How to Position Your Brand in the Market

Learn how to position your non-profit's brand in the market

Whether you like it or not, you’re competing with other non-profits for attention and donations. So, how you position your brand in the market can have a big impact on the success of your non-profit. 

Luckily, it doesn’t take much to solidify your brand’s position. Here are three ways to help your non-profit’s brand stand out.

Geographic Positioning

One of the easiest ways to position your non-profit is to pick a geographic area you intend to serve. This area can be very narrow, such as serving a particular city or community. Or, it can be more broad, such as a state or even an entire country.

Just note the more narrow your geographic area is the better you’ll be able to position yourself. 

The reason is for this is the more narrow your area, the easier it is for your brand messaging to resonate. For example, if you serve a city, your messaging can be tailored to highlight the exact impact you’re making in that city.

Another benefit of narrowing your geographic position is it decreases competition. If you serve an entire state you’re now competing with every similar non-profit in the state.

Industry Positioning

Industry positioning is all about understanding the different industries your non-profit impacts and interacts with.

For example, a pet shelter will have relationships with pet stores and veterinarians. By showing you understand those industries and how you impact them it improves the perception of your brand.

In addition, industry positioning can help differentiate your brand from similar non-profits.

As another example, say there were two non-profits who help autistic adults find jobs. One focuses on helping them find employment in trade skill type jobs, while the other focuses on white collar type jobs. Similar mission and goal, but they’re positioned differently. Their messaging and brand’s will be different to reflect the industries they impact.

Mission Positioning

This is the hardest positioning — and the reason why may surprise you.

Almost every non-profit has a mission. But, the problem is many missions are broad and generic. This makes it’s difficult to stand out in the market — which is why mission positioning is so hard.

If you want your mission to stand out you will likely need to update your brand’s mission. The best way to do this is to state your mission and then ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why does that matter?
  • How are we bringing that mission to life?
  • What larger impact will it make in the world?

By answering those three questions you have now better defined your mission. See if it’s possible to integrate some of those answers into your mission statement (without making it too “wordy”).


In the end it’s important to remember that brand positioning is really a marketing strategy you implement to ensure your non-profit stands out.

Be consistent with your positioning and your ideal donors will notice.

Need pro bono help with your non-profit's marketing? Reach out to set up an Introductory Call.

Justin Lynch
Justin Lynch

Justin is a Brand Strategist at Avlier, a brand consulting company.