How to Build a Strong Nonprofit Brand

How to Build a Strong Nonprofit Brand

When people talk about branding, it is just for businesses and startups. However the truth is that it’s equally important for non profit organisations and charities sometimes even more.

But what exactly is Nonprofit Branding? For most people, it’s a logo that acts as a visual symbol of any nonprofit organisation - which is not true. A logo is just a part of branding.

Nonprofit branding is all about how all your donors, volunteers and the general public sees your organisation, the work you do, how you differentiate from peers and build relationships with your audience to create loyalty and trust. It's like a promise of your actions that is well-aligned with your core values. In a nutshell, it’s a total experience of all stakeholders with your organisation.

A strong nonprofit brand can help you raise donations, build reputation and build a solid reputation.

At this point, it’s important to note that branding and marketing are not the same. In simple words branding is who you are and why you matter whereas marketing is the act of promoting a brand or telling people who you are. Both are equally important for the growth and success of your organisation that work in sync with each other. However, branding is strategic and lasts forever, whereas marketing is tactical that is subject to change.

How to Build a Strong Nonprofit Brand:

Follow below steps to help you build a distinctive and successful nonprofit brand

  1. Start with defining the purpose of your brand and what you stand for. It is very important to properly convey this to your audience, why they should care for it and what difference you can make.

  2. Conduct market research and perform competitors analysis to know where your nonprofit is positioned and define how to differentiate.

  3. Define personas of your targeted donors and volunteers

  4. Outline your brand positioning statement and value statement to help you create mission-focused brand content.

  5. Define your brand identity & design assets (this includes visual elements like brand colours, tagline, colour palette, fonts, style guide, logo, website, brochures, business cards etc.)

  6. Create a consistent brand voice and how you effectively communicate about your brand

  7. Build an effective execution strategy to help communicate your brand identity through marketing in the right way.

(See infographic below)

5 Tips for Nonprofit Branding

Here are some useful tips or say things to consider while branding a nonprofit

  1. Make an effort to clearly stand out among other nonprofit organisations working on similar causes. This will help to get your message.

  2. Be consistent in your messaging to make your brand easily recognisable.

  3. Try to have a simple and clear brand story that spells out your mission.

  4. First impressions count. Try to leave a positive impression at the beginning irrespective of touchpoints.

  5. Your core values are key and it’s very important how you express those through your brand.