The Value of Branding for Non Profits

branding image on volunteerscreeningblog.comA recent report examined the brand value of non profit organizations in the United States. It was the first to rank charities by a combination of revenue, brand awareness, and potential for growth, rather than just financial performance.

The report was compiled by Cone, a branding agency, together with Intangible Business, a valuation consultancy, to help NPOs understand how their branding efforts are related to raising funds.  According to the report, non profit brands must be protected and evolved in order to generate the most revenue.

So, who came out on top? YMCA of the USA, with a brand value of $6.4 billion. Here are the top ten Nonprofit Power Brands:

1. YMCA of the USA

2. The Salvation Army

3. United Way of America

4. American Red Cross

5. Goodwill Industries International

6. Catholic Charities

7. Habitat for Humanity International

8. American Cancer Society

9. The Arc of the United States

10. Boys & Girls Clubs of America

What does branding mean to your organization? Often, nonprofits have a purpose, mission, and vision that are clear to everyone within the organization, but fall flat in its communications.  Do you have a difficult time explaining what it is your organization does or whom it serves?  Does everyone associated with your NPO tell a different story?  Have you had difficulty communicating a consistent message? If so, you have a branding problem.

Branding is more than a logo and a tagline—although both are very important to every organization!  Branding is the message, the promise, the core of your organization. The brand establishes your NPO as a worthy and valuable institution that donors can feel good about supporting—and volunteers want to work for. And it must be conveyed consistently in every touch point with your service population, community, staff, volunteers, and supporters.

Check out the websites of the top 10 Nonprofits and see for yourself how important a consistent brand effort is to each of them. Then think about your NPO’s brand message—or lack of one—so you can start improving it. You might even improve your bottom line, too!

Remember that thorough volunteer screening will help you recruit and retain the best volunteers for your organization.

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