What's Your Personal Brand?
Finally, and perhaps this is the most difficult to grasp, many organizations are not communicating to donors, volunteers and members, etc., what they are doing to help THEM. People engage with a nonprofit for a reason. A donor has a need that must be fulfilled, which is different than beneficiaries of your brand. In other words, a health charity might be serving people who have a disease through research, treatments, programs — and those individuals are the beneficiaries of the organization. Yet donors and volunteers need to benefit as well. Today's donors give to help others, but they expect a relationship with the organization they are supporting — relationships exist because the expected value on both sides of the relationship is met.
Nonprofits need to make sure they truly understand why their donors are engaging with them and don't just scratch the surface and believe it is to help their beneficiaries. There are expectations that need to be met to secure the relationship for the long term. Make sure every experience with the brand seeks to confirm the value and deliver the value to the supporters.
So, for me, what started with a cool article that seemed relevant to me because I was working on my personal brand turned out to be also very relevant to the industry I have spent my career serving. I urge all of you to read the article. Think about it relative to yourself as an individual and the relationships you have. Are you consistent? Are you providing value to those whom experience you?
Then, after you've analyzed yourself like I have (and perhaps stress about it like I have), turn the attention to your brand and how you are communicating the value of it to those experiencing it. Funny how such a simple, five-letter word (brand) can be so complex and so much more than just a logo.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.