Why Branding Is Important for Your Non-Profit

A few years back I was meeting with a friend at a local coffee shop, which is a normal occurrence in my life.  However, this meeting still stands out in my mind because I had a revelation that day.

As we talked, our conversation shifted to discussing the coffee shop itself. My friend had never been there before? I was the one who suggested the location. As he looked around he started reading the infographic-styled designs on the wall. 

After a few minutes, he asked what is this place? 

I explained to him that the coffee shop was a non-profit where all the proceeds go to fight human trafficking. I then went on to tell him how it’s always my first recommendation whenever someone wants to meet for coffee.

So, how did I become such a big fan of this little coffee shop? It wasn’t the coffee, the location itself, or even the internet connection. While all those are great, they don’t really offer anything unique compared to other coffee shops.

Instead, the answer is simple. They built a wonderful brand that invites people to know, like, and trust them.

This is the power of branding, and why it’s important for your non-profit. So, how do you get people to know, like, and trust you?

Know: Inform donors of who you are

Before someone can become an advocate for your cause, they first have to know who you are. 

This means the visual elements of your brand (logo, colors, typography, etc) must be appealing and match the tone of your overall brand. 

If you need help choosing your brand colors, read our in-depth post about how to choose the right colors.

In the case of the coffee shop, they have a great logo and a visual style that is carried through their entire shop.

Like: Align your values with your donors

Once someone knows about you, they have to then like you. Luckily, it’s not as complicated as it sounds.

The best way for someone to like your brand is to have it resonate with them. Simply put, your brand needs to portray the same values as the donors you’re looking to attract.

The following elements are ways your brand is portraying your values:

  • Visual Elements (logo, colors, typography)
  • Marketing Copy
  • Experiences
  • Customer Service

Trust : Build long-term relationships

Finally, you have to build trust with your donors. Just like personal relationships, trust with donors is built up over time.

The strongest way for you to build that trust is to be consistent in everything you do? consistent messaging, consistent experiences, consistent values.

When you’re consistent donors know what to expect when they interact with your brand. This consistency is what allows someone to have confidence in recommending you to others.

P.S. If you’re in Houston and want to check out the coffee shop I mentioned, it’s called A 2nd Cup (1111 E 11th St, Houston, TX 77009).

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.