Consistent Branding Leads to Better Fundraising
“A brand’s strength is built upon its determination to promote its own distinctive values and mission.” – Jean-Noel Kapferer
It is 2021 and the pressure is on for those vital nonprofit workers in charge of fundraising and development. Nonprofits everywhere face a rising demand for services while their revenue has been cut across the board. This changing landscape means that many agencies are vying for support in a more competitive, and considerably strained, environment. In a 2020 study by Fluxx Community Insights, 91% of funders surveyed reported that the COVID-19 pandemic caused them to change their ways of funding.
What does the pandemic have to do with branding? Nonprofits without a strong and consistent branding message run an even greater risk of becoming lost in the crowd. Whether you intentionally build your nonprofit’s brand or not, your website, social media, and written content intrinsically create one. In this article, we touch on some key points to ensure that the brand created is the one you really want.
Nonprofits with a formidable brand give the impression of durability even amidst hardship. In an even tighter operating environment, the message you send needs to be clear, persuasive, memorable, and cohesive. The right branding can do the lion’s share of this work for you. Consider these four tips and tricks to improve your nonprofit’s branding and fundraising efforts:
1. View Branding as your Trade Dress
We have all been in the grocery store and reached for the box of cereal only to find it is an off-brand of the better known, and perhaps better tasting, original. Legally speaking, trade dress is what distinguishes you, hence, your trademark. It is routinely how your product or organization looks to the outside world. That is how critical trade dress is to manufacturers. The same can be said for businesses and nonprofits alike. Branding ensures your organization is immediately recognizable and stands out and above the static. It is your identity. Read helpful (re)branding tips to get started, such as our previous segment on Color Theory.
2. Demonstrate Reliability
Having a consistent brand image among all client, donor, and partner touchpoints is pertinent to convey your organization’s values and mission. Constantly met expectations in branding and messaging create a sense of reliability. People know what to expect when working with you. Your agency has a particular feel that the community has come to know and expect. When people see consistency in messaging, they also perceive organizational unity. As Philanthropy News Digest explains, “consistent application of a unified visual identity and messaging is critical to building brand recognition.”
3. Seek Engagement
Engaging your audience, calling donors and volunteers to action, and building community support strongly rely on your brand’s ability to tell a story and to keep telling it. A brand should move stakeholders and be relatable. Generalizations (e.g., “those in need,” “people around the world”) should be avoided. Instead, paint a picture of need in the local area using recognizable landmarks, imagery, resources, and cultural nuances to connect with your target audience.
4. Double Check for Consistency
Consistent branding conveys professionalism, sustainability, and expertise. Ensure that your agency has updated and consistent logos, taglines, statements, color themes, and fonts among all media and communication channels. Don’t forget about your stationery, email signatures, website(s), brochures and flyers, social media images and postings, and physical event signage. In addition, all materials should employ a pleasing layout, clear navigation, and impactful messaging to make getting to know your organization an enjoyable experience.
Learning about nonprofit branding can feel overwhelming. Luckily, you don’t need to dive into branding alone. The professionals at The Good Pixel have a proven track record of promoting and strengthening nonprofit brands through engaging, thoughtful design. Lean into branding strength to give you an operating and fundraising edge by contacting us today.