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5 Essentials for Building a Standout Nonprofit Brand

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5 Elements of Nonprofit Marketing

today’s topic is pretty high level but if you know me that won’t come as a great surprise i promise the rest of the article will be much more tactical so you can read leave and go do with that said today i’d like to flush out five essentials for building a standout non-profit brand we all love a good shot key but as you know branding takes way more than putting a logo on free pens your brand is what people think of your organization its character and its efforts it just doesn’t happen in the doing

you need to be intentional about it dare i say strategic done well branding is valuable to all non-profits regardless of your size or mission a standout non-profit brand is a multiplier it generates more awareness of your organization more people who understand your cause and efforts and potentially more love or affinity which leads to more funding and other support so here are my high five first your brand mission and vision set the tone for everything you do a mission statement is how you’re going to fulfill your vision it’s your present reality write one sentence

two short sentences max and share it here are some great examples that capture the mission of these organizations succinctly first is first events they provide life-changing outdoor adventures for young adults impacted by cancer and other serious health conditions next is dress for success they empower men women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life and last but not least the lost dog cat and rescue foundation they help homeless pets find their way into loving homes through rescue and adoption see these give both

understanding and inspiration quickly is your audience you need to know exactly who you’re talking to while many non-profits don’t have budget for research you can try a lot of things interviews or focus groups even if they’re with your usual engagers surveys use data from google analytics or your social media cull through existing research on audience groups or preferences third is leadership this starts with creating a spotlight for your leaders if your ceo chairperson or donor is well known showcase them on your website in e-news updates maybe even their own or social platforms in media pitches their recognition boosts your nonprofit’s credibility if they are not well known it’s your job as a marketer to raise their profile here are some ideas they could speak at non-profit events you could submit op-eds for publication under their name that you could ask them to create content for your website and blog or encourage them to be active on social media so they can drive conversations about non-profits your cause and how current events impact the people you serve

you can also position your nonprofit as unique from similar ones do you have a prestigious funding source or received an industry distinction promote it like you would a person it will create a halo effect and last being a leader is often about being first for example giving catalogs weren’t always a thing heifer international project was first and boy did they set a precedence fourth is brand guidelines let’s save the deep dive for another episode of the high

five but here is the nutshell version by creating guidelines that are clear and easily understood you give no one an option not to follow them proactively share guidelines across your non-profit with external agencies partners and vendors

and this will help create consistent visual identity key messages and a voice that will help solidify your brand narrative over time to help keep this consistent i

suggest you create a brand school or a series of webinars where you go over the rules and show examples of executions or a brand council that approves all brand elements sure this requires your staff to get things done far in advance so the council has time to review but i’ve seen this implemented and it makes all the difference last but not least storytelling stories eat um steal data’s lunch every day they convey your non-profits brand efforts and impact that away that data can’t alone

make sure your stories persuade they help your audience understand the challenges of your members or your beneficiaries and why your cause is worth supporting they prove numbers may lie but stories never do

authentic stories support your brand’s credibility and evangelize well-told stories make your brand relatable to people they resonate with existing supporters and help recruit new ones to your cause i am a complete inverted pyramid evangelist

when you go to tell stories it’s important to put the information the reader must know up front

the helpful or supportive part of the story in the middle and leave the knife stuff

for the end if you’re interested in tips on how to create engaging stories it’s your lucky day you can download my storytelling roadmap at fiveones.com roadmap thanks again for reading.