The business of nonprofits
Tackling society’s problems—and changing lives—demands disciplined, strategic thinking. It requires a clearly articulated promise. And it calls for a compelling story conveyed by clear and consistent communications. Like the most successful businesses, nonprofit organizations recognize the need to express their brand in everything they say and do.
According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are almost 1.6 million nonprofits in the United States, with an estimated 2 million philanthropies around the world. In this complex marketplace, people are overwhelmed by the overlapping messages from a vast array of nonprofit organizations—which are often difficult to distinguish.
As the effects of the worldwide economic downturn linger, nonprofits are finding a tight and constantly shifting marketplace for the resources they count on. Yet these organizations face new and ongoing demands to protect the safety net and keep cultural and educational institutions open. Finding innovative ways to communicate their effectiveness and broaden their donor base is an important part of their agenda.
Catalysts for change
With the continued growth of the nonprofit sector, the competition for donors, dollars and volunteers has never been more intense. Many of these organizations—from the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity to Amnesty International and CARE—are also responding to an increasing number of emergencies and crises, which often require cooperation with national governments and the private sector.
Essential to attracting—and maintaining—support is raising awareness of urgent societal problems and shedding light on an organization’s impact in solving them. Being able to measure performance against their missions and improve accountability adds to the complexity of running these global entities.
Also critical is helping supporters understand the difference they can make by investing time, know-how and money in their organizations. Appealing to a broad range of stakeholders is another necessity for nonprofits seeking to enhance fundraising and ensure the implementation of their goals and objectives.
Serving the branding good
A strong brand is a nonprofit’s most valuable asset. It creates a personal and emotional connection with constituents and drives economic, social and political gains for the organization. At Siegel+Gale, we help nonprofits build their brands around powerful ideas that set them apart and are meaningful to supporters.
Central to this process is developing a framework that guides an organization’s thinking, communications and behavior. By clearly articulating a strategic platform, we provide a compelling vision that motivates employees, donors and partners. Developing an underlying purpose that is expressed creatively and appeals to hearts and wallets is important for every nonprofit.
Messaging is one of the most powerful expressions of a brand strategy. We are experts in helping nonprofits calibrate key messages and tailor communications to specific audiences. Providing fresh and unexpected stories about the essential role these organizations play gain attention, foster relationships and ultimately ensure long-term survival.
Building organizational cohesion through sound brand architecture is vital for nonprofits that need to ensure that their brands stay focused over time. We also develop strong visual identities that enable organizations to connect with their audiences through eye-catching imagery and friendly, accessible language.
Worldwide there are numerous worthwhile causes, served by a variety of nonprofit organizations. The most successful nonprofits forge a connection that brings people together around shared interests and values. And they thrive by clearly demonstrating social impact, effectively communicating their messages and putting their constituents at the center of their brand.
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