Nonprofit Performance 360 Issue 13


Branding Strategies that Make a Difference

What’s your story? Why are you passionate about making a difference? Why do some nonprofits seem to easily attract donations while others struggle to get by? Since you’re a nonprofit leader, you’re already a difference maker. We have something in common. I intend to help you maximize your growth, so your organization can make an even bigger difference in the world and achieve the highest level of success. My decades of experience in working with nonprofit clients have shown they typically have one thing in common. Everyone is so busy doing their own work they rarely have enough time or money to focus on their branding, marketing, and promotion. Yet, if not enough people know of their great work, how can they make a bigger impact? Building your brand is critical to your ultimate success, even with a moderate budget. Let’s take a few minutes to go through a branding exercise. Crafting Your Compelling Branding On your own, or with your staff or Board of Directors, make sure your vision is in alignment with all the key members of your team. Reflect on your answers to the following questions. • What is your nonprofit all about? • Whom do you serve?

• Why is your service important? • What makes you unique? • What words best capture your benefits? Understanding everyone’s perspective is valuable. Someone may come up with an idea that you’ve never considered before. Those outside your organization may give different answers and perhaps give you insights. Why go through this exercise? Because your branding is a promise to your audience about your unique services. Branding raises awareness and reinforces your desired perception. It builds your following. But you’ll need to deliver on your brand’s promise or you’ll lose credibility. Great branding is a collaborative process, but it’s not democratic.The final branding decisions rest with a small group of leaders at the top. Building a Strong Brand The best brands stand for a big idea. A powerful, effective brand for a nonprofit organization relies on the same principles as branding for a for-profit company. Understand your audience. Find your difference. Create a message true to your brand and infuse that branding within your organization. Build a promise around your message. And then be consistent.

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