Branding may hurt or help a nonprofit organization in marketing pieces. Many nonprofit organizations do not have the dollars to create and support a strong use of their branding. Organizations tie up dollars more in operations and fulfillment and therefore have no funds left to put toward the image or branding of their association. This can be good in as it shows people that are donating to the organization that the support is needed and necessary for the future existence. Many companies also might prefer a weaker branded organization that might let their company shine through with great support. Bottom line with poorly branded nonprofit organizations there is some positive depending on the view of the individual. It mainly shows that the organization is struggling and needs help. Some might find that appealing, others may see that as a red flag and take their support elsewhere.
Stronger and more established branding in contrast could be seen as a good thing to many companies. Many companies that want to support a nonprofit want to know their dollars are going to a legit organization that is growing and going to be around for years to come. Having strong branding established helps both supporters and users of the service to know the nonprofit is established and is not going to fall apart in the coming months. Their investment and use of the service is going to be for the “long hall” and not be a wasted investment. They also see the dollars are being use and moving the organization forward and are glad to have their name associated with the success and being part of it.
Taking this a step further, depending on the public’s view of an organization, if it is involved in a marketing piece it could discourage involvement of some parties. For example, I think of how some conservatives do not like to have anything to do with the Planned Parenthood organization as they perform abortions. Having the Planned Parenthood branding on apiece may strike some individuals to not even take a look at what the piece is trying to communicate. Branding a piece that has nothing to do with abortion but might be loosely tied to Planned Parenthood could make the piece very unsuccessful, depending on the market receiving the pieces.
On a more personal level I recently had a client that wanted nothing to do with a promotional book I was working on cause it was involved with and had a page branded for the Red Cross. For some reason the client wanted nothing to do with this organization and refused to participate.
AIO Classroom, Advanced Computer Graphics | GDE406 P04. Week 3, Web. 10 October 2011.
"Marketing a Non-Profit Brand." Ries' Pieces. Web. 10 Oct. 2011.
"Nonprofit Branding: Unveiling the Essentials." GuideStar Nonprofit Reports and Forms 990 for Donors, Grantmakers and Businesses. Web. 10 Oct. 2011.