#1 Just a Pretty Face
Branding is not just great images or a stunning logo. Great design without a great story is a pricey meal with no flavor.
Nice deign definitely helps catch people’s eye, but to capture their heart, mind, and donation dollars, your organization also need engaging words, a story. Nonprofit branding needs both elements working together.
An image by itself can capture the essence or heart of your work, but to convince someone to volunteer, donate, or contribute to your work, they’ll need a bit more. Lead with an image, but always include a call to action like “click here to learn more.” Then provide people a chance to dig deeper: statistics, stories, testimonies, etc.
Think of your visual components and narratives as two sides of the same coin.
#2 A One-Time Shot
Branding isn’t set-it-and-forget-it. Organizations change when they add or modify their programs, initiatives, or staff. The same should be true for its branding.
Strategic planning can drive what your organization does. Branding can drive how you get other people on your bus.
Build periodic evaluation and revision into your branding strategy. The images and words you choose to communicate your work should reflect where you are and where you’re going. If the changes, don’t get to tell the rest of us about it.
#3 Only For Big Budgets
Branding isn’t just for those who can afford a private marketing agency. In fact, even if you can afford those guys, don’t bring them in right away.
Don’t do design first. Do the legwork of identifying your voice and audience. The time your organization invests in truly understanding who you are and what you do is priceless. Know what you want your brand to communicate, to who, and what you need it to do for your mission.
Once you have that understanding, then bring in the creative. If you can afford an agency, do so. If not, comb through your networks for individuals with creative vision. Or hold a contest. Either way, once you’ve done the identity development legwork, the design process is so much more effective and efficient.
The proceeding is a guest post by Raechel Haller of Good Helpings, a blog that provides tips and tricks to help organizations advance their good work. She calls herself a systems and strategic thinker, who also likes to make things look pretty. Her background, passion, and interests are within the nonprofit sector: where a job is more than just a job.
Filed under: Communications