Build Your Non Profit Brand in Seven Days

For many non profits, marketing gets no respect, let alone time dedicated to build a brand. So if you’re entering the New Year fed up with the way your organization is portrayed or perceived by the public, or you’ve inherited an internal culture that implies your mission will sell itself, this process is perfect for you! First, you must pay attention to the disclaimer: this process works best for friends working hard in the small development shop.

You see, in order for this process to Rijschool Amsterdam work, the buck must stop with you. Eliminate decisions made by committee; if you don’t, beware – you’ll get bogged down with egos, copy quibbling, and distractions a’la mode. Your seven-day focus is to efficiently create a Brand Positioning Statement that is effective, timely, fluid and precisely anchors what you can do for others.

A brand is an accumulation of assumptions about your organization disseminated to the public which now defines your organization for better or worse. These assumptions are formed by everything you’ve communicated, acted on, and/or interacted with. For example, when an interested party asks a chance question about your organization, the knee-jerk response from bystanders may be primarily based on a feeling rather than fact. What we will do today is put you in control of your organizations image and its authenticity in a manner that is sustainable.

PREPARATION: This article isn’t meant for you to read and then immediately launch into Day One. You need to prepare. And you have two to three weeks for this phase. Here is your “to do” list:

DAY ONE – BRAINSTORMING: It’s Not about You! Now that you’ve done your homework and you are surrounded by the best minds you could find, you have this one day to create and define an organizational image that elicits a specific emotion within people so powerful they remember and act on it. Once you are armed with this, everything else falls into place, Awareness. Credibility. FUNDING.

Before guiding you through the brainstorming process, let’s talk about what your image shouldn’t be. It is not your logo, tagline or color scheme. It shouldn’t be about you. It mustn’t reflect what you think you need to tell people; it must be what people NEED or EXPECT from you. Here’s an example:

You’re a K-8 Spanish immersion charter school. You believe kids should learn Spanish at an early age. But what about distinguishing your school as a place dedicated to helping children become informed and interconnected global citizens? Your institution preparing our children to live and work globally also resonates with international companies with offices in Latin America; global companies with foundations who give hundreds of millions away each year. They will invest in a school dedicated to bringing up their future workforce. OK, let’s get this brainstorming bash started. Here’s a zippy framework for your day (and you need zippy):