Tweaking your brand to attract your ideal donors

How to tweak your brand to attract your ideal donor

Attracting your ideal donors is not easy, especially if elements of your brand are working against you. But, how do you know which elements of your brand to tweak and how to make sure the changes you make are the correct ones?

It’s a simple process but it’s not an easy one.

Adjust who your ideal donor is

Before you start adjusting your brand it’s important to make sure you’ve correctly identified which type of donor you want to attract with your brand. Even if you already have an ideal donor in mind, we suggest reading our post on how to determine the right one.

Once you’ve gone through the process you may realize you need to adjust who your ideal donor is. That’s totally normal. In fact, as your nonprofit grows the donors you’re looking to attract may change.

The important thing is to have a clear donor in mind and have it documented. You want to document the following about your ideal donor:

  • Age?
  • Occupation?
  • Where do they live?
  • What is their day-to-day like?
  • What is their income level?
  • What are their values?
  • Where else do they donate their time and money?
  • Why do they feel compelled to donate to your cause?
  • What change are they looking to make in the world?
  • Where do they engage with you the most (phone, social media, website, etc)?

Reviewing your brand

Now it’s time to start reviewing your brand to see if any changes need to be made. The most common disconnects between nonprofit brands and their ideal donors happen with their:

  • Brand Messaging
  • Brand Tone & Visuals
  • Brand Consistency

Brand Messaging

When it comes to messaging, you want to assess if you have a problem with the message itself or with how you’re positioning your message.

If you have a problem with the messaging itself you’ll likely encounter one or more of the following issues:

  • Donors can’t accurately describe why your nonprofit exist
  • Donors are confused on the exact issues your nonprofit is trying to solve

If the problem with your messaging is related to how it’s positioned, you’ll often find the following to be true:

  • Donors think your nonprofit is just a copy of another nonprofit
  • Donors don’t understand why they should donate to your nonprofit over similar nonprofits

If you have any of those issues, you’ll need to take some time to update your brand messaging. Our 3 Tips for Improving Your Non-profit’s Brand Messaging is a great place to learn more.

Brand Tone & Visuals

When it comes to Brand Tone you need pick up to 2 of the following tone words that you feel best describe your nonprofit:


From there find your chosen tone words on the tables below and note down which colors best associate with those tones.




Compare the colors you noted with the colors of your brand. Are they the same? If not, you may have a disconnect between the tone you want to convey and the visuals you’re using.

Brand Consistency

Brand consistency is the most common issue, but it’s also the easiest one to fix (which is why we had this one last in the list).

Most of the time inconsistencies are caused due to two factors:

  • Using the wrong brand elements
  • Not keeping up to date on all marketing channels

Using the Wrong Brand Elements

Using the wrong brand elements typically occurs when the elements of the brand are not documented properly — this is where a Brand Guide comes in. By documenting all the major elements of the brand (logo, colors, and fonts) you can ensure every design uses the right elements.

Not Keeping Up to Date on All Marketing Channels

Not keeping up to date on all marketing channels is due to not having a process in place. Some may think they don’t have enough time to keep their brand consistent. But, it only takes 10 – 15 minutes per week to keep most brands on track.

Here is a process you can use to check on your brand every week (it takes less than 15 minutes):

  1. Go into your calendar
  2. Pick a 15 minute time slot on your Fridays and set it aside to review your brand every week (Fridays are great for this since your brain is starting to check out and this isn’t a critical thinking task)
  3. Quickly look over the following items:
    • New social posts
    • Website pages that were updated
    • New email newsletters that were sent out
    • New collateral that was designed
    All that’s needed is a quick glance. You know the brand well enough that your brain will pick up on something that’s out of place.
  4. Note down any inconsistencies you find and put that note in a place for you to fix.


As we said, those are all simple steps, but they’re not easy.

If you have questions about your brand you can reach out to us to setup a free consultation. We’d love to hear about your non-profit and how we may be able to help you.