Branding Sets Your Non-Profit Apart From the Crowd

volunteer screening, volunteer background checkTry to imagine McDonald’s without its gold arches, or Starbucks without its mermaid. They’re part of the experience customers have each time they interact with these companies—whether in person, through online, TV or print ads, or through social media platforms. Branding is important to these global companies, because it helps customers understand what the company is about, and reinforces that meaning at every opportunity.

A brand is how your audiences think of your organization, and the promise you offer. Branding can extend awareness, build trust and attract resources and partnerships for non-profit organizations. It can motivate donors, staff and volunteers, as well as beneficiaries.

You’re going to leave an impression in someone’s mind, anyway, so why not make sure you’re controlling it through effective branding? Start with the very essence of your organization; your mission statement is a great place to begin. Then distill it down until it differentiates your organization from every other one out there. Finally, use it consistently in every form of communication.

Differentiating your agency from others through branding starts with having a name that works, and extends to every other aspect of operations: from the look, tone, voice and the way you deliver your services. Your organization’s name, logo and tagline can come together in a package that quickly and effectively communicates what you’re about to the internal and external audiences: from the board of directors to the general public.

Your name and tagline should say what you do and whom you serve as simply as possible. For example, if your organization helps find housing for Boston-area homeless families with children, you might be called “Under One Roof,” with a tagline, “Keeping Boston families together in safe, affordable housing.” A simple logo can graphically depict the name and tagline, and help to reinforce the mission at a glance.

Keeping logo colors consistent is vital to strong branding. If your logo colors are deep purple and white, never use pastel lavender and yellow. Every time your logo is seen, it should look consistent. The same goes for typefaces used for your name and tagline.

Branding might not seem like it applies to non-profit organizations, but in a crowded and competitive field, an attractive, consistent brand that communicates what your agency is about can help you stand out from the rest of the crowd.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.