By Sarah B Lange under Fundraising, Marketing, Year-end giving on November 6, 2020

A lot of us have been lead to believe that nonprofits shouldn’t engage in marketing and that branding isn’t something that we need to worry about.

However, with many of us moving into the online world – which is already buzzing with over 4 billion internet users (287 million in the US alone!) — branding is more important than ever, because it helps you stand out in an incredibly busy, noisy marketplace!

The good news is, that as a nonprofit, you’re in an excellent position use your brand and your values to differentiate yourself from others – and with 1.5 million nonprofits in the US (not counting religious organizations!), that’s important!

Last year, more than $92,898,000,000 was contributed in December.
$37,159,200,000 of that was contributed during the last 3 days of the year!

Did you know that branded donation forms can help you raise up to 7 times more?

Yup. SEVEN times! (Mind. Blown!)

Branding and marketing can make the difference between getting a sliver, slice or slab of that big, juicy donor pie!

Even if you don’t have a brand, per se, you can still create pledge cards and online forms have a look and feel that’s in keeping with your logo, which will provide your donors with a seamless experience.

As online traffic and competition increases, it becomes more important to clearly differentiate your organization’s work. At some point, you’re going to want to go through a branding process with a professional, because the competition online is only going to increase. Don’t let yourself get lost in the crowd!

As a nonprofit, you are perfectly positioned to gain traction online and differentiate yourself from the competition because you have a UNIQUE mission and vision, and tons of inspirational material to draw on! This will help you create a meaningful, authentic brand that resonates with your audience and builds trust and credibility.

AND – nonprofits who can effectively align their brand with their values will excel past those that don’t.

In today’s world, it’s important to engage in marketing (gasp! Yes! MARKETING! ;) It’s easier to do than you think:

  1. Maximize your online presence (via your website, social media, email, etc. marketing, etc.).
  2. Consistently produce and share inspiring content so you can get in front of as many eyes as possible and help deepen your relationship with your donors, volunteers and other supporters! Communicating even once/week will help boost engagement.

It’s also important to make sure that your online giving platform (PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.) facilitates donor engagement and relationships. For example, is your donor automatically sent to a thank you page after they’ve made their donation? Are new donors set up to receive a 6-week, drip email campaign (1 email/week, with a different subject covered in each one)? These are two easy ways to quickly engage donors and ensure they feel good about having donated to you.

People who contribute to nonprofits are already engaged at a deeper level than most business relationships (yes, we’re in business – the business of making the world a better place!), because they’ve already opted-in to your cause. However, the #1 people reason people stop giving is because they feel their gift no longer matters.

Branding helps affirm a donor’s “buying” decision, because a well-crafted brand reflects back to the donor the characteristics they affiliate with. Marketing – through social media, blogs, emails, etc. — can reinforce this and strengthen the bond they feel with your organization. Why is this important? Because it increases the likelihood they will donate again, and make a larger gift!

The bottom line is that branded nonprofits fare better when it comes to fundraising than those who don’t have a brand. Those who engage in consistent marketing do better, as well. If your organization doesn’t already have a brand, I encourage you to work with a professional to create one! (If you need some references, let me know!)

If you’re not engaged in consistent marketing, now’s the time to start. If you need help figuring out your next steps, I’m here to help! To book a free, 15-minute Pick My Brain session, visit: https://calendly.com/sbl-fundraising/15min

I’ll be back next week, with a blog on creating an effective follow-up campaign for your appeal!

Yours in service,

Sarah



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