Our Blog

Should Each of Your Programs Have its Own Brand?

We hear this question often: Should we be branding each of our individual programs, or trying to create one single “umbrella” brand under which all our programs can live? Many nonprofits have named programs that are better known than the organization that runs them. If a program is popular – having a lot of name recognition, participants, and donors – why not let it stand alone in all its glory? We’ve observed our clients face two main problems when one (or more) of their programs takes on a life of its own: Internal stakeholders, such as volunteers and staff, feel that they work... +Read More

When it comes to your message, how much is enough?

We counsel our clients to repeat, repeat, repeat: Get a good message and stick with it—in print, digital, and spoken communications. In fact, we often say that someone needs to hear a message 14 times before they will take action based on that message. I recently went looking for the original source material for that fact. We’d initially heard the “14 times rule” as an adage in advertising and wondered if prevailing wisdom—especially in an age of social media—had changed. The term for the number of times someone has to hear a message before acting on it is called “effective... +Read More

Creative or Consistent? How About Both.

If your organization creates campaigns year after year, you know the challenge: How do you make sure your creative stays true to your brand, while also bringing something fresh and new to the table? On the one hand, each season brings new offerings for your audiences and new goals for your team—this is especially true if you’re an arts organization. On the other hand, the mission driving the work of your organization has almost certainly remained the same. You may have new information to share each season, but how you share it should always reinforce the personality and brand you’ve... +Read More

3 Ways to Ensure Your Next Email Solicitation is On Brand

Do your emails align with your organization’s brand strategy? Do they send a clear, consistent message about the value of your work and the difference donors can make by supporting you? Not sure? Too frequently the emails nonprofits send to would-be donors seem to come out of left field. They take a tone that is out of sync with its overall communications in an overzealous attempt to get attention. Here’s how to ensure your next email solicitation is both on brand and instantly compelling to would be donors: 1. Know your message. A clear, compelling, succinct set of key messages, used... +Read More

5 Ways to Communicate Better in the New Year

There are best practices of branding and communications that any nonprofit can put into place without a lot of hullaballoo. Like the new year’s resolutions so many of us make this time of year, employing best practices sometimes just comes down to reminding ourselves of the common sense good habits we already know we should adopt. It’s not that we need to learn something new about nonprofit communications that makes our spine tingle with excitement. It’s that we need to employ what we already know, without putting off doing it any longer. Ask yourself how many of the things on this list... +Read More

Why Should Funders Know About Your Brand?

Who needs to be educated about your brand? Your stakeholders? Of course. Your board members? Definitely. But what about your funders? It may seem tricky, but it’s really a no-brainer. Recently, I had the privilege of attending several presentations made by a nonprofit’s Executive Director and Development Director to its key funders. This organization had done thorough, excellent work on developing their new brand strategy and were excited to share their diligence with those who had a vested interest in their efforts. The result? Marvelous dialogue, ideas for new collaborations, and a... +Read More