Branding might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of social businesses, nonprofits, or any other organizations focusing on social impact. The term “branding” itself may sound like something that is reserved only for large commercial enterprises like Apple or Target.
However, nonprofit branding can help you to stand out from other nonprofit organizations and build connections with your audience to cultivate trust and loyalty. A strong brand can help you increase social awareness, raise more money, and build a solid reputation over time.
At Market Me Consulting, we are committed to developing strategy, marketing, and fundraising solutions that make a lasting social impact. In this article, we are going to take a look at the best tools and practices of branding your nonprofit.
What is Nonprofit Branding?
Nonprofit branding is all about the way the world perceives your organization and the work you do. Branding your nonprofit comes down to the written and visual way you tell a story about yourself to strangers. It is a way to communicate the cause that you work towards and the approach you take towards that cause.
Your story can depend on many different factors. For example, a font that you choose can show that you are a clinical, research-based organization or a caring, hands-on nonprofit. Similarly, the colors you pick can make all the difference between being perceived as modern or outdated.
Why Invest into Branding Your Nonprofit?
The nonprofit and charitable world is a busy one – it is common for volunteers and employees to juggle various projects and wear many different hats at once. While focusing on branding may seem like an unnecessary waste of time, it is far from the truth.
Having a strong brand is crucial to distinguish yourself from your competitors. Furthermore, in an increasingly crowded sector, using your brand to tell a compelling story is one of the easiest ways to attract donations and even top talent. Your public image will help to grow your credibility and awareness, attract more followers, and increase engagement.
Important Tips for Building a Strong Nonprofit Brand
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some important tips to keep in mind when developing your nonprofit branding strategy:
1. Know Your Audience and See the Big Picture
Before getting down into creating a nonprofit branding guide or hiring a designer for your logo or website, you need to take a step back. Ideally, you should get together with your team to:
- Review your vision and mission statement
- Brainstorm about what your organization means to each team member
- Reflect on your past successes and learnings
- Review your goals or organizational strategy documents
- Get in touch with volunteers, donors, or other stakeholders and gather their inputs
When building a brand, it is crucial to understand who you are trying to reach, so that you can adjust your communication and message to meet their specific needs. Think about it and write down the motivations, interests, and lifestyle of your target audience.
2. Set Yourself Apart
The United States is home to over 1.5 million nonprofit organizations, and, while it is great to affect many social problems and address a variety of specific needs, it also means that Americans have a lot of choice when deciding which organizations to support, either through their time or financially.
Therefore, it is important to find a way to differentiate yourself with your branding strategy. In order to set your nonprofit organization apart from competitors, you need to think strategically. As part of your branding activities, always ask yourself:
- What makes your organization unique?
- Why would someone give to your organization?
- What makes your organization different from competitors?
- Are you clearly communicating this information?
Use these questions to determine how you can ensure that people remember your organization, and, consequently, choose to support you. Identify opportunities to shape your brand perception to align more closely with your strategic objectives and discover the unique brand personality that you should stick to.
If you aren’t sure where to start, you can always schedule a call with Market Me Consulting for professional help and guidance with your branding strategy.
3. Be Consistent
Consistency is the key ingredient to any successful branding strategy. An organization can only create a strong brand if its visuals, voice, and approach complement each other.
Make sure that your logo and branding are consistent on your social media channels, website, newsletters, brochures, emails, or anything else that represents your organization. In addition, it is important to keep your messaging consistent. To foster trust and loyalty, you need to make sure that you don’t change your mission between fundraising campaigns and keep it the same across all communication channels.
To help with consistency, you might want to create a simple branding guide that outlines the logo, the typography, the colors, and other design elements of the brand. Make sure to outline what is allowed and what isn’t when it comes to applying the guide online and offline.
Keep in mind that all of your communications are not only intended to educate the public about your message, but also influence your volunteers, employees, and nonprofit board members. When your team is fully invested in your brand, they can become your best ambassadors. As such, it is important to include brand training as part of the new employee or volunteer onboarding process. You can use your branding guide to explain your mission, values, tone of voice, and visual design elements.
Build a Strong Branding Strategy with Market Me Consulting
Of course, branding your nonprofit and constantly maintaining that brand can feel like a challenging task for a small charity. While this may require some initial financial and time commitment, launching and managing a well-planned branding strategy can help you to convey your message, build social awareness, and raise more money.
The good news is that Market Me Consulting can help with your nonprofit branding needs to accelerate your growth. Schedule a call today to discuss how we can help you achieve your marketing and fundraising goals.
About Market Me Consulting
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Market Me Consulting is a consulting firm that develops marketing, strategy, and fundraising solutions for nonprofits and socially conscious small businesses. We combine analytics with creativity to build strategies, campaigns, and programs that help our clients achieve their goals. With over 15 years of experience in driving results for nonprofits, universities, local governments, and small businesses, our team has the skills and experiences to deliver results for our clients.