Top Nonprofit Taglines
Organizations that play the branding game — and play it well — are part of a growing trend of thriving nonprofits whose mottos help to build awareness of their value and put them in donors’ “hearts, minds, schedules and wallets,” says Nancy Schwartz, president of Nancy Schwartz & Co. and blogger at GettingAttention.org.
The 2008 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Award Competition, which originated when so many nonprofits submitted taglines to the recent Getting Attention survey on nonprofit taglines, showed that to be true.
The entire list of submitted taglines, details on finalists, and award winners and survey findings will be featured in The Nonprofit Tagline Report. The survey, implemented December 2007 through January 2008, investigated styles, usage trends, and what’s working and what’s not in nonprofit taglines based on data provided by 1,900 nonprofit communicators.
The final report will be published in September.
The winning taglines in the competition “emphasize how powerfully taglines can work as a first step in branding or as a highly effective tool to refresh a nonprofit’s messaging, emphasize its commitment to its work and/or revive tired positioning,” Schwartz said in a recent press release, which also outlined the winners of the competition. The winners, along with Schwartz’s explanation of what makes them winning taglines, are:
* Arts and Culture: Where Actors Find Their Space (NYC Theatre Spaces) — “This clearinghouse for NYC rehearsal and performance spaces uses a double entendre to go beyond a description of its services and highlight the value of its work,” Schwartz says.
* Civic Benefit: Stand Up for a Child (CASA of Southwest Missouri) — In just five words, the tagline provokes anger, compassion and a desire to help.
* Education: Stay Close … Go Far (East Stroudsburg University) — The university’s simple yet distinctive tagline cuts through the clutter. “Its straightforward character mirrors that of the school,” notes Schwartz.
* Environment and Animals: Helping Preserve the Places You Cherish (LandChoices) — This was a winner because the tagline communicates the value of the work while evoking a person’s memories of pleasant walks in the woods, wildflower meadows and childhood camping trips. “There’s a real emotional connection here,” says Schwartz.
* Grantmaking: Make the Most of Your Giving (The Greater Cincinnati Foundation) — The tagline clearly articulates the value of the foundation for donors considering an alternative way to give.
* Health and Science: Improving Life, One Breath at a Time (American Lung Association) — “This unexpected focus on breath — a core element of life — gets attention, and understanding,” writes Schwartz.
* Human Services: When You Can’t Do It Alone (Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Sarasota-Manatee Inc.) — The tagline makes a strong emotional connection; it’s all about getting help when life becomes overwhelming.
* International, Foreign Affairs and National Security: Whatever It Takes to Save a Child (U.S. Fund for UNICEF) — “UNICEF engages hearts and minds with its passionate focus on helping children,” notes Schwartz. “Who could turn down a request for a donation?”
* Jobs and Workforce Development: All Building Starts With a Foundation (Building Future Builders) — Those who voted enjoyed the play on words. “It adds depth of understanding without being glib,” she writes.
* Religion and Spiritual Development: Grounded in Tradition … Open to the Spirit (Memphis Theological Seminary) — Voters found that the organization equally conveys two important halves of its values and curriculum in a way that makes a person think about the connection.
* The Art of Active Aging (EngAGE) — “EngAGE surprises with the imagery of active aging and the use of the term ‘art’ to describe the way it does its work,” Schwartz notes.
* Because Facts Matter (Oregon Center for Public Policy) — The tagline entices the reader or listener to find out more. “Its value proposition — the truth — is particularly compelling at a time when facts are frequently disregarded in public debate,” she writes.
To download an advance copy of the tagline report, go to www.gettingattention.org/nonprofit_tagline_report.html