tagline awards

event taglinesThe 2010 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards are open and waiting for your entry! But let me invite you to enter more than just your organizational tagline…

This year’s tagline awards program has been expanded from organizational taglines (awards for the best in each of 13 sectors – from human services to libraries) to include awards for the best taglines for nonprofit programs, fundraising campaigns and special events. Enter up to four separate taglines today.

I’ve heard from a few of you wondering what I mean by special event taglines. But they’re out there and they work! What’s easier to plug into a Facebook status update or mention in a call with a friend than a special event tagline. And the MS Society does a fantastic job in this series of three event taglines for its ride and walks.

Here are two more examples, from much smaller organizations, that clearly differentiate their special events.

  • The Literary Feast – An evening to nourish you mind, body and soul (from the Morrin Society)
  • LA Marathon – Start 2011 on the “Write” Foot (from Team Story Project)

Enter your tagline(s) today! Deadline is July 28 and I don’t want you to miss this opportunity to learn and be recognized for your great work.

Nancy Schwartz in Awards, Taglines | 0 comments
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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
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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
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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
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Online video, which has become a wildly popular communications channel in the past few years, is one of the best ways there is to tell your nonprofit’s story.

Video, when done right, can forge powerful connections between your organization’s work and your base that drive viewer action (to donate, join or volunteer). But, that’s possible only when your video stands out from the competition, in two minutes or less.

We were thrilled to finally have the chance to produce our first Getting Attention video, and learned that while it’s not as easy as it looks, it’s worth overcoming the natural challenges such a project presents.

Read the full article to learn from our mistakes so you can produce a video that drives the action that your organization needs!

P.S. Get more in-depth articles, case studies and guides to
nonprofit marketing success — all featured in the twice-monthly
Getting Attention e-update.
Subscribe today.

Nancy Schwartz in Video | 2 comments
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Download Free 2009 Nonprofit Tagline Report -- For Messaging that Connects even in Tough TimesNonprofits have a major branding problem in weak taglines. Taglines
are the best way to succinctly convey nonprofits' value, but 7 in 10
nonprofits rate their taglines as poor or don't have one at all.

The just-released 2009 report, based on 1,700 2009 tagline award entries and recent survey responses from 1,900 of your colleague nonprofit communicators, shows that most nonprofits don’t have an organizational tagline that works to make their organizations’ value clear, and easy to remember and repeat.

A highly-effective nonprofit tagline model (and one of the 13 winners of the 2009 tagline awards) is Because the earth needs a good lawyer from Earthjustice. Earthjustice capitalizes on what people do understand–-that a lawyer protects rights–-and uses that framework to dramatically position its role and impact in the environmental movement. And it does so with humor. If your tagline makes people smile or light up, without stepping on your message, then you’ve made an emotional connection…Bravo.

A strong tagline complements your org's name to convey its unique value or impact with personality, passion and commitment. If you fail to make the most of your tagline, you throw that opportunity away.

Dig into this free updated guide to learn:

  • Why a Nonprofit’s Name Isn’t Enough
  • How a Strong Tagline Benefits Your Organization – Useful for developing support among colleagues and leadership
  • The 10 Have-Tos for Successful Taglines
  • Using  Words that Work
  • The 7 Deadly Sins, 9 Snores and 5 Best Ways to Antagonize Your Audience  – What not to do
  • Research, Create, Revise, Test, Repeat – The right steps to take to craft a potent tagline
  • Over 2,500 Nonprofit Tagline Examples to put to work for message brainstorming.

Download the 2009 Nonprofit Tagline Report here. When you do, you'll automatically be added to the mailing list for info on the 2010 Nonprofit Tagline Award Program.

Nancy Schwartz in Branding and Messages, Nonprofit Communications, Recommended Resources, Taglines | 1 comment
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13 Nonprofits Honored for Outstanding Taglines Nothing Stops a Bullet Like a Job Pulls Top Honors for Homeboy Industries A nonprofit’s tagline is hands down the briefest, easiest and most effective way to communicate its identity and impact. But this high-impact, low-cost marketing tactic is often overlooked or under-emphasized by nonprofits. 

GettingAttention.org’s 2008 survey of nonprofits showed that 7 in 10 nonprofits rated their tagline as poor or didn’t use one at all. The majority of nonprofits not using a tagline indicated that they had not thought about it or couldn’t come up with a good one.

The annual Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards program was designed to address this missed opportunity, and guide nonprofits to craft an effective tagline.  This year’s winners were selected from 60 finalists drawn from 1,702
nonprofit taglines submitted to the 2009 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards competition. More than 4,800 nonprofit professionals cast votes in the final selection round.

Winning taglines are featured in just-published 2009 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Report. The free report also features:
•    The 10 Have-Tos for Successful Taglines
•    The 7 Deadly Sins – What not to do
•    Over 2,500 Nonprofit Tagline Examples to put to work for tagline brainstorming.

Download your free copy of the Tagline Report now!

These 2009 award winners demonstrate how powerful taglines can work as a first step in branding or as a highly-effective tool to refresh a nonprofit’s messaging, emphasize its commitment to its work and/or revive tired positioning:

Arts & Culture: Big Sky. Big Land. Big History. —Montana Historical Society
The Montana Historical Society takes its state’s most elemental and distinctive characteristics (Big Sky, Big Land) and deftly melds them with its mission in a way that generates excitement. The result is a tagline with punch and focus. Also, a big hit with voters.

Associations: Building community deep in the hearts of Texans —TexasNonprofits
TexasNonprofits’ tagline tweaks the title of an iconic American popular song from the 1940s and brilliantly connects it to the spirit, passion and mission of the state’s citizenry. A great example of how word play works in a tagline.

Civic Benefit:
Holding Power Accountable —Common Cause
Common Cause’s tagline leaves no doubt about the organization’s mission, unique value and commitment. It’s definitive, with a powerful economy of words. An excellent example of the tagline clarifying the nonprofit’s focus, when the organization’s name alone doesn’t do so.

Education: A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste® —UNCF -The United Negro College Fund
This 38-year-old tagline from UNCF still rings strong. It elegantly delivers its straight up, powerful message. When your tagline is the boiled-down essence of your argument for support, you’ve achieved tagline bliss. That’s why this one is a classic.

Environment & Animals: Because the earth needs a good lawyer —Earthjustice
Earthjustice capitalizes on what people do understand – that a lawyer protects rights – and uses that framework to dramatically position its role and impact in the environmental movement. And it does so with humor. If your tagline makes people smile or light up, without stepping on your message, then you’ve made an emotional connection…Bravo.

Grantmaking: If you want to be remembered, do something memorable. —The Cleveland Foundation
It’s a rare tagline that manages to recruit people to its cause both unabashedly and effectively. That’s exactly what The Cleveland Foundation pulls off here. Clear, concise, and…memorable! A model for any organization promoting philanthropy.

Health & Sciences:
Finding a cure now…so our daughters won’t have to.© —PA Breast Cancer Coalition
The PA Breast Cancer Coalition’s tagline is both emphatic and poignant. It strikes a deep emotional chord, and conveys the focus and impact of its work without being overly sentimental. “Finding a cure,” a highly used phrase for health organizations, is bolstered here by the appeal to solve a problem now so future generations won’t suffer from it.

Human Services: Filling pantries. Filling lives. —Houston Food Bank
With simple but effective use of word repetition, the Houston Food Bank clarifies its work and impact. It delivers on two distinct levels—the literal act of putting food on people’s shelves and the emotional payoff to donors and volunteers. An excellent example of a mission-driven tagline.

International, Foreign Affairs & National Security: Send a Net. Save a Life. —Nothing But Nets
Short, punchy and laser-sharp, the Nothing But Nets tagline connects the action with the outcome. It’s inspirational in the simplicity of its message and its reason for existing. The kind of tagline nonprofits should model.

Jobs & Workforce Development:
Nothing Stops A Bullet Like A Job —Homeboy Industries
Homeboy Industries’ tagline is a mini-masterpiece, telling a memorable story in just seven words. It stops you in your tracks, makes you want to learn more and sticks with you afterwards. That’s the kind of potent nonprofit messaging every organization desires.

Media: Telling stories that make a difference —Barefoot Workshops
If your organization’s name is vague, it’s critical that your tagline be distinct. Barefoot Workshops’ tagline sums up the transformative power of stories to create change in people and their communities, so clarifying the organization’s focus. Saved by the tagline!

Religion & Spiritual Development: Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors. —The people of The United Methodist Church
The work of religious organizations often operates on several planes at once — a challenge for any organization and its messaging. Here, The people of The United Methodist Church delivers a tagline trinity that supports its applied faith mission and is warm, enthusiastic and embracing.

Other: A head for business. A heart for the world. —SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise)
If an organization’s identity contains within it a distinct contrast between its key characteristics, that’s often good tagline material. Here, SIFE surprises with its crystal-clear tagline that not only conveys what’s unique about it but also capitalizes on the contrast between profit and compassion.

P.S. The fastest path to shaping a powerful tagline for your organization is downloading your free copy of the 2009 Nonprofit Tagline Report today!

Nancy Schwartz in Awards, Branding and Messages, Nonprofit Communications, Taglines | 4 comments
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