5 Reasons Why You Should Not Neglect Rebranding a Nonprofit

September 7, 2022

6 mins

Is your nonprofit due for a rebrand?

When you think of rebranding, you may initially envision something big corporations do, but make no mistake, every organization needs to pay careful attention to branding, especially nonprofits.

You know that branding is essential to the success of your organization. In fact, one of the first things most new nonprofits do is design a logo. This makes everything seem official. But simply obtaining a logo is not the same as properly branding your organization.

We understand that you may not know how to begin branding or rebranding a nonprofit. We are here to help with that. We have a long history of working with many nonprofits over the years and have seen what works, what doesn’t, and how small nonprofit organizations can leverage branding best practices to position their work for greater visibility and support.

Below we offer our best advice regarding why you may need a rebrand and how to get started. Let’s dive in!

5 Reasons to Rebrand a Nonprofit

1. You Need a More Professional Look

One of the main reasons nonprofits pursue a rebrand is that they want to achieve a more professional look. This is common because the majority of nonprofits start out very small. You’re willing to accept the minimum viable solution for things like branding when operating on a shoestring budget with limited overhead.

This isn’t really a compromise but a strategic decision to limit investments until your organization gets more traction. But you cannot maintain that approach to branding forever. At some point, it’s time to take your branding to the next level as your nonprofit moves out of its infancy and is ready to pursue more prominent donors.

When you make a commitment to a more professional look and feel, people will notice! Rebranding demonstrates that your organization is viable and growing, instilling more confidence, and building trust between your organization and potential donors. Even small changes, such as redesigning your newsletter to a more professional look, will help your organization be taken seriously when you go to make larger asks.

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2. Your Brand Doesn’t Appeal to Your Ideal Donor

There are a lot of free and easy ways to “get a logo” these days, and to be honest, the quality shows. If you’re ready to position your nonprofit for growth, take a close look at your ideal donor and design something that appeals to them.

As in business, you must thoroughly understand your customer and ensure that the colors and fonts you choose will resonate with that target audience. Sometimes those first logos are designed with the wrong (or no) demographic in mind.

When rebranding your organization, always design with your ideal donor in mind. Now is the time to critically review your fonts, colors, and all graphic designs associated with your brand. Will these appeal to the donors you want to attract?

For example, your designs may appeal more to women when you need something that connects better with men. Or your brand may be too edgy when you want to appeal to more conservative donors.

Everything from your logo and the colors you choose to your key messages and how you communicate across multiple channels will impact your viability in an overcrowded fundraising landscape. So it’s essential to make sure you get this right.

Read More: 5 Ways a Creative Marketing Agency Can Help You Thrive

3. Your Brand is Inconsistently Represented Across Channels

If your brand is experiencing a consistency problem, realignment is the solution. A thorough audit of all donor touchpoints is essential to aligning every brand element with your mission and vision.

We strongly encourage you to leave no stone unturned in your review. Anywhere your name appears in print, either on paper or in pixels, should be evaluated for consistency and alignment. Examples include:

  • Logos
  • Colors
  • Fonts
  • Taglines
  • Websites
  • Official videos
  • YouTube, Vimeo, etc.
  • All social media accounts
  • Advertisements (internet, social media, television, podcasts, radio, etc.)
  • All directory listings
  • Newsletters (electronic and mailed)
  • Signage
  • Email Signatures
  • Letterhead
  • Envelopes
  • T-shirts
  • Brochures, invitations, flyers, other promotional materials
  • White papers and reports
  • Training materials or curriculum

The list above isn’t exhaustive but should give you a clear idea of the vast implications of brand alignment and consistency within a nonprofit organization. Take care to ensure consistency across all channels and donors will notice!

Read More: Is Your Nonprofit Website Helping You Grow? If Not, Here’s How We Can Help!

4. Your Brand Isn’t Easy to Recognize

This is one of the tricker rebranding considerations that may take a level of professional expertise to discern. As they say, there’s nothing new under the sun, and with that often comes trends and duplication in design. But it may not be immediately apparent to you how distinguishable your brand is next to the other brands competing for your ideal donor’s attention.

Your nonprofit branding should stand out in a crowd or from a distance. Your logo shouldn’t be so overcomplicated that it can’t be clearly seen and understood in every context, whether on the side of a building or the edge of an ink pen.

Furthermore, your brand must stand out amongst competitors. It can be challenging for some working in the nonprofit industry to view other nonprofits as competition but at the end of the day, it is what it is. And you can be sure that the most successful fundraisers, development, and donor engagement specialists are evaluating the competition on a regular basis.

If you’re unsure whether your brand has a unique position in your vertical, consider hiring an outside consultant to assist in this process.

Read More: Learn Why a Strong Visual Rebranding Strategy Can Help You Get Unstuck

5. Your Ideal Donor Doesn’t Understand What You Do

In today’s fast-paced digital marketing world, potential donors don’t have time to figure out what you do. If your branding needs a lot of explanation, it may be time for a change.

As Donald Miller, author of Building a Storybrand, says, “if you confuse your customer, you will lose them.” This wisdom speaks volumes about what’s wrong with a lot of marketing tactics today, and applies to both messaging and branding.

Yes, if your marketing messages confuse your potential donors and supporters, you will likely lose their attention. But we will take it a step further and say that if your branding is confusing, you will also lose opportunities.

Think about it this way: your important marketing messages are not just sitting on a static monochrome palette just waiting to be seen. Everything you create to connect with donors carries a level of graphic design. Either that design is thoughtfully created with your goals in mind, haphazardly thrown together, or designed by someone with good intentions but no graphic design skills.

Whatever the case may be, clear messaging alone won’t get the job done. You must pair your clear messages with clean and consistent graphic design that supports and amplifies those messages without distracting or detracting from what you’re trying to get across to your supporters.

Read More: 15 Important Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Branding Agency for Your Business

Need Help With Rebranding Your Nonprofit?

If you’re feeling lost or overwhelmed when it comes to rebranding your nonprofit, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Many organizations struggle with finding the right messaging and creating a brand that accurately represents their mission. That’s where we come in.

At Cross & Crown, we have years of experience helping nonprofits find their voice and create a brand that speaks to their donors and constituents. We’d love to chat with you about your specific needs and see how we can help. Don’t hesitate to reach out for a free consultation—we’ll answer all of your questions and help get you on the path to success.

Cross & Crown

About Cross & Crown

Cross & Crown is a team of creatives who are passionate about solving problems through design and technology, taking what is there and making it better. Based in Chambersburg, PA, we strive to help educate, advocate, and thrive in a digital world.

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