Nonprofit rebranding is more important than most think

The brand of a nonprofit is strongly tied to its genetic makeup. An identity is formed as a result, and these groups market themselves around this persona. In essence, a strong brand can make a organization, while a poor one can break it.

For example, a nonprofit with a strong Web presence can effectively drive users to its online donation form on various Internet channels. Some may rely on direct mail campaigns to increase donations, while others host large fundraising galas.

Nonprofit rebranding can be difficult for a number of reasons, primarily because charitable organizations likely focus a large portion of energy and resources on fulfilling their missions. And while there is nothing wrong with that, the business aspect involved in charitable success requires groups to be able to sell themselves. A rebranding effort every so often is necessary for nonprofits to continually appeal to volunteers and donors, the Nonprofit Hub says.

It's time to move on
The mere thought of rebranding to some may seem completely overwhelming. If you or your nonprofit don't know where to start, a good jumping off point is to take the existing mantra and adjust it to fit the modern-day needs and wants of the everyday donor. For example, if your charity markets the fact that it accepts online donations, then it may be a good idea to find a new angle in the market seeing as most nonprofits do the same nowadays.

A brand overhaul sounds easier said than done, and for most groups, it is. There never seems to be enough time in the day to take on new initiatives, but small steps in the right direction can lead to big outcomes.

Emotional attachment to a charitable organization's brand is also a common reason as to why some groups never change. Many nonprofits have been doing things the same way for a number of years, and they have successful results to show for their continued work. If that's the case, then a full rebranding may be unnecessary. But even slight adjustments to a charity's mantra can elevate its triumphs to a new level.

A thing to consider is that nearly every way your nonprofit markets itself is considered part of your brand. Even the donor experience you provide is part of this all-encompassing reputation of the group you work for. So when reevaluating this overarching aspect, it's important to make sure no stone is left unturned because branding for nonprofits is a way of managing the external perceptions of an organization, according to the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Everything from your donation management software to your charity's logo are part of the organizational machine, so make sure everything aligns and is running smoothly.

Breaking the rebranding process up into smaller chunks may prove to be the easiest way for nonprofits to tackle this issue. Focusing on the logo all at once, and then moving on to the charity's online presence next ensure that appropriate time and resources are engaged in fitting each piece in the overall puzzle. Once completed, the new brand should still reflect organizational values in a different way than the old mantra did.

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