Bag ‘Em and Tag(line) ‘Em

Today, I came across an article announcing the 2010 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Award Winners, the annual endeavor Getting Attention! blogger Nancy Schwartz — also president of Nancy Schwartz & Co. — undertakes to highlight the best taglines in the fundraising sector.

The list of winners includes such gems as “Instruments of Mass Percussion” by Drums Not Guns, “Our Vision Does Not Require Sight” by Volunteer Blind Industries, “Your Mouth Can Say A Lot About You” by Massachusetts Dental Society and “Where good books are brewing” by Coffee House Press.

Having a catchy tagline that everyone who hears your name thinks of is such an undeniably incredible branding technique. Just consider how often it’s used in the for-profit world. Visa is everywhere you want to be. If “you’re hungry, why wait? Grab a Snickers.” And every time I heard the slogan “by Mennen,” I can’t help but think of the “Seinfeldepisode where George leaves his hat behind at a woman’s apartment to score a second date, because “You know the way I work, I’m like a commercial jingle. First it’s a little irritating, then you hear it a few times, you hum it in the shower, by the third date it’s ‘By Mennen!'” — aka Co-Stanza!

Those taglines get stuck in your head. You hum them and say them and sing along to them. Before you know it, you’re thinking about Snickers or Visa or Mennen more than you would have ever thought. The same goes for the United Way and its “Live United” tagline, “Relay for Life,” for the American Cancer Society‘s Relay for Life event, and the “LIVESTRONG” tagline for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Having a great tagline can put your organization in the forefront of donors’ minds. Of course, a bad one can cause confusion and muddle the message, so be careful when forming the words you want associated with your cause.

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