Even if nonprofit organizations are, by their name, not created for profit, they will still benefit from employing common business strategies and practices. This is because if people are to support the organization, they need to see its name, logo, colors, taglines, and other visual elements as something worthy of trust and support.
Nonprofit organizations will benefit greatly from having a strong brand reputation because charitable and philanthropic groups need the trust of the people to survive and thrive. Here are some ways founders and managers can achieve this.
Choose the perfect brand identity
Since so many people are creating brands nowadays, founders of nonprofit organizations need to come up with a brand identity that is set apart from the rest. This means choosing a name that is not known yet all over the world and coming up with a unique and instantly recognizable visual identity that people can immediately associate with the nonprofit organization. Before you choose a name for the nonprofit, make sure it’s 1) not yet trademarked anywhere in the world and 2) that it’s not offensive in any other language or culture.
Understand your audience
Which sector of the masses are you expecting will help support the nonprofit? Make sure you know as much as you can about them and center your strategy around what will engage them the most. Here are some things you need to know about your target demographic:
- Their basic information like age, location, and marital status
- Their consumer behavior like browsing habits and purchasing decisions
- The kind of content that will grab their attention and get them to follow your channels
- How you can incorporate your mission and vision in every aspect of your content, regardless of what platform you’re in
You cannot neglect your target audience when trying to build up a brand reputation for your nonprofit since everything rises and falls on how your target demographic perceives your organization as a brand.
Bring your visual identity everywhere you go
Whether virtual or physical, your visual identity must be at the core of everything that your nonprofit does. If your contents always have the brand name and logo somewhere in the photos, your audience will instantly recognize it no matter where the content might pop up. If your volunteers are doing some lobbying or volunteering physically at events or important locations, make sure to have them wear the colors or shirts with the logo on them.
Make sure the shirts are elegant and stylish enough that if people want their own, you can easily sell some as a way to raise funds as well. Partner with a trusted T-shirt screen printing company to ensure that the shirts are high-quality and that the logos will not fade with time.
Invest in good design
If you are to bring your nonprofit’s visual identity in virtual and physical spaces, then you need to make sure that the designs are impressive and well-done so that you and your team can walk around wearing them with your head held high.
Do not underestimate the power of graphic design: It can make or break the way people see your brand, and it communicates that you and your team are serious about the work. Sloppy design can send the message that the people behind the organization are not putting in the effort, and it can be fodder for harmful memes, too. If you want your nonprofit to be taken seriously, high-quality graphic design is key.
Mind your content
Nonprofits, even more than for-profit businesses, must be the first to provide inspirational, sensitive, considerate, and thoughtful posts. Regardless of your advocacy, whether it’s for people experiencing homelessness, members of the LGBTQIA+ communities, or for providing good education to children from low-income households, you need to find ways to send your message across without downplaying the harsh realities of the COVID-19 crisis and how it affected people of all stripes from every echelon in society.
When coming up with content for your channels, consider the following guidelines:
- Use non-triggering words.
- Do not invalidate people’s pain in the name of positivity.
- Be open to feedback and valid criticism.
- If mistakes are made, apologize sincerely and learn from them.
- Remind your employees and volunteers to mind what they say on social media as well, since they carry the name of the nonprofit.
The world needs more altruistic institutions, and those who have a passion for helping others need to maximize every tool in their arsenal to achieve that goal. Embrace branding strategies to bolster your nonprofit and to get people to join the work.