Have you ever clicked a link, saw a flashing neon website designed in the 90’s, then quickly turned away? Having a strong visual identity is crucial for nonprofits of all sizes and industries to build awareness and trust.
More than that, a clear and consistent brand will grow your nonprofit’s mission by garnering more support from your audience. In this post, we’ll define branding, give some examples of good practices, and provide 5 helpful tips to make your nonprofit’s marketing take off.
What is Branding and Graphic Design?
The presence of a strong, clear brand has never been more necessary for organizations than in today’s fast-paced, digital environment. You may be wondering… what actually is “branding”? Great question! To answer, let’s first go over a few things that a brand isn’t:
- Branding is not just a logo and fun colors you love
- Branding is not just your mission statement
- Branding is not just about what to post on Facebook
Branding affects how a donor or those you serve feel about your brand. It concerns itself with the fonts, colors, and design that catches people’s eye. With the right combination of branding and marketing, you can truly change the world.
Why is Branding and Graphic Design Important?
You may be wondering why the concepts of branding and graphic design have become so popular in marketing. It’s because nonprofits of all sizes are now realizing the challenges of not having a well-known brand identity:
- It can be harder to secure funds from new donors
- Scale and reach of the mission remain limited
- It may take longer to build trust and credibility within the community
- Supporters may lose inspiration
Nonprofits lacking a cohesive design and message run the risk of steering away support and stunting potential growth in their programs. A strong brand posturing could prevent an organization from being forgotten. Unfortunately, marketing agencies offering branding services can cost up to $50,000, a budget most nonprofits can’t afford. If you are struggling with your nonprofit’s brand, do not worry! You are not alone, and it is never too late. Implementing nuanced graphical designs (logos, fonts, colors, images, etc.) and a cohesive brand personality can be a headache even to the most talented of marketers.
Tips to Succeed in Branding and Graphic Design
- Know Your Audience
When a nonprofit is trying to market itself, it’s a prerequisite to research
who the ideal audience is. Brands often times will attempt to capture too many clientele or donors all at once, with no clear vision. Instead, target the specific types of people that will add the most value to your nonprofit. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
- Visuals, Visuals, Visuals
Take time to consider if your colors, logos, fonts, text, and graphics are all
professional. This will mark your organization as one that can properly manage
a clean image and make potential audiences have a stronger affinity toward
- Be Clear, Be Consistent
It’s important for a nonprofit to ensure all social media, website, and email content have clear-cut templates and protocols for their staff and volunteers to follow that create a unified brand image.
For some great examples of companies with strong brand identities, check out 15 Examples of Brands With a Bold and Beautiful Visual Identity.
The next time you see a beautifully designed website, or a funny and captivating social media campaign, remember to think about the intent behind the messages and visuals. Knowing what branding is and the impact that it can have will allow you and your nonprofit to realize more success in the mission.
We know that figuring out how to brand your nonprofit is tough, and we want to help. Download a free PDF guide to Nonprofit Branding that’ll provide tips and strategies to improve your current strategy.