How to create a unique brand for a non-profit

“Is brand strategy different for mission-driven, non-profit organizations than it is for commercial, for-profit companies?”

We were happy to get this question from the Board Chair of a renowned non-profit foundation because, unfortunately, "branding" is still considered a bad word at some non-profits. That's because many leaders at non-profits don't believe brand strategy applies to organizations like theirs the way it does to consumer brands, and in fact some consider it to be "shallow," "sensational," or "sales-y."

Non-profit brands can benefit greatly from the power of brand, as long as they understand how brand strategy is different—but equally important—for mission-driven organizations. At Marshall Strategy, we've worked with non-profits like World Wildlife Fund, the UC System, AFI, and The League of Amazing Programmers. Through our partnership with these organizations, we've seen how non-profits can use brand strategy to help internal and external audiences accomplish three goals:

  • Understand: In order to support the mission, internal and external audiences must first understand it. This can be harder than you may think.
  • Believe: The mission must be compelling and personally relevant, so audiences believe in it.
  • Support: Lastly, donors and other funding sources, as well as internal stakeholders, must support the mission and align their efforts to do so effectively.

To learn more about these three essential elements of brand strategy for non-profits, read our complete blog post, along with case studies to demonstrate each point. 

Read the full article, originally published on the Marshall Strategy blog.


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