How Compassionate Branding Can Work for Your Nonprofit

Kayla Matthews is a guest contributor for Nonprofit Hub. She is a writer and blogger with a passion for self-improvement and helping others. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter to read all of her latest posts.


Branding is crucial for any organization’s marketing strategy. But why is branding so important? At a very basic level, it raises awareness about your organization and helps with fundraising efforts.

But it goes even deeper than that. Compassionate branding looks to incorporate brand recognition into everything an organization does, showing how much the organization cares about its chosen cause. Let’s explore how compassionate branding can help your nonprofit’s cause.

Do Compassionate Social Branding

Using social media networks for branding is a great and inexpensive way of marketing your organization. However, there is a lot of noise online and it can be difficult to get your nonprofit noticed.

Alison Gauss at Constant Contact recommends a few ways for getting yourself out there, including using compassionate images and pictures on your social media accounts.

Sharing images of what your organization does can link you with compassionate acts in the minds of your followers.

For inspiration, you can check out sites like A Plus, The Mighty and Upworthy, which do a great job of using compassionate imagery and narratives to get social shares and increase their brand exposure.

Tell Your Story

As a nonprofit, it may feel strange to talk about yourselves. However, try thinking of it as getting your message out there to more potential donators, volunteers and people who could use your help.

What stories should you share? There are plenty of different options, depending on what you want to accomplish. For example, if you want to show proof that your work has an impact, share the stories of those who’ve benefitted from your work.

If you want to talk about how your organization came to be, tell the story of your nonprofit’s founder and what inspired him or her to try to make a difference in the world.

And don’t stop with one platform—there are many to tell your story. From adding individual posts to Instagram, to writing longer pieces of content for your website, how you share your stories is totally up to you.

Work with For-Profit Brands

Many for-profit brands are often looking for ways to improve their own images, while helping charities.

For example, the Make-A-Wish Foundation is currently working with several airlines, including Delta and United, for its Give Wishes Wings campaign.

This campaign allows people to donate their air miles to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, allowing children to be taken around the globe in order to fulfill their wishes. In addition, it raises awareness for the foundation, while generating good press for the companies involved.

Be Compassionate in Your Fundraising

Of course, one of the main aims of most nonprofits is to raise funds for their causes, and there are compassionate ways to go about this, too. Compassionate fundraising can involve raising funds for animal shelters or even reacting to current global needs.

For example, the fundraising service FrontStream recently pitched in to help spread awareness about and assist with relief efforts for the thousands of people devastated by the recent earthquakes in Nepal. Doing so not only shows the brand’s compassion for others, but will likely also get their brand name exposed to more people.

The internet makes modern fundraising much easier for both fundraisers and donors, giving them many different ways to donate. For example, people could donate to your cause either directly through your website, by buying products created specifically for your campaign or through a site such as JustGiving, where third parties are fundraising on your behalf.

As your organization fundraises through these diverse routes, news of the causes you raise funds for will also be broadcast to everyone who sees your campaigns.

Be Mindful Of Brand Ethics

However you choose to market your organization, be careful to keep your brand’s ethics in mind.

Whatever you release to the public should accurately reflect your organization’s values and culture. If you’re using mediums such as social media to talk to solicit donations, you should have a set of regulations in place to make sure your messages are in line with your organization’s mission and values.

In what ways do you do compassionate branding? Tell us in the comments section below.


Kayla Matthews

May 27, 2015

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