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Think branding's just for businesses? Think again. Dive into our '5 Reasons Why Your Non-profit Organization Needs a Strong Brand.' From trust building to donor retention, you'll see why a powerful brand is a game changer for your mission.
“Branding” is a term that often feels synonymous with large corporations that are household names, spend millions on marketing, and work with flashy advertising agencies. But the truth is—branding applies to you, too. Branding is at the heart and soul of your non-profit organization, and it needs to be strong in order to help you receive the recognition you deserve.
A strong brand can strategically contribute to an organization’s success in both the short and long-term. Your non-profit organization’s branding will help you stand apart from other non-profit organizations, help you attract volunteers, gain donors and community support, and make it easier to advance your mission.
If you’re at a crossroads and wondering if now is the time to improve your non-profit organization's branding initiatives, it’s never too late to get started.
In this article, we’ll highlight the top five reasons why your organization should start developing a strong, well-designed brand today.
A strong brand helps you tell your audience the vital details that make your organization unique. Think about how you want to display your values, mission, vision, and objectives as a non-profit organization. Then, incorporate these elements into your branding strategy and design elements.
Communicating critical details through your brand might evolve over time. At Acton Circle, we find that many organizations adapt and change their initial design concept after being operational for at least one year. This is a time of clarification and flexibility.
Once you identify the most important distinguishing factors for your brand, you can make these clear through your content, website, graphic elements, and special projects. Don’t be afraid to revamp and iterate once you’ve witnessed organizational growth or evolution.
Believe it or not, good branding can actually contribute to the future decisions of your donors. Think about it this way—if you were a potential donor or investor, would you place your dollars in the hands of an organization that doesn’t look polished and seems to lack clarity and direction? Or, would you choose to support a non-profit organization that can clearly communicate its vision and confidently showcases its purpose to the world at large?
A good brand is your billboard to potential supporters. It visually and emotionally communicates what you’re about and why that matters to the community you serve.
According to recent data from NP Source, 90% of donors indicated that partnering with reputable non-profit organizations enhances their own brand, and 89% believe that partnering leverages their ability to improve the community. It’s clear from these statistics that donors are actively looking to link arms with nonprofit brands that can enhance or bolster their collective public image.
Great branding communicates significant details to the outside world, but it also brings coherence and clarity to your organization from within. From an internal or team perspective, an organization’s branding serves as the unifying factor between separate team members, branches, or nonprofit chapters.
Good branding makes it easy to answer questions related to “why?” For example, why do we do what we do? Why do we serve the communities we serve? Why does our work really matter?
When your branding inherently answers these critical questions up front, it’s easier to stay motivated and remain in a state of continual growth.
Branding also helps your non-profit organization attract the right partnerships for long-term growth. Throughout your non-profit organization's existence, you’ll need stable community and business partnerships to remain visible, expand your existing resources, or reach new audiences.
Having an established brand means that you won’t get stuck trying to build awareness, publicity, or recognition when you could be focused on reaching an important collective goal goal. After all, people want to partner with organizations that have high brand affinity because it becomes a true “win-win” scenario. Well-formed partnerships provide the chance to leverage another company’s resources, and businesses can boost brand perception by being affiliated with a well-respected non-profit organization.
Recognizable brand assets (such as a main logo or website visuals), also enhance positive press and help you attract the right publicity alongside well-known partner organizations.
After all is said and done, the truth is simple—better non-profit organization branding drives better marketing results.
Recent research quantifies the tangible results of professional branding. 99profits conducted a study involving nearly 500 senior leaders in the nonprofit sector. The insights gathered found that around half of the non-profit organizations that rebranded in 2020-2022 have already experienced an increase in revenue. Of those organizations that hadn’t made branding decisions, over half of those surveyed wished they had spent more time and money on developing a growth-ready brand for their non-profit organization.
Marketing depends on having the right elements to share with the world at large. How can your organization truly accomplish this goal without focusing on the assets it takes to get there? Don’t limit your marketing results by ignoring the importance of your primary brand strategy.
It’s no surprise—branding packs a punch when it comes to the growth and longevity of your non-profit organization.
Fortunately, you don’t need to craft your non-profit organization brand alone. By partnering with an experienced brand strategist, you’ll become equipped to communicate your brand coherently and develop the branding elements you need to stay modern and sharp.
Let Acton Circle assist your team as you build, refine, and grow your non-profit organization.