Your brand is your public identity and differentiates your mission from others. It is the most efficient means of communicating organizational values to your audiences. Corporations and mainstream products seriously focus on their brands (and usually do a pretty great job). Think of Nike, Apple, Starbucks, and Coca-Cola just to name a few of thousands. But what about nonprofits?
It’s no secret that there is growing competition within the nonprofit sector. The internet has allowed the industry to grow and solicit in ways we have never seen before. A strong public image will help your organization stand out from the masses of solicitations by allowing your organization to convey a consistent mission while tailoring events, campaigns, and programs for multiple audiences. How does your organization create a strong brand? We talked recently about how social media can drive prospect to donor conversion, so let’s take a look at branding’s role in the process!
First, look within your organization to find the attributes that help you stand out from the more than 1.5 Million nonprofits in the United States. Most people are often over exposed to solicitation requests from nonprofits so be cautious to be very clear of your mission and goals. Once you understand your position compared to competitors, develop an image – use consistent phrases and tag-lines, utilize a graphics designer to develop a logo and banner image, establish an identifiable email signature, and use the same color palate and font when promoting your message. The public will become familiar with your message and begin to develop trust.
Second, establish credibility. Before a potential donor decides to write a check, they have to feel confident in the credibility of your mission, the likelihood of a positive outcome, and the distance their dollar will take you towards your goal. By speaking honestly about your purpose, goals, and challenges, your constituents will trust you and feel ensured that their time or money will be used effectively. Use stories to explain why you feel so passionately about your cause. They will listen.