Many education and non profits consider brand strategy to be appropriate only to commercial companies. Since branding is often associated with marketing, and many non-profits consider marketing miss-aligned with their mission, branding is seen in a negative light.
Other non profits, such as cultural organizations and international aid organizations understand how to reap the benefits of effective branding. Here’s how brand strategy is different and important for mission driven organizations.
Understand, Believe and Support the Mission
Understand: Understanding the mission of a non-profit is vital. People become much more involved about the things they understand. If the mission is unclear or doesn’t have a unique motivation, people won’t support it. In order to build a strong brand, you must start with a common understanding.
Believe: Further, your audience must believe in your mission. It must be relevant and compelling to people inside and outside of the organization. At the same time, the organization needs to be able to show progress toward that mission.
There must be tangible results for a non-profit to incentivize support and investments that will make the organization successful. A clear brand position, based on a clear understanding of the mission and backed by supporters is necessary to build belief.
Support: This is vital when raising funds. If your potential funders and supporters don’t relate to your mission or believe that you can accomplish it, they are less likely to help. Internal stakeholder support is also critical.
In larger non-profit organizations, people may have the best intentions but misalign their efforts leading to counterproductive results. The better they understand what it is they are there for, the more likely they are to align their work with the organization’s direction.
In the non-profit sector, the competition for funding is high. A strong non-profit brand can help you achieve your fundraising goals by increasing visibility and generating support.
For mission driven organizations, a lot depends on the clarity of the idea that makes your mission unique, meaningful and relevant. Your brand image must be clear and valuable in the minds of your audiences.
These are only some of the benefits a strong non-profit brand can bring about. Beyond these, non-profit branding can drive your long-term strategic goals, increase public trust, increase internal cohesion, increase awareness about your cause and build your reputation.