Nonprofit Performance 360 Issue 13


Brand Schmand

With all the other things eating away at your budget, why spend money on branding? We hear this a lot in our work with nonprofits and businesses in nearly every sector. But you are creating a brand every minute in every interaction your organization has internally and with its clients. Create the brand you want, instead of the one that just happens. When organizations let a brand evolve organically or neglect it altogether, they often lose their passion and are not as effective in their mission as they could be. Established organizations sometimes outgrow their brands.The world changes, so most entities schedule a brand refresh every three to five years. This may just be tweaking the brand to fit new market realities, or it may mean overhauling elements of the brand that aren’t relevant. Think of it as a brand checkup. 5 Reasons to Invest in Branding Branding grows influence and donations faster than personal contact. Good branding sends your message to more people, more efficiently. It funnels qualified donors, volunteers, and other potential stakeholders to your digital or brick- and-mortar doorstep automatically. One-on-one contact is slow and labor intensive. Branding shares your message with many, many more people than you could reach individually or through personal referrals.

Branding sets you apart from all the other entities vying for time and dollars. Compelling branding establishes a message, image, promise, and personality that moves your audiences. It compels stakeholders to spend their time and treasure on your entity over others. Branding builds credibility and comfort among contributors. A well-executed, consistent and thoughtful brand conveys that your entity has its act together. If the outside of the house is well maintained, the inside is probably just as orderly and efficient. It gives the unspoken impression that donor dollars will be spent wisely. Branding creates ambassadors who spread the word for you. Communicate your brand to staff, volunteers, partners, contributors, board, vendors, and everyone else who helps your organization hum. Invite them to internalize your bigger aspirations and they will tell others. Energizing your brand ambassadors will help bring more like-minded folks into your organization’s orbit. Branding saves organizations from reinventing the wheel. A consistent message, promise, look, and feel – and all the other elements of a brand – assure that everyone clearly communicates your brand the same way every time. Branding, when done well, stands the test of time. It endures changes in personnel, board members, fundraising drives, and other internal factors. All

40 I Nonprofit Performance Magazine

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