Successful branding helps make your organization recognizable, legitimate, and trustworthy to your audience. Through association of your nonprofit’s brand, your supporters and the general public will be reminded regularly of your organization’s distinct purpose, mission, and value in the world. A strong brand can be what makes your organization stand out and succeed among countless others.
Branding includes cultivating a specific language and aesthetic style with assets that are used in all your marketing materials. These aspects work together to create a unique identity and personality for your nonprofit.
So what can you do to get started?
1. Differentiate yourself from the rest with your mission statement.
What sets your organization apart? Your mission statement should be clear and easy to understand, inspiring, and contain achievable, sustainable goals. Your specific set of goals distinguish you from other organizations out there.
2. Stay consistent.
Your nonprofit’s distinct personality should be recognizable across all of your marketing outlets, from your website to your social media, printed materials, emails, and calls. You do not need the same person acting as the voice of your nonprofit to keep a consistent brand. Within your organization, outline your values and goals and how you want to be perceived by your audience. Your organization’s presentation should always convey these essences, whether it be in language, design, action, or participation.
3. Create a strong logo upon which to base your brand.
A good logo will be distinct and memorable, adapt to changes in size and media (from a billboard to a small insignia on your letterhead), look good in black and white as well as in color, and easily suggest the purpose of your organization. For examples, check this list of effective nonprofit logo designs.
4. Showcase your organization’s values and thought leadership through social networking.
Everything you like, share, or tweet on your social networks says something about your organization. Do this smartly and actively by sharing industry news and articles and giving your own insights on current issues using your established company language. Avoid sounding preachy or using guilt as a motivator, and stay as positive and thoughtful as you can, particularly when addressing your audience’s comments.
What makes your organization different? Share your own branding strategies in the comments.