On Tuesday, May 6th,the Catalogue’s Marketing Communications Workshop Series culminated with a session focused on brand-building for nonprofits. The series, sponsored by Integrity Management Consulting, was designed to help nonprofits strengthen their storytelling and value propositions through their writing, imagery, and branding.
Aline Newman, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Catalogue for Philanthropy, presented this session to 40 Catalogue nonprofit attendees. The discussion focused on understanding what a brand is, why branding is important for nonprofits, how it differs from corporate branding, and how nonprofits can use their brand to accelerate their mission. Attendees shared their takeaways from the event on social media with the hashtag #cfpstorytelling.
It spite of resistance to branding among some in the nonprofit sector (some fear that it is too “corporate” or distracts from activities such as fundraising and program management), the truth is that a brand is one of the most valuable assets in any nonprofit organization. When rooted firmly in an organization’s mission and values, a brand has potential to unite staff, donors and volunteers, as well as attract partners who are best suited to broaden overall impact.
During the workshop, attendees explored the initial steps needed to build a strong brand. A strong brand is not built primarily on logos, colors, or websites, but instead on a thorough understanding of internal identity and external image, and aligning these to establish a sense of trust.
Following the presentation was a lively Q&A and brainstorming session in which nonprofits shared their challenges — and insights — with one another based on recent experiences. Due to the large amount of interest in the topic of branding, the Catalogue is exploring the possibility of developing a new series of workshops devoted to the many areas of this topic. Stay tuned!