen as an essential voice in the field, your organization can reap more significant benefits in terms of brand recognition.
Without strong leadership, it’s hard to build community support or create change. A great board of top-level nonprofit professionals with name recognition can help you by:
- Offering strategic direction
- Connecting the organization to funders
- Leading your brand towards success
3. Highlighting Influential Donors
Donors keep nonprofit organizations on their feet and in business. So, organizations need to be aware of major donors when planning a new project. Organizations that keep this in mind are highlighting their contributors unmistakably on their sites, planning to persuade other funders, and showcasing their significant accomplishments inside the organization. Besides, incentivizing your top donors will help to have more successful fundraising activities.
4. Influential Partner Organizations
Partnering with other nonprofit organizations with higher brand recognition will help you build a more substantial reputation and visibility. In short, it attracts support and trust. A great example of this kind of strategic partnership is between the V Foundation for Cancer Research and Vs. Cancer.
The V Foundation empowers cancer research by funding at prominent cancer centers across the nation, whereas Vs. Cancer helps athletes to fund local pediatric oncology programs and childhood cancer research. The reputation of the former organization validates Vs. Cancer’s efforts. The people hearing about Vs. Cancer for the first time through the partnership, are more likely to trust them.
5. Effective Communications through Stories
Don’t just go with the annual report to showcase your organization’s impact. It might be a valuable sell document, but it’s not as helpful as a well-built website filled with stories and visuals. The story narrated by any brand or non-profit organization about its work is more important to the world than the work itself – at least while improving the revenue or sales rate.
Some tips for effective story-telling include:
- Have a central character who is the beneficiary of your organization.
- Paint the life of your central character in bright and vibrant colors.
- Tell only authentic stories about your work.
- Include visual storytelling, especially in videos.
To Sum It Up
Many nonprofits utilize their brands primarily as a fundraising tool; but to reap the maximum benefit out of it, you have to develop a broader and more strategic approach. The methods specified here will help you in this area by creating a better social impact and closer organizational cohesion.
Emily Johnson is a marketing consultant with 10 years of experience in the execution of marketing strategies. Currently, she heads the marketing department at Blue Mail Media, a renowned B2B data solution company based out of Irving, Texas offering database services, industry code look and so on.