What are you looking for?

Five things you should say to the colleague who insists, “We don’t need a brand.”

Posted by on August 28th, 2009
Posted in Blog, Nonprofit Fundraising, Nonprofit Messaging    Tags:

If you are focused on helping your organization expand its number of supporters, add new volunteers or inspire new activists, at some point you’re going to embark on a process to clearly define the brand of your organization.

And when you do, there will probably be at least one person who voices the opinion that the organization shouldn’t be wasting its time on branding.

Here are 5 helpful things you can share with that person to help him understand why the process is important.

1. Your organization has a brand whether you want one or not.  Because “brand” is just another word for “reputation.”

2. By engaging in a thoughtful process about what reputation your organization must have in order to reach your goals, you’ll have a better chance of reaching them.

3. A strong brand makes it easier for everyone inside your organization to do his or her job.  If your organization is well understood and thought of highly, people — from vendors to donors — will want to support your work.

4. A strong brand builds loyalty.  And loyalty matters when another organization is seen as doing similar work as you, when you get bad press or have a misstep of some kind.  If you stand for something meaningful, your supporters will forgive you for your mistakes along the way and choose you over other causes.

5. A strong brand makes it easier for potential supporters to say “YES”  I will donate, volunteer, or get involved.  If you reflect values and attributes that people can easily understand and appreciate you’re doing your supporters a favor: Being clear about who your organization really is makes it fast and easy for people to place their trust in you and your work.


Zach Hochstadt is a Mission Minded Founding Partner and runs Mission Minded’s Denver office, leading the company’s creative teams in the areas of message development, writing, graphic design, and web design and development.

See all posts by