Less is More — Especially with Nonprofit Marketing Taglines

nonprofit tagline reportQ: Can we use both a tagline and slogan for our nonprofit?

Our organization uses a three-word slogan (Access. Acquire. Empower.) and a tagline (Using Technology to Narrow Societal Gaps). And I have two questions for you.

1. Is it overkill to use a slogan and a tagline? Is that a nonprofit marketing don’t?

  • The slogan is important for our mission statement, which is based on those three words.
  • The tagline gives a better idea of what we do.

2. What’s the solution?

  • We’ve been toying with the idea of getting rid of one or the other, or making a “mish-mash” of the two:  Access to technology. Acquire knowledge/skills. Empower people.
  • We know this isn’t very powerful.

–Ephraim Geffen, Machshava Tova, Israel


A: Dear Ephraim, using two taglines is confusing. Stop!

Your instinct that something is off with your nonprofit messaging approach is correct.


There’s really no difference between a slogan and a tagline.  So your nonprofit is currently using two taglines, which is incredibly confusing to your target audience. It’s tops the list of nonprofit marketing don’ts.

The last thing any nonprofit communicator wants to do is to confuse his audience. Because confusion makes people want to flee; the absolute opposite of engagement.

Instead, take the time to develop a single, clear tagline — eight words or less–they conveys the essence of your organization’s value. I don’t know the meaning of your organizational name, but if the name doesn’t say what you do, the tagline should include some description.

It is NOT important that your tagline mirrors the words in your mission statement (which is internally oriented).  What you can do to convey those ideas is to integrate the language and concepts into your positioning statement — the one to three sentences you use to convey your organization’s focus, impact and unique value to the communities you serve.

But start with your tagline. You’ll find all the guidance you need to shape a powerful one in the Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Report (download link below).

P.S. Messages that connect are a priority for all organizations and the prerequisite for motivating your base to act. Learn how to craft the most essential message — your tagline. Download the Nonprofit Tagline Report, filled with must-dos, don’t dos, case studies and 2,500+ nonprofit tagline examples!

Nancy Schwartz in Branding and Messages, Case Studies, Taglines | 0 comments
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