TThere is a great deal of common ground between nonprofits and advisory service businesses. Most nonprofits are service-based and offer expertise to their beneficiaries. But more important, they have the same need to articulate the ways that they differ from one another — not so much to “beat” the competition, but as a way to educate and fully inform donors, so they can be confident they are making the right choice with their contributions and support. It’s more of a moral obligation than anything of a competitive nature.
That said, nonprofits, too, need to stand out from the mass of solicitations and equally worthy organizations and distinguish their cause from other causes. As a result, the process for branding a nonprofit and branding an advisory service business are remarkably similar.
The best nonprofit brands elicit positive emotional connections with donors and members because they’ve communicated clearly and well what they stand for, who they will benefit and how. It sounds easy, but it can be quite difficult to boil things down to such simple terms.
BBefore someone makes a contribution, becomes a member or volunteers their time, they often seek assurance that what they give or do will be put to best use and that your organization has the ability to deliver on the promise it’s made. They want to know if you can be trusted and if you have the solid management practices necessary to be successful in your endeavor. You have to build credibility with them and your tools to do so are your brand messages and how well and consistently they are used and expressed in your website, in traditional media and online.
IIf you sound like other organizations and look like other organizations, how do you expect contributors to know the difference and choose you over them? You can’t. You have to be willing to break from the pack and shake things up a bit. You have a worthy mission. Make sure you have an equally strong strategy on how you communicate that mission.