Digital Trends | MIN READ

Our Complete Guide to Non-profit Branding With 3 Best Examples

Druscilla Nakanwagi

October 1, 2022

Introduction

very nonprofit is faced with making its brand unique to stand out from the rest. It isn’t easy creating a unique brand since there are millions of nonprofit organizations. Some of these organizations may make it hard to differentiate your brand.

When you develop an effective nonprofit brand strategy, you can stand out. This helps draw your audiences’ attention to you. In turn, you win their hearts and form a deep connection with them.

At Sadja WebSolutions, we work with organizations to build unique nonprofit brands. Different organizations have different needs and serve different purposes. Thus, we tailor our services to tell their story in their eyes.

Thus, we’ve put together a guide to explore everything you need to know in your nonprofit branding.

As we dive into this guide, we hope you will take home some great ideas to help you in this journey.

What Is Nonprofit Branding?

Nonprofit branding is how a nonprofit organization communicates who they are and what they stand for. It promises to all shareholders and shows why they believe in them. It is how their brand differentiates itself from other organizations in their audience.

These strategies also work in for-profit businesses. Take an example of coca cola. What comes to your mind? Probably the pleasing sound of opening a cold Coca-Cola bottle. Also, words like “Taste the Feeling,” “Share a Coke,” and “Open Happiness” comes to mind.

These are among the most successful campaigns Coca-Cola had, and they are hard to get out of the mind. 

While big brands like Coca-Cola tend to stand out, other nonprofits also do. Take the example of the Red Cross. A huge bright red cross represents the Red Cross brand. Nobody can miss the Red Cross logo.

Yet, a nonprofit organization’s logo holds the most about its branding. You can capture your vision, mission, and core values in one logo. But that is not the only factor since nonprofit branding combines all elements and communicates all about it.

Here is a guideline of what you need for your nonprofit branding;

Guideline to Your Nonprofit Branding

To have an effective nonprofit brand, you must consider significant aspects of brand identity. Using these aspects, you must come up with who you are and what you represent. Although nonprofit branding includes a lot of factors, we’ll only discuss the vital ones.

These factors include:

 

Brand Name

Your nonprofit organization’s brand name should be the most straightforward name one can memorize. It may be challenging to choose a brand name. Yet, it is one of the core aspects you must consider.

It would be best to consider many factors like word and language considerations. However, it would be best if you chose a name that sits well with your mission.

Some of your nonprofit organizations might already have a well-known brand name. But, if your brand name no longer serves your needs, it is time to change it. A new name may be necessary to appease your audience.

For example, Berks Nature, formerly known as Berks County Conservancy. It changed its name to avoid confusion. People used to confuse it with the conservation district and the county.

 

Brand Logo

Your organization’s brand logo is a crucial player you must invest in. Your logo can carry your color scheme, name, and tagline to enable recognizability. It can all fit into one package.

Whether you have a symbol-based mark or a wordmark as a logo, it should visualize your mission and personality. Your logo should imitate your brand when added to your marketing materials.

It should build a solid emotional connection between you and the people you represent. This will build your brand recognition.

You might decide to take a different approach while designing your logo. But, the most recommended approach is aligning it with your organization’s mission. 

In case you do not know how or where to start designing your logo, we can help you. With our team of professionals, we can design the logo for you.

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Personality and Tone of Voice

Your nonprofit organization’s tone of voice and personality should go hand in hand. Each one of these factors is vital for your company’s brand identity.

Your organization’s tone of voice refers to how you write, speak and discuss your brand to your audience. Your tone of voice should capture your audience’s hearts leaving them yarning to hear or read more.

On the other hand, your personality is how you humanize your brand. This includes all personal characteristics and emotional aspects. Examples include optimism, inclusivity, and sincerity. Your audience feels more connected to you with these emotional and personal aspects.

 

Colour

Choosing your organization’s color should be done with care. There is more to brand color than just visual aesthetics. Each color has its representation. Hence, choose your colors with great care.

You can take into account;

1. Blue symbolizes trust, professionalism, and tranquillity.

2. Green symbolizes growth and prosperity. Hence it is used when dealing with the environment and climate.

3. Red is a symbol of violence, passion, and strength.

4. Pink is for innovation and creativity.

5. Yellow is linked to optimism, warmth, and happiness.

6. Purple is excellent for innovations in brands that are solution-oriented.

7. Orange displays a playful and friendly tone.

8. Black is bold, and severe brands mainly use it.

Consider significant associations linked to the color you want to choose. However, most organizations choose from the secondary palette. You are not limited to the colors you can add to your brand. But make sure your colors meet the accessibility standards. 

 

Overarching Message

Your organization’s brand message includes your core values, vision, and mission. You can express your overarching message in various ways to meet those aspects.

You might have a short, sweet, memorable tagline, “Prevention is better than cure.” This tagline is short but gets to the point and relays the message perfectly. It is also easily memorable.

You might also write a story about your brand to communicate why you exist. You might also want people to know why they should take action around your cause.

Convey your brand message while considering your benefits and style. 

 

Typography

Typography expresses your nonprofit organization’s personality. Do this through your brand elements and how you arrange and style your marketing copy. It might include hierarchy, stylization, and related fonts.

Typography decisions have a significant impact on your brand experience and associated feelings. Different typography has different tones that they represent. This tone should directly reflect your organization’s brand.

For example, you might use bold font to show your organization’s loud advocacy tone. It will convey the urgency of the message to the audience. If you are dealing with sensitive audiences like children, try using light fonts. It will make you sound calmer.

Ensure your typography is readable both in print and digital copy. The messages and call to action should be clear to your audience.

 

Positioning

Positioning illustrates what makes your nonprofit organization different and unique from other organizations. It is a roadmap to success if used well. Unlike for-profit organizations that focus on competition, nonprofit organizations focus on collaboration.

Let’s take an example. If your organization is dealing with feeding homeless people, consider a shelter as a partner. You can feed the homeless while the shelter offers them a place to sleep. It’s a win-win for both organizations.

For a good positioning strategy, you need to ask yourself this question. What are you bringing to the table different from other organizations? Answering this question will help you identify what is unique about your business.

Creating a Nonprofit Branding Strategy

To develop a nonprofit branding strategy, you need to ;

1. Create your nonprofit branding guidelines in a living document

Strategies change over time, and so will your nonprofit branding strategy. You need to keep a record of all these changes. The best way is by creating a single document with all your relevant information.

You can then share this document with the stakeholders and other key members. This way, everybody has a copy of everything that has taken place and can use this to tailor better ideas.

2. Explore your nonprofit organization’s target audience

When developing a nonprofit branding strategy, it would be best to consider your audience. You can do this by narrowing your audience to a segment. The segment should engage with your brand and the services you offer.

Once you determine your audience think about what they will possibly engage with. Use this and tailor your visuals and brand messages to suit it.

3. Maintain a consistent brand strategy across relevant channels

Your audience will most likely connect with you if you have a consistent brand strategy.

For example, your website is the first place people visit to find more information about you. They will leave if they visit and find that your brand colors or message does not align with the website.

We can help you create a website and maintain a consistent brand strategy across all mediums.

4. Work with an agency good in nonprofit branding

Choosing the right agency to do your branding may be difficult. Yet, you need an agency that knows all about nonprofit branding. The agency should also have successful branding strategies with other nonprofit organizations.

This will help you have long-term success with your strategies.

At Sadja WebSolutions, we have worked with nonprofit organizations. We have also implemented successful strategies on their behalf. We address what they want and represent every aspect of them.

Visit our website and let us help you develop your brand strategy.

Examples of Nonprofit Branding You Can Use as Inspiration

 

Example #1 Cancer Research UK

They are known for its strong branding across various mediums and channels. Cancer Research UK uses circles as visual motifs in its designs and logos. Their graphics are instantly recognized since they are different from other nonprofit organizations.

 

Example #2 Unicef

Unicef USA has been in existence for quite some time. The brand has changed through time, and they now have mature brand rules. Unicef’s Style Guide or Brand Book is a great source to get ideas for your own Nonprofit Brand Book.

In the sample image, you can see how they highlight the specifics of their brand’s colors. Blue is more than simply blue. It has a unique hex / RGB coding. Being particular is how you maintain brand consistency over time.

 

Example #3 Charity Water

Charity: Water is among those Nonprofit brands that we mention when discussing Nonprofit Branding best practices.

The use of graphics should be another component of the Nonprofit Style Guide or Brand Book. Charity: Water’s Brand Guideline shows that they focus their images on optimism rather than guilt. 

The entire tale they portray through photos is built on individuals and communities. They are grateful for the availability of water. Not on individuals becoming sick because they lack water or drinking contaminated water.

Conclusion

Your nonprofit branding strategy will help you define who you are and what you represent. You have to keep up with how everything is changing. You also need to develop a flexible nonprofit brand strategy to change.

It would be best if you also had an agency with vast knowledge of nonprofit branding. The agency can guide you on the best approaches to take. This way, your strategies will have a long-lasting effect. Sadja WebSolution can offer you all the services in your brand strategy journey.

We hope this guide has enlightened you with some tips for making your brand unique. We also hope you can develop an effective nonprofit branding strategy.

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