How many of these situations sound familiar to you?

  • People call your nonprofit all the time asking for assistance on issues you don’t really work on, because they are confusing your organization with another one in town.
  • You don’t have an “elevator speech” because it’s just too hard to explain what it is you do in 30 seconds.
  • You have trouble finding your own organization’s table at a community festival, because your banner and materials blend in with everyone else’s.
  • When your board members talk to potential new donors about the work you do, it sounds as though they are describing a completely different organization than the one you work for.

In all of these cases, your organization is being confused with others, overlooked or misunderstood. Why? It’s often because you have no real “brand” — no clear organizational identity, reputation, or single thing that you are best known for.

On the other hand, when you do have a strong brand, people can immediately explain who you are and what you do and can pick you out of the crowd. They are more willing to donate to you and volunteer, because they “get it” — and can easily explain it to their friends and family. Wouldn’t you rather be in that situation than the ones above?

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