The Pursuit of Brand Happiness
These top charities focus their marketing on inspiring passion — not only to change the world for now, but for all time. In doing so, they offer the highest calling to anyone who seeks such an endeavor. As a result, their brand promise becomes the core message to attract and bond people to their cause.
But too many organizations focus their core message on their internal processes, such as distributing, coordinating, managing, constructing and facilitating, while the most powerful thing they have to say is left unspoken. People become inspired to join causes because of the impact of nonprofit processes, not the processes themselves.
When nonprofits speak about their own processes, it’s similar to when profit-driven companies speak about their product features. It’s interesting, but why should I, as a consumer, care?
For some organizations, the idea of allowing constituents and donors to become equal partners in the marketing equation is too risky. Unfortunately, at some point their perspective became distorted in terms of whose responsibility it is to steward our culture and strive to make it better.
People who become involved with nonprofits see the world in a certain way; they’re looking to become a part of something larger than themselves. They have a desire to join others who value and want the same things they do. This is why some organizations constantly remind their constituents/donors of their vision, the big idea that everyone (organization, constituents/donors) is working toward together.
The more nonprofits present a clear, concise, consistent message and invite people to stand side by side with them to realize their brand promise, the more effective they will be at positioning themselves for the future.
Once organizations realize their most powerful approaches to brand marketing, they must focus their communication efforts on the five audiences of a brand. For nonprofits these audiences are internal (staff, board members, volunteers); external (donors, whether individuals, foundations or corporations); public (potential staff and donors); media (the press, both online and off); and beneficiary (those entities that are helped by the nonprofit).