What I Learned On My Spring Vacation (Part 2)
In Part 1 of this series of two articles, I shared three learnings from my participation as an Association of Fundraising Professionals delegate on a People to People citizen ambassador trip to Brazil. Those first three learnings were:
- Start where the people you want to serve already are.
- If you want something to go viral, you may have to step out of your comfort zone.
So, be honest — what did you think about the video done by SOS Mata Atlantica? Did it make you say "Wow!" or "Yuck!"?
The fourth learning from this trip also comes from SOS Mata Atlantica Foundation, but is a bit less "in your face."
Simplify your brand
A few years ago, the staff at SOS Mata Atlantica looked at all its programs and realized that it had 14 different brands. These were all good programs, but it was challenging to communicate the scope of the work since everything had its own identity.
Today, the organization has only four brands, and each one builds on a central theme. Its main logo is reminiscent of the Brazilian flag but has a large corner of the green background torn away, representing the deforestation the organization is working to reverse. Now a Brazilian who has the SOS Mata Atlantica branded credit card from a nationwide bank will recognize that it's the same organization that is carrying out the public-policy campaign and teaching school children the importance of planting trees.
ACER Brasil, which whelps children living in slums succeed in school, careers and relationships, is determined to measure outcomes. Non-government organizations in Brazil have long focused on process more than results. ACER, by contrast, looks at the difference made in the lives of the people it serves. One way this manifests itself is that the ACER board is focusing on sustainable ways to change the situation in which people find themselves. For example, teenagers living in difficult situations work with a coach who helps them create and then execute a plan to improve their lives and the community. This helps ensure that ACER is investing in solutions that work in real life, not just on paper.
Pamela Barden is an independent fundraising consultant focused on direct response. You can read more of her fundraising columns here.