Nonprofit Performance 360 Issue 13


5 Steps to Successful Nonprofit Branding

If you don’t have your nonprofit organization’s brand buttoned up, you’ll miss out on both precious donation dollars and the opportunity to make a bigger impact. Most nonprofits have a hard time articulating their brand promise in a clear and concise manner.Because of this, they become inconsistent with how they talk about themselves in their sales and marketing materials, and throughout their look and feel, online and offline. It can sometimes become a case study on how not to brand and market your organization. This creates challenges with selling your brand to people who have never heard about your organization before. But don’t fear: by understanding where your brand is lacking, you can fix it. By taking an audit of your brand, you can start to lay out your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Once you understand where you’re winning and losing, you can start putting together strategies that will propel and streamline your organization’s marketing and fundraising process. Whether you have a for-profit or a nonprofit business, the principles of branding stay the same. Branding, at its finest, is how your customers feel when they think about your brand name, service, or product. You must always align your brand message with the main problem you’re solving and, even more

importantly, you must learn how to clearly and concisely communicate and articulate that message at every touchpoint, online and offline, whether speaking publicly or writing an email. Here are five surefire ways to create a proactive brand strategy for your nonprofit. 1. Do the Research Your nonprofit organization has a purpose and a mission, and you understand them intimately. But what about your donors and patrons? Do they know your purpose and mission as intimately as you do? Have they bought into your mission? While your organization’s purpose is centered around the good you are doing, your brand must also sell the mission to the people who will be helping to fund the organization. When we are working on a brand strategy for a nonprofit organization, our framework always starts with research, because it’s 100% critical to the success of your organization to understand how to market effectively to your core audience. Besides understanding who you’re serving, you also need to understand who your donors are and what are they looking for in an organization, as well as trying to understand the socioeconomic and political arena in which you operate. 2. Focus on the Message Before anything else, ensure that your organization knows its pitch, as it’s the most important part of

12 I Nonprofit Performance Magazine

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