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Can you rebrand an NPO? A 4-point overview

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As a non-profit or charity organization, your brand is not just a logo or a tagline – it’s the face of your mission and the driving force behind connecting with your audience. Your brand is often the first point of contact between your organization and those you aim to serve, making it a crucial aspect of your digital marketing strategy.

Effective communication with supporters is key to shaping and building the reputation and image of you non-profit organization.

Successful branding is the key to maintaining an effective connection with the public.

As a non-profit marketer, you understand the vital importance of creating trust with donors. One of the most powerful ways to achieve this is through effective non-profit branding, which communicates your organization’s values and beliefs. It sets the foundation for all future interactions and is a crucial component of your marketing strategy.”

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For non-profit organizations, well-thought and efficient branding is of the utmost importance. But what if you skipped the branding part or, as time flew, your branding stopped reflecting your mission and telling your story?  For non-profits and charities, branding is a crucial aspect that should not be overlooked. It communicates the organization’s values and mission and helps establish trust with donors. If your current branding is not effectively conveying your message, a rebranding may be necessary to ensure success in your mission and interactions with stakeholders.

Non-profit organizations might need to rebrand for many reasons, such as revising their fundraising strategy or shifting their outreach to target a new demographic.

This may seem intimidating, but your effort to revamp your brand can have lasting rewards.

Four key points to take into account as you go through the process of reconsidering & refining a new brand include:

  • Scope & Scale
  • Timing & Planning
  • Budget & KPIs
  • Consistency & Persistency

Having a plan for your non-profit’s branding doesn’t mean you need to stick to it strictly. In fact, it’s best to have a living document of brand guidelines that can be continuously updated. As you make updates and changes, keep your non-profit’s goals and values in mind to ensure that each decision will benefit it in the long run. This will help you stay on course and make the most impactful decisions for your NPO.

#1 Scope & Scale

Rebranding might seem like a big undertaking, but it can also have lasting benefits. Before you start, it’s important to think about the scope of your project and how much time you can invest in it. Decide how much you need to change and what aspects of your branding you want to focus on.

How much time do you have? An extensive rebranding can take quite a long, so if you are limited in the time you can dedicate to the control/implementation/support of this process, then use it wisely. Depending on the amount of transformation you decide on, there are a few different levels to consider:

  • Expansion
    You could broaden your reach by expanding your presence into new communication channels, such as creating new accounts on Social Media and shifting the tone of your communication to better target your audiences.
  • Logo Design
    Take some inspiration from successful non-profit logos when redesigning yours. It doesn’t have to be an entire overhaul – you could change the font or reconsider your lines to keep your existing colour scheme.
  • Website Refresh
    Make sure your website is designed to be easily accessible, visually appealing, and fits the tone of your mission.
  • Restrategizing
    If your branding as it is now is not as efficient as you expected it to be, you could choose to start from scratch with a complete rebrand.

If you need some guidance, there is plenty of information available that can make the process easier. Hiring a creative design agency that specializes in non-profits can be a great way to define your goals and figure out the best scope for your non-profit.



#2 Timing & Planning

It’s important to plan the rebranding process with timing in mind, so as not to confuse or alienate your supporters. The ideal time to start and complete the process is often during a period of transition for the organization, such as when you reevaluate donor segments, when marketing analytics are down, during any external changes, or after shifts in leadership.

Creating clear plans for each department within your organization will make it easier for everyone to understand and follow the rebranding process.

To ensure a successful rebrand, it’s important to keep your staff informed and educated about the changes ahead of time.

Providing guidance on how to positively communicate the rebranding to stakeholders will also play a crucial role in its success. By having a well-coordinated and well-informed team, you will be able to achieve the best results for your non-profit.


#3 Budget & KPIs

When planning your rebranding budget, it’s important to be intentional and resourceful. You can start by setting clear goals and utilizing design tips from other successful non-profits. Look for examples that inspire you and keep designs simple but memorable. To make your rebranding more cost-effective, create a library of reusable and adaptable design collateral, and set a timeline of which elements need to be updated and when.

Remember the reason for the rebrand and use clear KPIs to evaluate progress and the performance of changes.

Make sure to remind those working on the design of the reason you decided to reconsider your NPO so that each design change better illustrates your mission to your supporters. Decide on clear KPIs to be used in order to evaluate the progress & quality of the rebranding process, as well as the further performance of the implemented changes.

#4 Consistency & Persistency

Achieving consistency is a core principle of any strategy, both branding & rebranding. Your organization should be recognizable across all channels you have chosen in your marketing strategy, both online and offline, so the audience can quickly identify your organization.

To establish a strong and recognizable brand, consistency is key. Ensure that all elements of your branding, including logo, colour palette, tone, typography, and messaging, are cohesive and consistent across all platforms. This may require extra effort, but it is essential for creating an outstanding brand that your supporters will easily recognize.

Rebranding can be a daunting process, but it’s well worth the effort to make a positive impact on how supporters view your nonprofit. To create a memorable and consistent brand, it’s essential to take into account the timing, the budget available, and the need for consistency across all marketing channels.

Additionally, make sure to pay attention to the values your partners/donors/volunteers hold dear and engage them in the rebranding process by asking for honest feedback. With these considerations in mind, you can create an effective and powerful brand that your supporters will recognize and support with pleasure. But don’t just take our word for it, consult with Wow Digital Inc. to get the best results and avoid the common pitfall of “DIY rebranding” which is like trying to cut your own hair – it might seem like a good idea but it often ends in disaster.

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