A brand is an incredibly powerful thing when used right.
Your brand is one of your charity’s most important assets; it allows you to be recognised, it represents your message, and it helps build trust in your organisation and what you do. Once the public becomes aware of your brand, it then has the ability to increase your donations, fundraising activities and even volunteers, whilst also helping you become much easier to find.
So what makes a brand so strong and how can you strengthen yours? We’ve outlined 5 simple steps to help you do just that.
1. Identify Your Audience
The best charities know exactly who they want to reach, so to ensure that your brand is resonating with the right people, you need to ask yourself these questions:
- Do the right type of people know about your charity?
- Who is aware of you? What do they know about you?
- Are there any relevant audiences that are unaware of your charity?
Only when you answer these types of questions can you make sure that your brand is reaching and speaking to the right people. You can also then create separate strategies, one for nurturing your supporters and another for reaching new people. The key is to research the different types of audiences, what their media consumption is, how they prefer to communicate, and their lifestyles and values, because then you can ensure that you’re making your brand very relevant for them.
2. Build Long-term Relationships with Supporters
Charities who look for new donors all the time are running on a hamster wheel and eventually, they will burn out. Therefore, the key is long-term support from donors that are already loyal to your charity. Building relationships are essential to building trust in your brand, so charities need to be focusing on communicating with their supporters whilst also publicising how they are serving the local community. Take the RNLI as the perfect example. They do nothing but local fundraising events, communicate with their supporters and get featured for rescues, and they can maintain themselves solely on donations from loyal donors.
3. Make Your Message Authentic
Fake news is becoming an ever-increasing problem, inevitably causing the public to slowly lose faith in the media world, but this is great for charities as this gives them an edge! One strength that charities have is authenticity. From shocking images of their cause to videos directly from the frontline of volunteers who have helped, charities can clearly and effectively communicate the need for donations and how these donations go so far to help as they have proof. If executed in the right way, charities can really start to build trust in their brand and get the public on their side.
4. Be Open to Opportunities and Make Your Own
Another way to strengthen your brand is to get it out there! Viral fundraising is one of the best ways, if not THE best way, to get awareness of your brand, but it requires the opportunity to arise and the charity to be prepared and to act in the right way at the right time. Take Cancer Research UK as an example, they recognised that the #nomakeupselfie campaign had potential and realised that it could strengthen their brand immensely. Soon enough, online posts were starting to donate directly to the charity. Although a difficult marketing tool to use, charities could also try to start their own viral campaigns that will resonate with their audience, raising awareness of their cause and strengthening their brand.
5. Know Your Values and Beliefs
A strong brand reflects a charity’s cause, but an even stronger brand also reflects the values and beliefs that remain at the heart of that charity. In order to strengthen a brand, a charity needs to ensure that their values and beliefs resonate throughout their entire organisation and that every decision that is made, takes these into full consideration. Only then can a brand be communicated to the public and most importantly, inspire support and loyalty in the long run.