While appeals and marketing material are central to fundraising communications, the plight of a worthy cause isn’t the only form of messaging that leads to a charity’s success.
Building a strong brand is a central element that helps communication with the public and contributes to the growth of a charity. A strong brand will:
- Create a point of difference for a charity
- Build trust and credibility that that will encourage people to give
- Keep donors engaged
- Unify a team
- Strengthen relationships between a charity and its donors
A brand forms the all-important public perception of a charity. Build and nurture a brand in the following ways to achieve results:
1) Develop a consistent voice through all communications.
Just as each person has a unique voice, each charity or non-profit needs to find its own voice that is used across all forms of communication.
The tone may change depending on the segment of the market you are appealing to, just as people’s tone changes depending on the message.
To get a brand voice right, establish a donor avatar to identify who the majority of donors are, and find a voice that will appeal. Do you want to sound authoritative? Fun? Emotional? Sensitive? Or a combination?
However you want the public to perceive your image, find a tone that aligns.
2) Wear brand colours and clothing out in public or on social media
To establish your brand firmly in people’s minds, always use the non-profit’s brand colours and clothing when reaching out to the public.
On social media and online communication, donors shouldn’t even need to look at the captions to immediately identify your non-profit as soon as they see the images.
A branding style guide will outline the charity colours and requirements for public appearances.
3) Regular communication with donors
Whether it’s email marketing, a newsletter, or social media posting it’s important to keep communication consistent but not overwhelming.
Regular communication will help establish your brand voice as well as build up credibility and trust, both essential elements to building a brand.
Always include brand-aligned images and use the logo and brand colours across all correspondence.
When it comes to ‘thank you’ communications, Softwareadvice.com indicates that 46% preferred a personalised letter, 35% an email and only 8% wanted to be contacted by phone. Around 60% of first-time donors looked for impact stories with pictures of what had been achieved with their donation.
Thanking donors and encouraging sharing of Instagram and Facebook images are all forms of communication that help promote brand awareness.
4) Provide excellent donor service
To build a brand, trained support staff must provide an exceptional level of donor service. Phone calls should be answered promptly, and support staff should be courteous, helpful and respectful.
A charity’s website should identify and address existing and potential donor questions immediately and include a comprehensive list of FAQs to educate and problem solve.
If a donor associates interaction with a charity with a positive experience, this contributes to excellent service.
Important donor milestones in the donor’s life such as birthdays should be acknowledged with a handwritten card. Schedule reports in donor management software to make sure you’re always aware of upcoming birthdays and anniversaries to consistently strengthen a brand promise.
5) Segment data
Consumer behaviour is often based on brand awareness. In a study on factors affecting donations to non-profits it was found that the main factor which people based their decision to donate was the reputation of the organisation followed by name awareness and the range of services.
This research on the Australian donor market indicated the highest dollar value of donations was in the 25-34 year age group. Further findings indicate that although women were more frequent givers, when men did decide to donate the amounts were higher.
They found that there were significant demographic differences across the six different charity types studied, so identification of the demographics of your donors and the use of consistent language relevant to the recipient is very important.
Building a strong brand is one of the central pillars of successful fundraising. SupporterHub is a data-focussed CRM that helps a charity get to know its donors so they can deliver an exceptional level of service to build a strong, authentic and credible brand to achieve fundraising success.
To find out more or to arrange a free trial, contact us today.