When nonprofit branding does the job

What exactly is a nonprofit brand?

Some say it’s a system for consistently describing your organization.

That’s not what a useful nonprofit brand is. That’s at best a small component of the real thing. At worst, it’s a distraction that keeps you from connecting with donors and hides your true value from donors.

A nonprofit brand that brings home the bacon is one that shows donors how your values align with theirs and how they can change the world by giving through you.

The brand is on your donors. Not on you.

A recent post at 101fundraising captures this important distinction at Branding: The next and final frontier:

If we accept that donors support charities that express their values and beliefs, then we have to think that a charity’s brand is the framework that attracts, connects and delights a donor. [B]randing for charities is about share of heart and share of mind, in that order. Strong charity brands allow a person to belong to something that is greater than themself and feel a level of significance in the support they give.

Keep that in mind. Branding is about them.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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