Should nonprofits refresh their brands by looking to the past?

Here’s a possible nonprofit trend that might make a lot of sense: Nonprofits may revive their long-ago brands.

This from queer ideas, at Heritage branding. A great opportunity for charities.

For years, many nonprofit branding initiatives have moved toward abstraction, hiding their original mission behind high concepts, often changing their names so they communicate nothing specific, or choose to go by their initials rather than a name. Many have also chased faddish looks (which become extremely dated-looking after just a few years.

And they wonder why results are down.

Going back to your roots could make a lot of sense:

… consumers (and donors) relate to a brand based on their personal experience of it, not simply through messages pushed at them. Anything we can do to remind a donor of the feelings they had when they first started supporting a cause can reconnect them not only to the charity but to their younger selves and the values they once did — and still do– hold dear.

It’s not the right move for everyone, but it’s worth considering.


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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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