Many non-profits (and small businesses!) start off with limited funding. Paid staff members and volunteers may all work separately to get the word out. Brand quality and consistency often suffer during these early days, and it can be a challenge to go back and adjust that first impression of the brand.
Here are three reasons branding is so important for non-profits, and what you can do to carry your brand throughout your efforts:
- A professional brand and consistent presentation gives your organization credibility. Just being designated as a 501c3 won’t bring donors to your cause. You’ve got to reach out to them and draw their interest. Your brand needs to be memorable and consistent so when they see your messages across multiple channels, they make the connection. As you set up your non-profit, make sure you invest in a logo or wordmark that truly represents your brand and will last for years, then spend time training your team members on how the brand is to be used.
- Stakeholder groups for a single non-profit may be very different (clients, financial donors, in-kind donors, corporate donors/sponsors, volunteers, etc.). Each of these groups may receive a slightly different message, but all must be cohesive and all must support the brand. Sending inconsistent brand messaging across these groups can cause disconnects and confusion. Create a brand style guide with message points for staff members and volunteers so everyone is communicating the same messages in support of the brand.
- There’s a lot of competition out there for donors. Not everyone will be interested in donating to or supporting your cause, nor will everyone need your service(s). If your brand clearly communicates what your organization has to offer, you’ll be better able to target those who truly need or will support your service.
Questions about branding your non-profit? Email us, give us a call at 919.850.0605