Branding in the Nonprofit Environment

Nelet Kok
August 19, 2022

Today, August 17 is National Nonprofit Day. So today #TeamTweak, Wisconsin marketing agency, is looking at the relevance of branding for nonprofit organizations and two pointers on maintaining a brand that keeps individuals invested in your organization. 

In a document released by the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee it is estimated that there were over 36,000 nonprofit organizations in the state of Wisconsin, in 2018. These organizations accounted for approximately 11.9% of employment during the same year. When looking at a breakdown of nonprofit organizations, it ranges from human services, education, environment, health, hospitals, arts and religious related. It is further found that nearly 36% of Wisconsin residents volunteer. 

Reflecting on these statistics, it is safe to say that the nonprofit sector contributes greatly to various sectors of society, not only as employment opportunities but also through a sense of connection and community that stems from engaging in volunteer activities. 

When thinking about branding in the context of such a vital part of everyday life, begs the question: how important is it, if the aim of the organization is to serve and support? 

The simple answer is very important!

Our daily lives have become one of branding. Whether for individuals, businesses, products or initiatives. Seth Godin, an American businessman and marketer, defined a brand as “the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”

It's more than just your logo, but the impression of the organization. It's how people show up both digitally and in person. A great logo is an excellent start, but that’s merely the flag. It’s also about saying and doing the same thing all the time, to avoid a discrepancy between what’s communicated and what is experienced. Discrepancies in your branding may take away from the very important work that you do. 

Simple steps for branding for the nonprofit organization: 

  1. Show up authentic. To everyone: donors, volunteers, board members, community members, online supporters and beneficiaries. 
  2. Be consistent: steady and always the same. 

Whether your branding or marketing is formal or not; these two elements will provide team members, community members and supporters with a good idea of what the organization is about. It will help the organization attract the right people as staff; volunteers and beneficiaries. Additionally, it will create a bigger impact in the area you’re aiming to reach. 

Nonprofit organizations fulfill a very important role in society: they serve to support existing structures to provide services to communities and spread awareness on issues. 

We’d like to encourage you to make these two steps part of your brand, today. We salute all the organizations that advocate for knowledge, services and access to communities. 

For all questions, pop into our Livestream on Tuesdays at 11am (central time) or just schedule a free private call with us! 
#TeamTweak, Wisconsin marketing agency, would like to help!