Why nonprofit organizations should pay attention to branding

Having a recognizable trademark can help nonprofits with fundraising initiatives.
Date Published

Nonprofit organizations, similar to commercial enterprises, have to pay attention to their brand image in the eyes of the donors. Otherwise they run the risk of not being visible and having a large segment of the population be totally unaware of their organizational attributes. In essence, maintaining a brand is about creating trust among donors. Organizations that haven’t gained the public trust will likely see their fundraising initiatives fall short of expectations.

Why build a nonprofit brand?
In short, nonprofit management depends on leaders in the organizations working together to build a strong public persona that donors can follow and pay attention to, leading to stronger financial support. According to The NonProfit Times, every nonprofit organization should have plan in place to make sure they’re making their brand as strong as possible, especially when it comes to fundraising campaigns. When a nonprofit doesn’t have a sturdy brand image as it initiates new projects, contributors will likely have a problem identifying with the organization. This is important because nonprofits that develop their brand among their existing donors also benefit from drawing in new prospective donors.

How do nonprofits make their brand more visible and influential among donors?
First, The NonProfit Times recommended using a trademark that will be easily recognizable and defined compared to other organizations. In this way, those that have a very visible trademark will be able to leverage this during marketing campaigns or in partnerships with other foundations.

A Forbes article highlighted the World Wildlife Fund as a prime example of an organization that has developed its brand to spark wider recognition among the public. The environmentally-minded enterprise┬áhas effectively used it’s panda logo build identification and show its support for species conservation, as well as a multitude of other initiatives. In connection with its logo and trademark, the nonprofit can then target it’s activities at developing programs that range from advocacy working within communities to build awareness and tackle climate change issues. However, donors are drawn back to the central issue of conserving species and endangered wildlife through the panda image which is both effective emotionally and functionally.

Meanwhile, having a strong brand can help solidify the internal workings of an organization, meaning all employees and managers have a common understanding of what they should be focusing on. As Forbes emphasized, brand is a concept that is heavily dependent on the psychology and emotional state of donors and the public in general, so nonprofits have to work hard to ensure they address both of those areas.

At the same time, nonprofit groups must be careful after they’ve established their personal trademark, which is reflective of their brand, because if other organizations use their trademark without permission, it can lead to problems. This is why The NonProfit Times recommended nonprofits register their trademark in order to have legal support if another organization or company tries to use their logo or image without acknowledgement. However, nonprofit groups must be sure their trademark or logo will not infringe upon that of another organization.

Strategic nonprofit management of an organization protects brand image, as well as spreads awareness among prospective donors.

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