Branding is more than just signature colors, a slogan, and a logo. It’s an idea—a collection of thoughts and feelings people associate with your organization. And when this idea is well executed, it powers your fundraising.  “Brandraising,” a term coined by Big Duck founder, Sarah Durham, is a specific fundraising strategy that uses brand awareness activities to fuel a nonprofit organization’s development efforts. The idea is that strategic brand awareness communications and fundraising have a direct relationship. With all else held equal, the assumption is that as one increases, so does the other.

In her book, “Brandraising: How Nonprofits Raise Visibility and Money Through Smart Communications,” Durham stresses that today, more than ever, “donors and potential donors must be reminded of not only what your organization stands for (brand), but must also see you more visibly/constantly (awareness), and understand how those messages link to giving (fundraising).”

In a world of content saturation on and offline, strategic investments in branding will help your organization differentiate itself from the crowd and raise awareness and revenue. To help you strengthen your brand and make it recognizable, we’ve outlined the concept of brandraising and provided examples of how you can leverage this strategy.

Brandraising in a Nutshell

Long identified as a key component of successful businesses, a strong brand is also essential to the health of nonprofits. Individuals associate powerful brands with specific feelings and these feelings can influence donor behavior and keep your organization top of mind.

For example, you can recognize certain well-established brands by colors alone, or by certain symbols. 

But the concept of brandraising is about more than just standing out in a crowd. According to Big Duck, it’s also about effective communication tactics that convey your organization’s

  • Positioning in the industry as it relates to other organizations

  • Unique personality and values

  • Overall brand identity and what you seek to achieve

A recent study reported 49 percent of nonprofits surveyed plan to increase their budget for social media communications, while 21 percent plan to increase email marketing. These are two communication levers your organization can invest more time and resources in to communicate these core branding messages.

How Nonprofits Can Practice Brandraising

To power your fundraising efforts through your brand, the look, feel, and messaging associated with your brand should communicate:

  • Who you are

  • What you stand for

  • Why your cause is important and urgent

  • How you’re different

  • How donors can help

Here are three ways nonprofits can communicate their brand and build their community:

Speak Your Truths, and Often

To build your brand, you need to communicate what you’re all about. To Write Love on Her Arms regularly posts quotes overlaid on beautiful images to their social media channels. They do this to connect with their supporters and bond over thoughts and ideas they associate with their brand.

For example, the image below shares a simple message that nearly anyone could relate to—no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you stand for. The placement of TWLOHA’s logo within the image ensures that as the picture and quote are shared beyond their network, their organization continues to be associated with the idea.

Originally published on Classy, read the full article here