Branding and nonprofit may not be the first words you put together. Most hear branding and think of a large for-profit corporation. However, branding is as important for a not-for-profit organization as it is for a business.
Your brand is what people think about when they think of your nonprofit.
Chances are you know what Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross or Boys & Girls Club do. Strong nonprofit branding gets you recognized. It strongly influences the way your nonprofit’s messages are received by the public.
Branding is so important because there are so many nonprofit organizations doing their part to help the world and ensure public support. Over the long term, organizations with strong brands become well known and tend to raise more money. In today’s environment, with more nonprofits than ever competing for funding, an organization can’t afford not to have a strong brand.
Branding helps nonprofits differentiate themselves from other comparable organizations working on similar causes. Good nonprofit branding helps you stand out. Branding can help your nonprofit break through the noise and help you become memorable. It answers the question, why should someone give to your organization instead of another?
Competition for funding is high in the nonprofit industry. A strong nonprofit brand can help you achieve your fundraising goals by increasing visibility and generating support. A strong brand also increases engagement among supporters and donors who because of your branding has increased trust and loyalty towards your organization.
A brand is more than its visual identity: the name, brand logo, and graphic design.
I would argue that nonprofits have the best opportunity to brand around storytelling. Stories influence people, their emotions, behaviors, and actions. Stories find their way to human hearts and heads in a way that very few other communication methods can.
We are hardwired to respond to stories. We tend to remember a good story way longer than we remember a fact or figure.
Stories can be an incredible tool for fundraising, raising awareness, mobilizing volunteers, building trust, and solidifying your brand. Nonprofits have the “raw material” for powerful impact stories right at their fingertips—stories of perseverance, hope, and new beginnings. Stories can highlight personal experiences and help put a human face on complex issues that affect real people. It behooves nonprofits to commit the resources to gather and use their stories.
I hope this helps. Your feedback is appreciated.
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