nonprofit tagline report

nonprofit taglineQ: We’re trying to finalize our nonprofit tagline, but need your help.

Your nonprofit tagline report has been incredibly helpful.  But we’ve been trying to finalize  a new tagline here at Seattle Central Community College for over a year now!

Here are a few that we’ve come up with. I’d appreciate your thoughts:

  • Seattle Central fits youBased in large part on results from student/staff/faculty focus groups we conducted and is taken directly from a student quote. I’m hesitant to use this because one of your the tagline “don’ts” is repeating part of the organization’s name.

— Judy Kitzman, Communications Specialist

A. You’re right to pick up on that don’t, Judy, as repeating your organization’s name in your tagline IS a waste of messaging real estate, especially when the other words don’t differentiate your organization (and you are using just four words).

One thing in particular we would like to do is set Seattle Central apart geographically from other colleges –  we’re the only downtown community college campus and students love our urban location and diverse campus.

With that in mind, here are two options we’ve developed. I’m very interested in your feedback here:

  • The college on Capitol Hill.
  • Your college. Your future.

A: Judy, these are going in the right direction. But I don’t think either one does it: Location alone isn’t enough to motivate someone to matriculate, although diversity and/or a successful future may be. But put those concepts together and you’re far likelier to motivate prospective student interest:

Seattle Central Community College
Your future starts on Capitol Hill

This is just a quick draft Judy, that needs polishing, but take it from here!

If you have suggestions for Judy, please post them in Comments below.

Nancy Schwartz in Taglines | 4 comments
Tags:, , , , , , , ,

2010 Nonprofit Tagline AwardsRosemary Roussil, Development Officer at the Metropolitan Washington Ear, emailed me yesterday. She  was eager to know if we were running a 2010 Nonprofit Tagline Awards Program.

Rosemary had perfect timing, as I was just finalizing the 2010 awards program and report schedule… I’m pleased to tell you that we’ll be opening up this year’s awards for entry in late June.  It’s an annual program now, especially because in these times your tagline is more important than ever — it’s the hands-down briefest and most effective way to communicate your organization’s identity and value.

Last year’s 1,350 award entries were a bounty of skillful messaging and I expect these year’s entries to be equally strong.  Take a look at the 2009 nonprofit tagline award winners; they are powerful models for your organization’s tagline (and overall messaging).

I’m excited about this year’s awards program. We’ll be introducing a couple of new award categories – to be announced at awards launch – and welcoming a stellar panel of judges who will select the tagline finalists to be voted on.

To ensure you hear when the awards are open for business, join the Getting Attention e-update list today. I’m looking forward to opening day – just a few weeks away.

P.S. Thanks Rosemary, for nudging me to set the stage!

Nancy Schwartz in Branding and Messages, Taglines | 0 comments
Tags:, , , , , , ,

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
Tags:, , , , , ,

Here’s a great story for those of you tasked with  nonprofit marketing: Yesterday the New York Times picked up on the fact that a tagline saved hundreds of lives in Times Square.

The tagline is,  “If You See Something, Say Something,” which has been used by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) since  2002 as an anti-terrorist strategy in the post-911 world.

It’s posted on almost every bus and subway and I dare say that 90% of New Yorkers know it well and how to respond. And most of us are eager to focus our watchful eyes and ears on the safety of our city. That’s the positive outcome of consistent use of a short, powerful tagline.

This tagline’s impact is rooted in:

  • Consistent and widespread use (throughout the NYC public transit system)
  • Focused seeding of an idea, then motivation of a clear, specific action.
  • Strong graphic illustration that conveys the tagline idea, in a glance.

If a tagline can save Times Square, imagine what it can do for your nonprofit organization.

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!

Photo: Sion Fullana

Nancy Schwartz in Campaign Marketing Models & Tips, Taglines | 2 comments
Tags:, , , , ,

thrift

This simple marketing strategy on the part of the SVDP thrift shop — building business and awareness (and a corps of messengers) by motivating customers to learn its tagline in exchange for a discount — is brilliant.

SVDP (the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of St. Louis) reached out via Facebook and Twitter to make this no-risk special offer. At the very least, the shop would gain customers and increase sales volume (albeit at a lower price point). Anything more than that would be a bonus –building relationships with its network that weren’t buying and increasing customers’ understanding that shop profits support the human services provided by SVDP. And this was a perfect time for the promotion, as SVDP just opened its third store.

The campaign is still very new so results aren’t in yet, but I’ll let you know what they are in a month or so.

Take SVDP’s coup as a challenge to come up with a low-cost, low-effort but highly creative marketing campaign, then share it with me and the Getting Attention community.

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, Taglines | 0 comments
Tags:, , ,

12 Ways to Get the Most from Your TaglineA great tagline separates your organization from the pack while expressing the heart and soul of your organization.  So when you integrate your tagline into all of your communications, you’re well on your way to having a memorable brand. Here’s how:

First and foremost, train your staff and volunteers (if you have them) to use your tagline in conversations about your organization’s work.  Using your tagline is a great lead-in when asked what your organization does.

Next, feature your tagline in all of your communications in print and on the web.  Adding the tagline to your email signature is a cost-effective way to share information about your organization.

Houston Food Bank, a 2009 Getting Attention Tagline Award winner, has gone the extra mile and included its tagline (Filling pantries, Filling lives) in its main voicemail message.  This is a simple, often overlooked way to communicate information about your organization, particularly potent during off hours.

Here is a handy checklist to make sure that you are getting the most out of your tagline:

In print:
1.  Stationery including business cards
2.  Brochures
3.  Direct mail
4.  Print advertising

Online:
5.  Website
6.  Blog
7.  Social media – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

In direct communications:
8.  Print and e- newsletters
9.  Email signature

Often overlooked:
11. Voicemail
12. Powerpoint presentations
13. Promotions – t-shirts, mugs, tote bags

What are your additions to this checklist?  Please note how you’re using your tagline in the Comments box below to share it with the Getting Attention community!

P.S. Learn how to craft a compelling story for your org in 8 words or less. Download the free 2009 Nonprofit Tagline Report, filled with must-dos, don’t dos, case studies and 2,500+ nonprofit tagline examples!

Flickr photo: Mykpwedding

Amy Kehoe in Branding and Messages, Taglines | 1 comment
Tags:, , , , , , , , ,

5 Steps to Jumpstart Your Tagline Development ProcessDeveloping a high-power tagline for your nonprofit can be a daunting task, especially with so many competing priorities.  Whether you are creating a first-time tagline or revitalizing an existing brand, here are five steps to jump start the process:

  1. Confirm that the tagline (or lack of one) is a problem. Feature a few talking points about your organization (or your tagline, if you already have one) in conversations with colleagues, members and volunteers.  Make a note of their reactions.  Does your messaging inspire people to dig in and ask more questions or get involved, or does it create confusion about your organization's work and impact?
  2. Get your colleagues on board.  Let your colleagues know that it’s time to develop stronger messaging for your organization based on what you’ve heard in your listening research, and that you’ll need their help. Be as specific as possible about your goals and outcomes, and how you’d like them to help.
  3. Uncover some audience intelligence, Sherlock Holmes.  Ask colleagues (and volunteers, if you need to) to insert your organization’s messaging (or current tagline, if you have one) in their own conversations in the field and report back to you what they find. Make it easy for them to report back in a way that’s easy for them and useful to you.
  4. Summarize the feedback you get and your recommendations for moving forward.  What does and doesn’t work? What does that suggest about revising existing messaging or shaping  a new tagline?
  5. Is more research needed? Decide if you need to take your audience research one step further or you’re ready to kickoff the tagline creation process with a brainstorming session.

These five steps are a proven stepping stone to developing a strong tagline for your organization. Supplement them with our free guide to powerful messaging for your organization: The 2009 Getting Attention Tagline Report features don't dos, must dos and over 2,500 nonprofit tagline examples to kick-start your message brainstorming.

By Amy Kehoe, Manager – Getting Attention

Flickr photo: Jeff Carlson

Amy Kehoe in Branding and Messages, Nonprofit Communications, Taglines | 2 comments
Tags:, , , , , , , ,

Homeboy Industries Hits Home with Powerful Tagline

Every once in a while a message comes along that stops you dead in your tracks. Nothing Stops a Bullet like a Job, the tagline of Los Angeles-based workforce and community development organization Homeboy Industries, does just that. 

Voters for the 2009 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards responded strongly to this tagline and rightfully so. The tagline packs a punch with its vivid imagery, telling a memorable story in just seven words.  

Here are a couple of the specific strengths that make this tagline so powerful:

  • It speaks directly to the interests of each audience segment; engaging the community it serves, inspiring donors to take action and encouraging others to learn more about the organization.
  • The straight-talking tone of the tagline is used consistently throughout all of Homeboy’s communications from its mission statement to its Virtual Car Wash fundraising campaign. This consistency ensures that audiences gain and maintain a sense of the organization, and are more likely to remember and repeat what’s different about it.

Nothing Stops a Bullet Like a Job raises the bar for nonprofit communicators to create powerful taglines that tell a story and inspire action.  How does your org’s tagline stack up?  

Amy Kehoe, Manager – Getting Attention


NOTE: This is the first post written by Amy Kehoe, our new manager at Nancy Schwartz & Company/GettingAttention.org.  Amy brings a strong marketing background and endless creativity to our work, and
will be contributing to the blog on a regular basis.

P.S. Learn how to craft a compelling story for your org in 8 words or less.   Subscribe to the Getting Attention e-update today toget the free 2009 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, Nonprofit Communications, Taglines | 0 comments
Tags:, , , , , , , ,

Join Me Tues 1110 in NYC How to Craft a Potent Tagline for Your Org, Program or CampaignYes We Can!  When a powerful tagline is joined to a compelling mission…nothing is impossible!

Learn how to tell your story in 8 words or less in this hands-on workshop on Tuesday, November 10th, 9:30-1PM at NYC's Support Center for Nonprofit Management. Just a couple of seats are left, so register now!

The power of the just-announced 2009 Nonprofit Tagline Award winners emphasize that a tagline is a terrible thing to waste. Avoid that by learning what makes a strong tagline work and the seven deadly sins to avoid like the plague, both richly illustrated by nonprofit examples. After
you work on your tagline and run it through a new diagnostic tool, we’ll open the tagline clinic for Q&A. Hope to see you there!

P.S. Learn how to craft a compelling story for your org in 8 words or less. Subscribe to the Getting Attention e-update today to get the free 2009 Nonprofit Tagline Report on publication; filled with must-dos, don't dos, case studies and 2,500+ nonprofit tagline examples!

Nancy Schwartz in Branding and Messages, Nonprofit Communications, Professional Development | 1 comment
Tags:, , , , , , , , ,

Focus on What Your Org is Working Toward, Not Against, and Other Key Reminders I got a bonus! I'm finding many of the comments submitted by voters in the 2009 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards to be incredibly useful, and wanted to share a couple of them with you. Here are two of the best reminders:

1) Educate your colleagues and board about communications. Don't assume they know what you do. It's likely that they have as little understanding of the intricacies of planning, decision-making, implementation and tracking as you have of their areas of expertise.

One voter plans to "use selected finalist taglines as examples of excellence for our board members."

2) Focus on what your organization is working for, not what it's working against. If you focus on what you're fighting, you simply bring more attention to it. When you feature what you're working toward, you establish a sense of process and progress that is clear and inspiring!

Flickr: Amanky

BTW, thanks for your votes and comments. Keep them coming and I'll share your thoughts here. And if you haven't already voted, please vote today. Polls close midnight, Wednesday, September 30th.

Nancy Schwartz in Awards, Nonprofit Communications, Strategy, Taglines | 0 comments
Tags:, , , , , , , ,

<< Back to Main