Branding is not just your logo: your organization's brand is your reputation, how the public sees you; the image and impression you leave with the public, not just your supporters.
Logos are important to branding: but equally important are how you look and interact with the public:
- your volunteers
- social media posts
- fundraisers and events
- signage and packaging
- team attire and attitude
Nonprofits have some unique branding resources and opportunities to promote their organization, but the basics of branding strategy are vital to nonprofits. Its not possible for your nonprofit not to be branded: its important to control your brand, and the public's perception of your organization. Your brand helps both the organization and public understand who you are, and what you stand for.
3 Branding Must-Dos for NonProfits
1. Define Your Brand
If you can't explain your brand, how can you promote it? Your nonprofit organization should have a written mission statement that defines who you are and what you want to accomplish:
- What is your mission?
- Who do you support?
- How are you unique?
- How will you reach your goals?
- What do you want supporters to do?
2. Be Consistent
Your branding should look the same across all platforms. Different campaigns and projects may have unique messages but the public shouldn't have to try and guess who the organization is. Your brand identity should be consistent on:
3. Train Your Team
Everyone involved in your nonprofit - employees, board members, volunteers - should know your logo, mission, voice and tone. Turn your stakeholders into advocates so that everyone can deliver the same message and actively (and correctly) promote your cause.
Your nonprofit can benefit from written brand guidelines so that the same message is consistently delivered to stakeholders and the public, and your team can refer to written guidelines as necessary.
Nonprofits must carefully manage their brand so they can promote and grow their cause. Your organization is going to be branded whether you like it or not: by controlling your brand, you take charge of how the public views you.