Cheap and Easy Tips for Branding Your Nonprofit

by J.B. Maverick

4 min read

Branding is essential to a nonprofit’s success, not only with donors but also with clients. Your organization may be somewhat restricted by time and money when it comes to developing and marketing your brand. Fortunately, there are cheap and easy tips and tricks you can use to build your nonprofit’s brand without breaking your budget.

Marketing vs. Branding

Marketing and branding are viewed separately but necessarily related. Marketing can be compared to advertising, while branding is the building up of the images that are synonymous with your organization. While these terms mean different things, they are undeniably intertwined when applied in the real world. Marketing is basically the method used to achieve the goal of branding. It is important to keep this in mind as you seek easy and cheap ways to build up your brand.

Understand Your Audience

To build up your brand, you need to know your target audience. These are the people your organization is building up the brand for, essentially. The people or corporations that donate to your nonprofit are, arguably, the most important part of your audience because they keep your organization alive with their funding. Invite your donors to fill out a survey. The survey should ask about the donors’ preferences, what they think of your brand, and what they would change about it if they could. This feedback can be very helpful in successful branding. Not all of the donors’ suggestions will be feasible, but try to focus on small changes that can be made without investing a lot of time or money.

Change Up the Delivery

Getting your brand out to the public is a big part of building up your brand. The marketing world has adopted a concept known as “effective frequency.” This concept revolves around the idea that consumers need to hear about a brand multiple times before they are willing to act. The crucial part of this concept is the thought that consumers need to hear about your brand through different avenues. For example, a consumer who gets a series of emails about your organization may eventually begin to ignore them because they seem repetitive. It’s important then, according to the effective frequency concept, to change up the ways you deliver your brand and your message. You could start by sending an email. A week later, send some snail mail. Later on, post something new on social media. Alternating your method of delivery is key to keeping your donors engaged and successfully creating a brand image of your organization in their minds.

Keep Your Message Consistent

Changing up the ways you share your brand with the public is important, but it’s equally important that the message you’re sending is consistent across all of the different methods of marketing you use. This doesn’t mean the exact same images, words, or ideas must be used. The message you communicate really boils down to the general vision you have for your organization and the attitude or tone you use to convey the vision through marketing your brand. Every time you reach out to the public, you want to make the goals and values of your organization very clear. This consistency helps to ensure that you attract supporters who will most enthusiastically support your nonprofit.

Use Social Media

Getting your brand and message out on social media is crucial in the online sharing world. In its early days, social media attracted and was used almost entirely by teens and young adults. In 2017, sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are used by people of all ages. Opening accounts on social media platforms costs nothing and can immensely enhance your brand image. Reaching out to contacts you already know helps you keep them informed. It also exposes you to their circle of contacts. Your organization’s message and brand can easily and quickly be spread around throughout these circles of contacts, advertising your nonprofit at no cost.

Use Promotional Products

Nearly everyone enjoys getting a free product that is useful or useable. Consider handing out promotional products whenever you’re set up to represent your organization in a public setting. There are any number of places where you can buy relatively cheap products in bulk. Then, have your organization’s name and logo printed on these products. There are a variety of fairly cheap products you can order, such as sunglasses, baseball hats, T-shirts, bracelets, little notebooks, pens, and pencils. This provides potential clients with a little gift they can use and gets your organization’s name and message in front of large groups of people. You are essentially using these potential donors as living billboards. Building up your brand is key to your organization’s success. Even on a limited budget, you can easily market your nonprofit and get your brand out to the public. When considering marketing and branding ideas and avenues of delivery, hone in on those most likely to reach and appeal to your ideal donor.

References & Resources

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