The Nonprofit Sector’s Most Pressing Issues: The C-Level Exec’s Point of View
Instead of just killing it, Food For The Poor had a discussion with everyone involved with the newsletter and came to a compromise that it could send this image if the newsletter was filled with facts about what the donations can do to help save people like this. “It turned out to be our highest-grossing newsletter,” Aloma said, emphasizing the importance of compromise.
He said that first and foremost, “you must protect fundraising.” As long as branding doesn’t interfere with the mission, it’s a good thing, but fundraising comes first.
“Donors speak logically but give emotionally,” he added. “If people don’t call and complain, you’re not doing a good job. We tracked our complainers. Donors who complained about certain packages actually gave more to those packages.”
For Greenpeace, branding is a touchy thing — people tend to “either love us or hate us, with really no one in between,” McGregor said. With that in mind, McGregor said the key for Greenpeace is to educate staff on changing the message for different people. For example, the organization is moving away from using the term “nonviolent actions” because “many people hear the word violence and associate it with us.” Greenpeace now focuses on articulating its communications carefully.
As far as things such as the use of color and logos for branding, McGregor said to test everything, see the impact and use the facts to make the final decisions. “Resolve issues in branding through demonstrating what the implication is of each decision,” he said.
Tandon shifted gears a bit, suggesting that when branding is involved, nonprofits ask themselves what the organization’s business strategy is. “What is your enterprise strategy? Who is your donor, and what do you want to strive for?” he asked. “On the brand side it’s all about be, do, say — be aware and make promises of what you’re delivering after you figure out how to deliver it.