Nationally and globally-known companies go to great lengths to establish and sustain a strong brand. Their brand is their identity, their voice, their distinct place in the market. It is their statement or promise to the customer about what they can expect from the product. Once the strategy is built, the brand image is driven to customers and potential customers through deliberate choice in words, images, colors, and all facets of integrated marketing.
Small, local or regional organizations and even non-profits have begun branding on a scale appropriate to their capabilities. Branding applied to annual fundraising looks similar. So why brand it?
One desired goal of branding is to create long-term recognition, sustainability and customer loyalty. By being who you say you are and being great at what you say you do, you begin to transform transactions into lifetime relationships.
An annual fund is a reoccurring, timed, goal-driven fundraising campaign that provides mission-supporters opportunity to make repeatable investments in the organization. By creating and implementing a strong brand strategy for annual giving, you too can transform transactional gifts into lifelong relationships with the organization.
In my upcoming book by Charity Channel Press titled Five Strategies to Increase Your Annual Fund I talk about branding as one component of a five-fold strategy that helped my colleagues and me increase annual fund revenue more than 30 percent at our organization. I share proven methods on how to uniquely apply a branding process to annual fundraising at organizations big and small.
Ultimately, branding is driving the best possible message in a thoughtful and deliberate way over a long period of time. That can mean more lifetime giving from donors for the essential mission your non-profit organization provides to the people in your community.