Podcast Transcript: The Importance of Branding For Your Nonprofit (with Examples)

June 17, 2021

JILLYN: Hi, I’m Jillyn, Founder and Executive Director of Technology Aloha, and I’m here today with our Content Manager, Kelli to talk about the importance of branding for your nonprofit. Our podcast today will be broken into three sections —

  • Benefits of a Strong Nonprofit Brand
  • Examples of Successful Nonprofit Brand Campaigns
  • Where to Focus Your Nonprofit Brand

Let’s jump right in.

Title image: The Importance of Branding For Your Nonprofit

Benefits of a Strong Nonprofit Brand

JILLYN: So Kelli, what’s so important about branding for a nonprofit?

KELLI: Branding can be a powerful tool for nonprofits, which helps them promote their message and mission. A well-thought-out logo, tagline, or slogan and consistent design elements can send a strong message to potential donors about what is important to the organization.

Good branding for nonprofits helps to attract more donations and provides more opportunities for the nonprofit to be noticed.

JILLYN: That’s a great answer, but why focus on branding in general?

KELLI: Well Jillyn, good branding can also increase donations and volunteerism. This is because it helps the organization stand out and increases people’s emotional attachment to the organization.

Branding is part of what sets your nonprofit apart from similar organizations. It helps make your organization identifiable on social media and elsewhere, which creates awareness among prospective donors and volunteers.

JILLYN: That’s good information, and I’d like to add to what Kelli said. A good nonprofit branding strategy can be the difference between success and failure. It is an important outreach tool that organizations use to identify themselves, communicate their messages, and build relationships.

Nonprofits can create a sense of trust with their audience by using a story-telling approach in their branding campaigns. In these campaigns, they tell stories that include pictures and video footage of people benefitting from the work of the nonprofit.

Nonprofits have the ability to garner a great deal of support through social media. That’s because their work is so important and unique that it needs to be shared. You can see this with charities that are focused on animal welfare, children, or the environment. Which brings us to our next subject.

Examples of Successful Nonprofit Brands Campaigns

KELLI: Yes it does, so Jillyn, can you give us an example of a successful nonprofit branding campaign?

JILLYN: Of course! There are many examples of great branding campaigns that have been successful, but one of my personal favorites is World Wildlife Fund’s “Earth Hour” campaign.

The World Wildlife Fund is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1961. Their mission statement is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s wildlife and their habitats.

In 2011 they launched a brand campaign called “Earth Hour” which challenged the public to switch off their lights for an hour on March 31st at 8:30 pm local time to raise awareness about climate change. The Earth Hour initiative has grown to become one of WWF’s most popular campaigns.

In 2021 people in over 192 countries and territories participated. And their primary hashtag #EarthHour was trending across Twitter and Google in 42 countries during the event. Due in part to their targeted and recognizable branding, the WWF and their Earth Hour event have achieved a strong global voice to help protect the environment and raise money and awareness for their cause.

KELLI: That is really awesome, Jillyn. And having such a recognizable movement can really bring people together.

Having a phased branding plan is also a good idea. Help Refugees and their Choose Love Brand Campaign is a perfect example. It was launched to help refugees in an inspiring way. They wanted to show that refugees aren’t just individuals who need help — they’re people too.

JILLYN: What a great way to create an emotional connection and humanize what is sometimes seen as just a political or social issue!

KELLI: I thought so too! The campaign consisted of four different phases: the launch, the donation and donation verification phase, the activation and awareness phase, and the wrap-up phase.

The reason this branding campaign was successful was because of the plan. Having stages in your branding campaign allows you to build a brand over time. That way you can catch and learn from mistakes in each phase so your brand and message get stronger over the course of the campaign.

JILLYN: That’s very insightful and exactly right Kelli — great example!

Where to Focus Your Nonprofit Brand

KELLI: Thank you. So Jillyn, now that we know why a nonprofit needs a good branding strategy, where should a Nonprofit focus when it comes to their brand?

JILLYN: Good question, Kelli. Successful nonprofit branding is all about finding your niche and then developing a cohesive message that talks about what you do best. It takes work but when you find your voice, it will be worth it.

The most crucial part of any outreach campaign is the brand identity itself. A good brand identity will focus on the company’s core values, and it will be recognizable. But even more importantly, a strong brand will create emotional connections with potential donors and volunteers, which is what nonprofits need to succeed.

KELLI: Focusing on core values is a great start to building a brand. And remember, a successful branding campaign should be identifiable, memorable, and unique. The branding of an organization or event should not be overstated or understated. It has to achieve the right mix of confidence and sensitivity in order to be successful in a competitive market.

JILLYN: Exactly. A good way to make sure your nonprofit has a strong brand is by creating a central branding guide for your organization. As you work on forming a strategy for your outreach initiatives, make sure that each piece aligns with the overall brand. A strategy will help you create goals, plan out what channels to use for outreach, set objectives for each channel, and monitor progress so you can adjust accordingly. The branding guide will ensure that all of your campaigns are recognizable and cohesive. And remember that the branding guide should be a living document — don’t be afraid to add to it!

KELLI: A good branding strategy can work wonders for nonprofits. Branding is essential for any organization that wants to attract more customers and promote its cause.


JILLYN: Well it looks like that’s all the time we have for today. We’ve included links in the description to several of our blog posts that cover the topic we discussed today. I’m Jillyn.

KELLI: And I’m Kelli. If you have questions about Branding for Your Nonprofit or have other topics you want to hear on our podcast, please reach out on social media or contact us at TechnologyAloha.com.

JILLYN: Thank you for listening to Into the Inbound with Technology Aloha. We hope we’ve added a little Aloha to your day.

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