Building a Strong Brand for Nonprofit Organizations
A special guest post by Wendy Dessler to give organizations insights into how to create a strong brand for your Nonprofit, NGO or Social Enterprise.
You might not think about branding when you think about nonprofits, NGOs, and other social enterprises. Branding sounds like something strictly for big businesses. The truth is branding is an important factor for nonprofit organizations just as much as it is for businesses. Branding is all about your public image. It’s how the world sees your organization and the work you do.
A strong brand can help you raise money, increase awareness, and build a reputation. Here’s why you need a strong brand as a nonprofit organization and some tips for creating a brand strategy.
Why Do Nonprofit Organizations Need Branding?
Branding isn’t just for businesses, it’s for all organizations that maintain a public appearance. Think about some of the most well-known nonprofit organizations like Pencils of Promise or Habitat for Humanity. Odds are you have a very clear picture of these brands already, just from what you already know about them. That’s what branding does. It shapes the way organization’s messages are received by the public.
It’s not enough to have a great cause you’re fighting for as a nonprofit. You need to know how to market that cause in a way that people will actually want to help. Branding helps your organization stand out in a world with so many different causes. It helps the public learn about your story and how you make the world a better place. People like to donate and volunteer for organizations they trust and understand. Your branding bridges this gap between average people and your organization!
Tell Your Story
The main strategy behind your nonprofit branding should be telling a story. This is how you’ll stand apart from similar organizations. Just a single scroll through Facebook will show you just how many causes and organizations there are out there nowadays. They’re all fighting for the same public support, and it’s harder than ever to get heard. Break through this noise by telling your unique story with all of your creative elements. How does your logo share your story? How do your social media posts share your story? Keep this story close to your marketing strategy since it’s the heart of your project.
Get Serious About Your Marketing
A lot of new nonprofit organizations make the mistake of thinking the cause will market itself. It’s easy to believe so many people will be empowered by your message that it will spread like wildfire. Unfortunately, it takes a lot more planning than that. There’s a lot that goes into a strong marketing strategy like content marketing, advertisements, and social media campaigns. That’s a lot for a single group to take on. Many branding experts like Rocket Pilots advise that it’s worth recruiting the expertise of professionals who do the heavy lifting for you.
When in doubt, start small with your marketing. Optimize your website with SEO so more consumers can find you in their search results. Write blog posts that reflect your brand messaging and that are easy to share on social media. Most of all, interact with your audience. Start a conversation around your cause and educate people about why it’s important.
Branding is a key element of any successful nonprofit organization. You don’t have to be a marketing guru to create a winning brand for your organization as long as you keep the focus on your unique story and connecting with others. As long as you take a proactive approach to your branding, your cause will benefit!
Over to you
Share your learnings of great or bad branding strategies in the comment section below.
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