3 Important Steps to Understanding Your Nonprofit’s Brand

(Editor’s note: This is part two in a series on branding your nonprofit)

To increase awareness for your cause and to raise funds to support your mission, a cohesive brand is important.

Fortunately, branding experts have researched and outlined the most important steps to understanding your brand. Know these three statements by heart to begin the branding process for your organization:

 1. Positioning Statement

“Positioning is what differentiates a brand in the customer’s mind,” says Marty Neumeier author of “Zag: The #1 Strategy of High-Performance Brands.” This is how we want our audience to perceive, think and feel about us versus the competition.

Fill in the blanks about your nonprofit using this guideline:

 Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 8.40.40 AM

Take Neumeier’s advice, “This isn’t the only way to find a powerful position in the market, but no matter how you get there, if you can’t say why your brand is both different and compelling in a few words, don’t fix your statement… fix your company.” 

2. Vision Statement

A vision statement is a desired end-state. It is one sentence that clearly defines the future of the organization and the desired change that will result.

According to Neumeier, your nonprofit’s vision statement is “a bold picture of the future to focus everyone’s efforts on the mission.”

3. Mission Statement

Marc Koenig of Nonprofit Hub simplifies a mission statement as “a way of summing up your nonprofit to the outside world.” This image of good and bad mission statements is a useful tool:

 Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 8.40.51 AM

 Know these three elements to craft a mission statement:

1. A Cause or Who You Serve (What matters? Who is important?)

2. An Action (What are you doing?)

3. A Result (What change can you see?)

What steps have you taken to understand your nonprofit’s brand?

Jessica Williams

Jessica is a former account director for Mac’s List and Prichard. In her spare time, Jessica can be caught hiking with her dog Zoey, traveling to foreign lands or practicing yoga.

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