How to Develop a Brand for Your Nonprofit
So you're starting a nonprofit organization or have one and want to know how to build or strengthen your brand. Well, what is a brand? Is it advertising, your spokesperson, a logo? We have heard of the Red Cross, Oprah, McDonald's. These are all brands. And while there may be positive or negative perceptions about each of these, you'll notice their missions are easy to define—providing disaster relief when needed, inspiring people to live better lives, and providing a cheap, convenient meal. They are all based on making a clear promise to their audience. Essentially, your brand is the reputation you have for delivering on your promise.
What does this mean for a nonprofit? A strong brand will help the organization stand out from the masses of solicitations, distinguish its cause from other organizations doing similar work, and inspire others to support them. The best brands elicit positive emotional responses because people understand and identify with each one's mission and know that the organization is consistently true to it. When carefully developed and nurtured, the brand becomes the fabric of an organization's culture.