For the uninitiated, branding is identical to a logo image. However, the brand is much more than a logo. What is branding then? “Branding is giving products and services the power of a brand” (Kotler & Keller, 2015). From this definition, it can be clearly said that the brand is much more than a logo, a website or a brochure.
In times past, non-profit organizations adopted the brand concept primarily for fundraising purposes. Today, the brand has evolved beyond fundraising purposes and offers the following benefits:
1). Build Trust
An effective branding strategy that communicates the impact of a nonprofit job creators trust. By sharing your activities and progress, people become aware of the role the nonprofit plays in their community. With the trust earned, a nonprofit organization can easily gain support for its causes.
two). Advocacy / Expanded Support Base
Once people become aware of the work of a nonprofit, it becomes easier for them to connect with your brand. Consequently, they not only become loyal supporters of the nonprofit, but also become its advocates. This can serve the non-profit organization in many ways. For example, success stories shared on a nonprofit organization’s social media page can be reposted by loyal supporters and shared with their friends. Such activities have the power to expand a nonprofit’s base of support as a broader audience is reached through the act of sharing.
3). Greater financing opportunities
A strong brand improves the success rate of a nonprofit’s funding effort. By creating a positive brand image, it becomes easier to interact favorably with funders and stakeholders alike.
4). Facilitates partner training
A strong brand makes it easier for a nonprofit organization to forge meaningful partnerships. The ability to collaborate with other organizations enhances the ability of nonprofits to implement projects that have a broader reach/outreach. This, in turn, creates a favorable perception for the nonprofit and influences its fundraising potential.
5). Reflects the identity of a non-profit organization
According to Nathalie Kylander and Christopher Stone (Spring 2012 Blogpost), a “brand embodies the identity of the organization, encapsulating its distinctive mission, values and activities.” In essence, a carefully planned and executed brand image will effectively convey the ideals of a nonprofit organization to its members and the general public. It will help reflect the unique value proposition of a nonprofit organization while differentiating it from other entities.
Therefore, its members and the general public will be in a position to become familiar with the vision of the nonprofit organization while keeping track of its achievements. As a result, the process of building relationships with supporters (such as volunteers) and sympathizers of your cause while building your position will be greatly improved.
Developing a compelling and consistent brand is essential for a nonprofit organization as it builds trust with its audience, broadens its support base, increases its funding opportunities, facilitates its ability to forge partnerships, and reflects its identity.
Kotler & Keller: Marketing Management (2015), American Marketing Association (AMA)
Nathalie Kylander and Christopher Stone (Spring 2012). The role of branding in the nonprofit sector[Blogpost]. Retrieved from https://ssir.org/articles/entry/the_role_of_brand_in_the_nonprofit_sector#bio-footer