Build a brand that shows your charity’s heart

What is your nonprofit all about? Can you distill its impact into a few words that would fit on a bumper sticker? Does the mention of your nonprofit in a news report or conversation instantly bring to mind the image your brand promotes?

Your reputation as an organization that makes a difference and that people trust and count on is indispensable to your ability to serve clients, raise money, operate efficiently, and work with other groups.

So invest time to develop and build a brand that inspires and sticks in people’s minds.

Your brand does not need to be a long string of words that describe with clinical precision what you do and how you do it.

Instead, it should be a short phrase or tagline that crystallizes who you are and is easy to remember.

Your brand might spotlight your vision, or your dream for your community. It might emphasize your mission, or your role in making that dream a reality. It might invoke the difference you make for the people and places you serve.

Whatever its focus, your brand should show people why you matter and why they should care and get involved.

Some of the most famous corporate brands do not even mention the products the companies make.

“Think different” and “Just Do It”, for example, do not explicitly refer, respectively, to Apple’s computers or Nike’s running shoes. But those brands do their job by encapsulating and enshrining the message each company wants to send to customers about its products.

Your brand should inspire people and sum up your aspirations and good work.

So invest the time to create and build a brand that does its job.

Want professional help?

Philanthropy North Carolina is a consulting practice that provides writing and strategic communications support for nonprofits, foundations, colleges and universities, and others working for social good.

To find out more about hiring Philanthropy North Carolina to work with your organization to improve your communications, contact Todd Cohen at 919.272.2051 or

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