Better Charity Branding – defines your income
Our starting point in better charity branding is the logo and name of your charity. Your non profit charity organization needs to have a strong brand as part of their marketing strategy that tells their story in a visually compelling way. Creating not only the right message, but a message that is clear about what you do and one that staff and stakeholders can buy into. It is essential.
There are two areas where the importance of branding has the most impact, in public and on the internet.
Lets start with the logo. Too many charity logos looked like they were plucked from a Microsoft clip-art pack, they say nothing. Perhaps you know the type, a fan of colours, a swirl of contrasts, a coloured swish or squiggle. A logo should be memorable, yet simple; have a timeless quality that will work across print, web and a banner on a stall; amongst other mediums. That logo, as part of your charity branding, needs to distinguish your charity from all the others, it should express something about your charity in an easily recognisable from, that builds rapport and relationships and ultimately trust. I don’t believe you can build trust with a squiggle.
So Learn from the best brands and look at all the iconography that’s ever been. Find something that relates to your essence, customise it in a way that makes it unique and relevant and build on it. Better still get hold of and pay for a graphic designer and DONT decide by committee. An icon that needs no words to work as a brand is priceless see how that worked for Gerald Holtom and CND, on Wikipedia.
Along side that logo needs to come a pallet of parts, a kit if you like that supports the logo. These include a distinctive colour palette, font style, and visual devices associated with the brand.
Name your charity
For better charity branding, your logo and brand kit, needs to sit over, along side or under the name of the charity. In charity branding this is where the internet comes in, especially if you are a service charity.
As an example lets say you provided support for hamsters in your charity, is it better to call your charity ‘hamster support’ or ‘Support for Hamsters’? The reason I ask this is because to have an identity we need to be found. In the street our identity can come from our logo and people see it on a flag, banner, leaflet etc and start to build a connection. On the internet the start of any relationship tends to be a search. Do people search for ‘hamster support’ or ‘support for my hamster’, this is what you must determine, because it will affect whether you are found or not. A clever organisation may not call themselves either of these things but use them for their byline, and create a main simple title with the byline as an explanation of their charity branding as in Hammy – Support for Hamsters or Hammo – Hamster support.
Charity branding as Image
Eventually the Charity Brand might just have as a logo, a silhouette of a hamster with Hammy underneath it. Look how this is done with The Dogs Trust
However, although they are a dog welfare charity, they may not come up on a search if you type in dog welfare. they are 4th on a duckduck go search (used because it doesn’t track you or alter results according to previous searches) – https://duckduckgo.com/?q=adopt+a+dog
A charity branding like this offers a kind of human contact that is vital, this kind of brand contains an emotional response to your organisation. So use emotion, its important, but be positive about it. Avoid at all costs something that is over professional but lacks emotion or uses emotion as a guilt trip for giving, joining or being a partner.
Take a look at charity water’s website here; https://www.charitywater.org for the emotion and the simplicity of their logo below
Branding is a tricky business but it must be related to both clarity, message, visuals and internet search. I reiterate for smaller and local charities this is so important. In the 2016 survey of donors by the TSB, 50% of respondents said they would give to local charities if only they knew who they were, that’s a 50% who were not giving now! Charity Branding gives you identity and allows donors and supporters to know who you are. In the end better charity branding defines your income. Brnading is an area worthy of discussion, perhaps you have questions, why not start the discussion on our Q&A board