Conference Roundup: Protecting Your Brand
In the session “Protecting Your Brand” at last week’s 2008 New York Nonprofit Conference, speakers addressed the various ways nonprofit brands can become diluted or even tainted as organizations find more and innovative ways to bring in donor dollars.
Jennifer Tierney, development director for Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres USA, addressed, among other topics, third-party fundraisers, where groups of well-intentioned (one would hope) supporters hold independent events and then funnel part or all of the proceeds to the organization.
Such events, Tierney said, can be good in that they could result in exposure and funds with little effort or resources put forth by the organization; bad in that they sometimes wind up siphoning off staff time and materials for a low return; and downright ugly if they somehow tarnish your organization’s reputation.
Tierney’s takeaway points on third-party fundraisers:
* Assign one person to field requests or inquiries.
* Be consistent in who you say yes to, and be clear about why.
* If people misrepresent you, resolve it quickly.
* Think about rules for accepting restricted funding; how they can use your logo and language; who should vet any press that’s done on the event; and the percentage of money you would expect to come back to your organization from the event.