Most of us recognize branding as a potential tool for fundraising, marketing and communications. But the most successful nonprofits have learned to think about branding playing a more strategic role, involving all the key players in your organization. Every day we see the power of branding as it relates to Apple or Starbucks, but nonprofits often make the fundamental mistake of believing that there’s no value in a brand unless you can sink lots of money into marketing it.
Your brand is a key way you can distinguish yourself from similar organizations and how you establish your personality and the experience of working with you. As a nonprofit, you are in a position to create a powerful brand that moves people to want to support you. But that means everyone in the organization must recognize and understand your brand before it can have any impact on your audiences.
Are you among the many nonprofits that fails to view its brand as a strategic asset? Nonprofit branding expert Nathalie-Laidler-Kylander emphasizes that while a brand is a fundraising tool, it also plays a key role in strengthening an organization and furthering its mission. “Brand is so much more than a logo and should be managed with the goal of supporting mission impact, not just fundraising or PR,” she says, adding that “many organizations also fail to understand the important role a brand can play internally. While the external role a brand plays in building trust with stakeholders is fairly obvious, the internal role is less so. Organizations that engage internal stakeholders, and help them to understand and internalize the brand, increase organizational cohesion and effectiveness.”
This class will make you appreciate the power of your brand so you can harness it, even without a big budget to back it up. You’ll go from the basics of what makes a brand to what your brand can do for you, who is in charge of it, and how you can strengthen it. Get excited by the prospects of how to shape and articulate your brand, with limited resources, and how to manage and evaluate branding strategies so that they support your message and your mission.