nonprofit branding

High-Impact Nonprofit Website DesignThanks to guest blogger Alex McLain, who designs engaging websites for nonprofits as a member of the Wired Impact team.

Creating a new website for your nonprofit is a mind-boggling task. You’ve got a million questions reeling through your head throughout the process, but one of the most important to consider is: “How important is the role of design in our website?” Without a doubt, your answer should be, “Very important.”

In order to wow website visitors and keep them returning to get more info, make more donations, or sign up for events, your site needs to stand out in a sea of websites that “get the job done.” Here are 10 ways great visual design drives website impact:

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Nancy Schwartz on November 19, 2014 in High-Impact Websites | 3 comments
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Nonprofit Branding Case STudyRead Part One first

There’s so much to learn from the approach United Animal Nations took to rename and rebrand the organization….as Red Rover.

Here’s Part Two of this useful case study, via Director of Communications, Marketing and Development, Leili Khalessi.

Q: So you went directly to renaming on realizing United Animal Nations wasn’t working for you?

A: Nope. We tried something much easier first (and we’re glad we did).

We began using UAN as an acronym to attempt to correct misconceptions about our organization. But…

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Nancy Schwartz on October 29, 2014 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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RRlogo

Within the first five minutes of meeting Leili Khalessi last year, I learned that she and her colleagues were in the process of rebranding their organization, including a new name. As Marketing and Communications Manager with (what is now) Red Rover, Leili was right in the middle of that challenging project. So I jumped on the opportunity to ask if she’d share the organization’s experience in this marketing adventure.

Most important takeaways:

  1. Pinpoint the problem you’re trying to solve with your marketing decisions, especially when it’s as big as a new name
  2. Ensure your organizational name/brand is recognized (and repeatable), before you invest in program branding. If you don’t, you’re likely to end up with people thinking your organization provides that one program only, which limits your growth in size and direction.

Here’s part one of this useful case study:

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Nancy Schwartz on October 14, 2014 in Branding and Messages | 4 comments
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Use summer to rejeuvenate I’m seeking your ideas this time round!

Please tell me (in the comments below) what your summer camp looks like—i.e. how are you planning to use summer to get inspired, energized and even smarter? And how will you integrate that experience and the results into your work approach and/or activities in the fall.

Pls share your ideas and hopes here. I’ll report out via a guest post for Network for Good.

BTW, here’s my plan.

P.S. Get more nonprofit marketing tools, templates, case studies & tips delivered right to your in-box! Register here for the Getting Attention blog & e-news.

Nancy Schwartz on June 10, 2014 in Professional Development | 0 comments
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Fundraising GoalsHere’s what my dear friend and colleague, Kivi Leroux Miller, said when I asked her to share the most important takeaway from her just-released 2014 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report:

In far too many organizations, communications/marketing staff and development/fundraising staff aren’t talking or cooperating, and in the worst cases, are working at cross-purposes. Your goals don’t have to be completely in sync, but they must be aligned.

Oh yeah, they do. If your goals—and all the activity that flows from them, both marketing and fundraising wise—aren’t aligned, you won’t get anywhere with your outreach on either front. Actually, the impact will be far worse than that—you’ll alienate prospects and supporters by confusing them with an inconsistent experience, a proven recipe for pushing folks far, far away.

Kivi’s must-do recommendation comes from learning that communications directors and development directors vary widely in their take on:

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Nancy Schwartz on January 16, 2014 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 0 comments
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Privacy Policy is vitalAs I combed the infinite number of 2014 marketing recommendations shared in recent weeks, I was surprised to see this one—review, revise and recommit to your privacy policy.

Didn’t we all do that already, during the advent of our websites and email programs?

But on further reflection, I realized just how important your organization’s privacy policy is in our age of data-driven marketing. In fact, your commitment to a comprehensive privacy policy is a prerequisite to increasing your 2014 marketing and fundraising results.

Here’s why, and how, to review, refresh and recommit to your privacy policy a.s.a.p.:

1) Your supporters and participants are sharing more personal data than ever before.

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Nancy Schwartz on January 8, 2014 in Relationship Building | 9 comments
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Naming Netcentric Campaigns-4Part 1: Name Change Why, When & Hows

Naming and messaging are so tricky, yet so vital. I saw that again last week with your strong response to the Green Media Toolshed -> Netcentric Campaigns case study. So I reached out to the Netcentric team to learn more about their process and tips on shepherding a name change, or creation, for your organization, program or service.

Thanks so much to Bobbi Russell, Netcentric’s COO, for sharing experiences and tips.

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Nancy Schwartz on October 10, 2013 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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Nonprofit name changeName Creation/Change Guidance: Case Study—Part 2

It’s rare to see an organization change its name and that’s a good thing. Name changes are a delicate matter.

Assuming you’ve done a good job of building relationships with supporters, partners and others, your org’s name has equity. Members of your network—donors in particular—have established ways in which they relate to your organization, and your name is the most memorable trigger you have. When you change your organization’s name, you upset the status quo and draw attention to what has been a smooth and productive relationship.

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Nancy Schwartz on October 1, 2013 in Branding and Messages | 2 comments
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Strengthen RelationshipsOur daughter, Charlotte, is away at Camp Harlam for 3 1/2 long weeks this summer. It’s her first time, and our pleasure in relaxed evenings and quiet weekend mornings is punctuated by severe pangs of missing her.

Most evenings we can quiet our pangs by going to the private website where photos from the day are posted. Charlotte frequently shows up in a photo or two, and we can get a sense of what she’s up to and how much she’s enjoying it (or not). I can’t tell you the pleasure we got when we spotted the biggest smile ever after she had completed the ropes course last week. We’re really getting to feel like part of the Camp Harlam family.

Harlam has done a great job of building our relationship in a natural way from the moment we shared our interest in registering Charlotte for the summer. I urge your organization to do the same, from the moment you first connect with folks who show interest as participants, supporters, clients, partners and/or volunteers and actively throughout the course of your relationship—BETWEEN your asks. Here’s how:

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Nancy Schwartz on August 6, 2013 in Relationship Building | 0 comments
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Nonprofit messagesYour nonprofit’s messages are the most powerful marketing tool you have, enabling you to connect quickly and strongly with your supporters and partners.

In fact, the right  messages—based on getting to know your network and what’s important to them—are a powerful motivational magnet and easy to remember and repeat. Priceless!

But most of you can do much better with your messages—Just 24% of nonprofit organizations rate their messages as effective. This practical new tool will help (available now at no charge)—Your Nonprofit Message Brainstorming Kit:

1) Expanded Nonprofit Tagline Database with organizational, program, fundraising and advocacy campaign, and special event taglines:

  • Get ideas on ways to integrate a specific word or phrase into your tagline or other message.
  • Be inspired and guided in shaping your organization’s messages by those of organizations like yours.
  • Brainstorm on how to strengthen your program messages by reviewing program taglines of other organizations.
  • Breakthrough your paralysis in naming (or re-naming) your organization by reviewing names of other organizations in your field.

2) Updated Nonprofit Tagline Report
Your guide to high-impact taglines: 10 have-tos, 6 deadly sins–what not to do, what makes a winning tagline and more.

A strong tagline is a potent tool. So don’t miss this incredible opportunity to strengthen your connection with your base. You need their help to move your mission forward.  And you’ll make it easy for them to remember and repeat why their friends and family should donate, volunteer, advocate….for your organization.

Be inspired and guided by 5,900+ nonprofit taglines and the guide to making your messages great: Get your Nonprofit Message Brainstorming Kit today!


P.S. 
Your tagline is at the heart of your message platform, conveying the essence of the impact of your work, in eight words or less. UNCF introduced its tagline (A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste) decades ago, but it still stirs my heart and my mind!

Nancy Schwartz on July 16, 2013 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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