A 10-Step Guide to Non-Profit Branding
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We’ve been thinking about charities lately, and possibly adding a section on ChaChingQueen.com for a few core causes. This is a contributed post from Rosana on non profits.
Establishing a presence as a non-profit organization is not always easy, especially if your brand is lacking in its ability to leave a lasting impact on prospective and existing donors. Before contributing to a cause, people want to see and know that the company in charge of furthering that cause is really performing optimally and with good intent.
A lackluster branding attempt will say to others that you aren’t serious about pushing the organization’s benevolent agenda forward. With a powerfully designed and advertised brand, you can avoid being perceived as just another lazily managed non-profit without a clear sense of direction.
To help you put your organization on the pedestal it deserves to be on, follow this 10-step guide on non-profit branding:
Table of Contents
1. Start With A Solid Mission Statement
The mission statement is one of the most essential elements in a non-profit branding campaign because it succinctly describes the vision and plan you have for the organization. To learn more about the key elements of a non-profit branding campaign, see the linked guide on Givebutter.
Their blog also has a wealth of information for you to use in improving your branding efforts. The reason why you should start by authoring this piece of content first, even before your website is online, is to give yourself and your collaborators a clear mantra and path that will inspire you to keep making progress in the early stages of establishing your brand.
2. Invest In Infographics Early
Many non-profits make the mistake of waiting until they’ve amassed some statistics related to their own performance before publishing infographics. Investing in convincing visuals early will give your brand a boost in awareness because infographics have a way of capturing the eye.
Initially, your infographics can include facts and stats related to the problem your non-profit is trying to solve, rather than trying to exaggerate or lean on figures related to the brand’s not-yet-existing accomplishments.
3. Publish Professionally Written Press Releases And News Stories
Press releases let the world know that something major just happened or is about to happen with your brand. When someone Googles the name of your non-profit organization, ideally, they should see some buzz pertaining to the brand’s newsworthy events.
Press releases are easier to have published than actual new stories and they let news agencies and blogs know that your brand already has a presence worth mentioning. Once you’ve got a few press releases up, try having a few news stories or blog posts published.
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4. Launch A Video Marketing Campaign
Numerous marketing studies have proven that video advertisements, reviews, tutorials, and vlogs are some of the most effective forms of branded content because they’re easy to digest and they can be loaded with entertainment value.
While investing in videography can be prohibitively expensive in the beginning you can always start out with a DIY approach until you have enough monetary contributions to afford a professionally produced and managed campaign.
5. Maintain An Official Blog
Non-profit organizations are heavily dependent on the flow of information from their brand out to prospective contributors. Building and maintaining a regularly updated blog gives your brand a medium for publishing virtually anything related to the industry or niche you’re operating in.
As you continue to publish new posts, your site will elevate its search engine rankings and receive more unique daily visitors, which will help to bolster brand awareness and perceived authority.
6. Publish Posts On Other Blogs
In addition to writing blog posts for the company blog, it’s also wise to start a guest blogging campaign. Most blogs have a Write For Us page which will provide instructions that you can use to submit guest posts.
Once you’re approved for the first post, some blogs will even let you sign up as a regular contributor with your own author profile. The goal is to extend your brand’s web presence beyond its own website and also link back to your non-profit’s promotional content (i.e. – landing pages and press releases).
7. Invest In Responsive Web Design
Ideally, your brand’s site should look good on any device. To achieve optimal performance and give good impressions to all visitors, it’s important to have a fully responsive, mobile friendly site.
This means that the content will load quickly and look excellent on any size display or operating system. If your site only looks good on a desktop PC, that’s a sign that you need to invest in responsive web design.
8. Create A Memorable Slogan and Logo
Regardless of whether your company operates for profit or it’s a non-profit, creating a powerful slogan and logo should always be part of the branding efforts. If you’re not a graphic designer, you may want to find someone to help you with the logo design on Fiverr, Upwork, or another freelancing platform. (We at ChaChingQueen personally use Fiverr )
The best way to have an extraordinary logo made is to hold a logo-making competition in the graphic design section of a freelancing forum. You can also create an open project and invite applicants to submit their rough drafts before determining which one you’ll work with in fine-tuning the logo.
The slogan can have more of a personal touch since it only needs to be a quick phrase, but you can also find help with that too if you’re struggling to come up with something catchy.
9. Distribute Printed Materials
Once your online branding has been taken care of, you can start getting ready to do local outreach by printing out some business cards, flyers, marketing materials, signs, and other physical marketing materials.
This is an especially important step to take if your non-profit organization will be operating out of a brick-and-mortar location, but it can also be helpful in making your community aware of your newly established online presence. You can also use pictures or digital copies of your printed materials to enhance the professionalism of your website.
10. Create a Social Media Presence
Every non-profit should have an extensive social media presence across all the major channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Most people find out about new brands while scrolling through their newsfeed or by hearing about it within a promotional status update or comment.
By staying active and available in the social sphere, you’re giving your brand the chance to be noticed and appreciated by the people who may one day become contributors and advocates. Social media also gives you a platform to share your opinions on world events and important matters related to your niche. This helps to show others that you’re not just a brand but also a group of real people who are passionate about their non-profit agenda.
In fact, many people perceive extensive social media activity as being part of a brand’s effort to go above and beyond the call of duty.
Document And Show Proof Of Your Non-Profit Efforts
In closing, once you have successfully established a reputable brand using the steps above, it’s important to let your followers know that you’re keeping the organization moving in the right direction. Be sure to routinely update your blog and vlog with proof that you’re putting donations to good use. You can also invite guest speakers to appear with you when you’re recording the brand’s philanthropic efforts.
Erin is the mother of identical twin girls and their slightly older brother. She is a domestic engineer, and previously had a career leading customer service teams for a major HVAC company. Cleaning without harsh chemicals, and cooking easy and usually healthy meals are part of Erin's daily life. She volunteers with youth leaders, and genuinely wants to help others win. Erin has a degree in Communications, with a focus on Broadcast Journalism.