Over the past year, I have been volunteering at a local dog shelter (Pima Paws for Life)—walking dogs, spreading the word about the dogs who are ready to find their forever homes and racking my brain trying to find ways to help market the organization.
Here are 8 tips for branding a nonprofit:
1. Recognize the Problem – YOU NEED MARKETING! Whether you’re getting the word out about what your organization does or trying to get donations, you need to market your organization.
2. Marketing is an Investment NOT an Expense – Many organizations look at marketing (whether it’s printed materials, advertising, etc.) as expenses that are taking away from your funds to “do good” in your organization. This is completely wrong… you have to spend money to make money. You have to first invest your money in marketing and if you do it right, you will receive a nice return on your investment.
3. Recognize your Competition – Your competition may not be who you expect. Don’t look at organizations with a similar mission to find your competition. Instead, look at where people are spending their money rather than donating to you… the local mall maybe?
4. Everything Starts with Awareness – The fewer people that know about your organization, the fewer supporters you’ll have. Marketing = Awareness. Awareness = More Supporters & More Donations
5. Every Brand Contact Counts – Don’t limit your branding to just advertisements… you have to look at the whole package. Focus on all of your touchpoints – events, employees, communications, volunteers, etc.
6. Know Media Habits – Where are you going to find the people you’re looking for? Are you donors reading the newspaper? Are your volunteers on Facebook? Figure out where to go and then commit.
7. Get Emptional – Logic and reason only go so far. People often make decisions based on their emotions. If you can tap into them, you’re on your way to more supports.
8. Frequency Wins – Pick something that’s recognizable and stick with it. Repeat it, breathe it, live it. (Think about how you know the end to this phrase: 15 minutes with Geico can save you…)
Kristen Oaxaca, Graphic DesignerTags: branding, Charity, Marketing, Nonprofit