Is Your Annual Report Telling the Right Story?
Recently one of our clients, a program officer at a private foundation, complained to me that so many of the stories she reads in annual reports sound the same. “Are stories really that important?” she asked. My first instinct was to argue with her. After all, I’ve spent most of my career trying to convince nonprofits that storytelling is essential. And it is. In a head to head test, donors presented with the story of a single individual were more likely to give than when presented with data proving the efficacy of an organization. Stories work. And yet, the more I thought about it, the... +Read More
Is Your Event Building or Breaking Your Brand?
Conferences, expos, exhibitions, summits, forums, and galas. They exist for every single industry you can think of. And isn’t that a great thing? There’s something wonderful about a group of people coming together from across the city, region, state, country, or globe to discuss or support a common issue. It’s inspiring to see professionals wanting to share their expertise with peers near and far. And galas and social fundraisers are a fun way to rally support for your cause. When done well, these events can be effective and inspiring sources of development, networking, and fun. When... +Read More
Why Your Nonprofit Needs an Enemy
A recent article in AdAge argues that every great story, and every great brand, has a strong, evident antagonist–someone to fight against. The author explains that Apple’s enemy was Microsoft, just as Luke fought against Darth Vadar. Great consumer marketing does this: It positions one product against another. We choose Nike over Reebok or Coke instead of Pepsi. I’d like to take this one step further as we think about the nonprofit sector. Your brand is a story, a story in which those who align with your brand are pitted against a challenging foe. But nonprofit enemies aren’t other... +Read More
What “Wheel of Fortune” Can Teach You About Your Brand
I grew up watching the television show “Wheel of Fortune.” We didn’t spend every dinner in front of the TV, but when we did, I loved to solve the puzzle. I loved Pat Sayjak. I loved filling in the blanks. Now that I look back on it, I think it’s possible those early word puzzle experiences made me a better brand consultant today. On every episode of the game show, the final puzzle is solved by the top scorer. She’s given 30 seconds to solve the puzzle. In the early days she was allowed to choose 6 letters to have filled in before she started guessing. Anyone who had ever watched the... +Read More
We just changed our tagline…and it wasn’t easy.
We had a great tagline, and it served us well for over a decade. And then our tagline stopped working. How did we know? It just didn’t feel like us anymore. It wasn’t bad; it just wasn’t as good as it could be. It wasn’t as good as the Mission Minded of today. Consider our old tagline: Marketing Communication for Nonprofits and Other Do-gooders When we created Mission Minded in 2002, other professionals and agencies dedicated to serving the nonprofit sector were few and far between. That’s not true today—there are increasingly more individuals and companies devoted to doing good... +Read More
4 Tips to Ensure Your Event’s Visual Presence Stays On-Brand
When you decide to host an event, it says a lot about your organization and your brand. Every aspect—from the planning through to the execution—should be a reflection of all of the elements of your brand. How will you bring your brand values to life? How will your personality be reflected in your event communications? Staying focused and dedicated to your brand is a must for a successful event. Too often we see organizations get carried away with events. Understandably—it takes precious time and valuable resources to host a successful event, so you naturally give it your all. Yet, your... +Read More