Branding is how you communicate with the outside world about who you are as a nonprofit organization and why your work matters. It represents all of your visual and mission identity and is a crucial part of building trust with your organization and sharing your values.
It’s also a bunch of little details and decisions about things like fonts and business cards.
Fundamental to any conversation about branding are the concepts of consistency and repetition.
Consistency is essential for good branding. This is true for all visual elements associated with your nonprofit brand. Let’s take fonts as an example. Consistent branding with your fonts means that the font you use on your business card is the same font on your website is the same font on your PowerPoint presentation is the same font in your emails. The same goes for colors, logos, and even mission statements and elevator pitches. To reinforce who you are and why your nonprofit matters you need to constantly remind people through your brand identity. From a branding perspective, consistency is even better than aesthetic or objective quality, meaning your logo and other branding elements don’t have to be visually perfect to be part of a strong brand. And this is great news for us in the small and startup nonprofit space – because building a great brand is more about discipline and thoughtfulness than having a big marketing budget. Or a marketing team. Or a team of any sort. Same fonts, same logo, same colors, same pitch – everywhere.
Repetition means that your branding is reinforced over and over and over again by showing up the same way in multiple places. This means every piece of collateral you put out in the world, whether on your website or on a flyer, has the same branding and that the same branding is used every time. People need to see your nonprofit brand and hear your message multiple times in the same way to develop trust in your organization and believe in you as its leader. Lucky for us again – it doesn’t take money to stay on brand with repetition, it just takes awareness and a little bit of planning.