There are many demands for a donor’s attention.
How do you make sure you get noticed?
We do more than design print pieces and create logos we spread your message and help you achieve your goals.
Regardless of the size or mission of your organization, creating the right image is essential to success. The quality of any charity’s logo, website design, printed materials, marketing pieces, and other visual representations have a direct impact on how it is perceived in the public arena. In a world where everyone wants to stand out, style is power. Style elevates you, sets you apart and lends legitimacy and respect.
One of the vital things that are required of nonprofits to achieve long term success is proper branding. What many nonprofits fail to see is that branding is actually managing the feelings and the thoughts of your audience so that you can be sure that your vision is what they desire and relate that to a look and feel that represents your mission.
Three components create a brand: differentiation, credibility, and authenticity.
We have heard of the Red Cross, Oprah, McDonald’s. These are all brands. And while there may be positive or negative perceptions about each of these, you’ll notice their missions are easy to define—providing disaster relief when needed, inspiring people to live better lives, and providing a cheap, convenient meal. They are all based on making a clear promise to their audience.
Essentially, your brand is the reputation you have for delivering on your promise.
What does this mean for a nonprofit? A strong brand will help the organization stand out from the masses of solicitations, distinguish its cause from other organizations doing similar work, and inspire others to support them. The best brands elicit positive emotional responses because people understand and identify with each one’s mission and know that the organization is consistently true to it. When carefully developed and nurtured, the brand becomes the fabric of an organization’s culture.
Over the long term, organizations with strong brands become well known and tend to raise more money. In today’s environment, with more nonprofits than ever competing for funding, an organization can’t afford not to have a strong brand.
Flashy graphics seem compelling, but unless they relate to your brand’s personality, they won’t resonate with your audiences. Having said that, studies from the Visual Teaching Alliance show that 65 percent of the population are visual learners, and that 90 percent of information that comes to the brain is visual.
Your brand is the set of thoughts and emotions that come to the mind of your audiences when they read about your work or think about your organization. So what do these people really think of your organization? Do they think of it at all? When they hear your name do they have a fuzzy idea about what you do and why it matters? Or are your value and impact crystal clear? Do they confuse you with a similar organization or do they understand the important things that make you different? How does interacting with you make them feel about themselves?
You can do a lot to influence how your organization is perceived. It doesn’t require a huge budget and it doesn’t involve trickery or pretending to be something you’re not. It’s just the opposite. The clearer you can be about what your organization stands for—and why that matters—the better chance you have of securing the support you need to get your work done. But is making the effort worth it? Creating a brand isn’t just for big national organizations. Every nonprofit of every size—including yours—has a brand already.
Investing in making it one that actually helps you reach your goals pays dividends. It’s the difference between running against the wind and having it at your back, propelling you forward.