Value of Investing in Your Nonprofit Brand


Frequently, we meet with nonprofits that would agree their brand could use a facelift. They know that their messaging is unclear or not as compelling as it could be. They understand that their website and other collateral is outdated, inconsistent or doesn’t reflect the professional and trustworthy organization that they know they are. Perhaps even their name and/or logo are limiting them in some way.

But convincing key stakeholders within the organization that a rebranding project is a good use of funds can sometimes be a challenge. So often times, we get asked this question:

What is the return on investment (ROI) for a nonprofit rebranding project?

For a company selling chairs, the ROI is measured by profit. For a nonprofit, investing in your brand and communications is measured by the effectiveness of those communications in supporting and furthering your mission. Typically this comes down to increasing fundraising, increasing participation and engagement in programs, and impact on advocacy.

Let’s break this down and look at the various ways that investing in your nonprofit brand will help impact your organization.


Build authority, credibility and trust

When the image of your organization is consistent across all platforms, it signals to your audience that your organization has your “ducks in a row.” This consistency leads audiences to infer authority, credibility, and trust.

This will directly impact your fundraising efforts. According to the Colorado Nonprofit Association: Understanding Giving Report 2011, when asked about factors in choosing an organization to support, “trust” was the number one factor with 97% stating that it’s very or somewhat important. Just to drive this fact home, selecting an organization they trust is even more important than selecting an organization that supports a cause they believe in, which 93% said was very or somewhat important.

Along these same lines, 93% of survey respondents said that an organization that is “well-managed and effective” is very important or somewhat important.


Differentiation in a competitive giving environment

There are nearly 1.5 million nonprofits in the US. And there are over 28,000 registered nonprofits in Colorado with 15,000 more filing with the IRS.

Clear, consistent, compelling communications help your organization hot pictures of , complete with the shiny blue verification mark. stand out from other nonprofits that are competing for the same funders, donors, volunteers, participants and media. During good times, that’s great. During bad times, it becomes crucial for survival.


More word of mouth promotion

The reality is that when your staff, board and other key stakeholders are confident that they are “on message”, they are more likely to talk about and promote your organization.


Greater efficiency and effectiveness

When new collateral needs to be created, staff with clearly defined brand elements can work more quickly, and it’s more likely that the final result will be consistent and powerful because they aren’t starting from scratch.

This also helps to build capacity as team members are better equipped to work independently and stay on track because the guidelines for success and the elements they can work with are predetermined.


Build brand equity and awareness

Remember the marketing Rule of Seven that states that your audience needs to see or hear your marketing message at least seven times before they remember you, take action or support you.

When you have powerful messages and visuals used consistently through all mediums, they will build upon each other, making your brand more and more valuable and recognizable amongst your audiences.


Save time in decision making

When you have a foundational brand document that outlines your values, objectives, why it matters, where you are headed, etc. it provides guidance for organizational decisions making them easier for key stakeholders to make.


Attract and retain good people

When your organizational strengths are clearly and effectively communicated through strong branding, it attracts better talent. On the flipside, subpar communications will skew your organization’s abilities and impact, and you could potentially miss out on some great candidates.


Raise more money

Several of the points listed above will help with your fundraising efforts, but it’s also important to point out that clear, powerful messages used consistently and confidently by all advocates will help your organization build successful relationships with the individuals, foundations, or corporations that support your organization financially.

Plus, increased brand awareness will also help attract new donors.


Reach more people & do more good

An investment in your communications and branding will help you reach the right people for your programs, keep them engaged, and in turn help you achieve your objectives and mission.


If you liked this post, you may also like:

Jami Fassett

Jami Fassett

I am a brand strategist passionate about using my time, talent and 12 years of experience to help people and communities. That is why I started Up and Up Creative, to help nonprofits use the power of branding to reach more people, raise more money and do more good.

Learn more

Follow Me:

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn0Share on Google+0Email this to someonePin on Pinterest2