Branding Non-Profits: Build Groundswell

You’ve got a charitable heart and a business mind. Naturally you’ve found yourself at the helm of a non-profit. You dream of a launching $50,000 kickstarter campaign and watching with baited breath as your coffers runneth over.

Ask around. If only it were that easy.

Before you become the next LIVESTRONG, you’ll need to build a base, a following. You’ll need to build groundswell.

ground·swell 1. a buildup of opinion or feeling in a large section of the population.

Whether it’s in emails, on social media, or a website, having a consistent brand helps nonprofits gain recognition and support.

Engage in conversation.

Grow your emotional appeal message by building bullet points. Five to seven carefully crafted statements will give you a solid baseline. While you can retool your timing and delivery often, keep your tone, message and style consistent with your organization.

Get feedback directly from your social media followers by asking engaging questions on social media. Deliver a portion of your social media messages with video.

Give options in donation platforms.

According to The Center for Philanthropy at Indiana University, 95.4% of households give to charity. To be successful in capturing today’s donor, make it easy. Really easy. Utilize giving platforms like Kickstarter, Kiva and your website (with PayPal & square donation features). Facebook offers a ‘Donate Now’ button that can be activated on your organization’s cover page. Pinterest has developed a new component to ensure non-profits can receive donations through its interface as well.

Create donor recognition.

Individuals and companies give to feel good. Acknowledgement of the philanthropic nature of these individuals and companies is vital. Donors who receive regular recognition are more apt to assist your organization in building strategic alliances. Those alliances will no doubt help build the sustainability of your organization through new expertise, new relationships and new assets.
Consider developing an awards ceremony, hanging a recognition plaque in a high traffic area, and add a donor listing tab on your website.

…And don’t neglect these easy branding touchpoints…

  • Email Signature
  • Email Newsletter
  • Website
  • Event & On-site Signage

A focused branding approach will create many valuable opportunities for impact for local, regional, national and global non-profits. View the entire presentation on building groundswell here.

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