Though it may run against the grain of the data-driven, individual-based modeling used in many channels, there’s a growing trend toward increasing brand awareness to improve fundraising success. “Brandraising” works to break through the clutter of millions of charitable organizations to make yours top-of-mind when donors are prepared to give. In days gone by, this was not as necessary, since there were fewer organizations asking for donations, and one direct contact might be enough to convince someone to give a gift. Now, donors and potential donors must be reminded of not only what your organization stands for (brand), but must also see you more visibly/constantly (awareness), and understand how those messages link to giving (fundraising).
This is not new for some organizations, and is definitely not a short-term play; it’s also a longer-term investment that can frequently be difficult to quantify and validate. Still, both local and national organizations that have made the investment have experienced higher second gift and retention rates, enjoyed better acquisition and cultivation/renewal efforts, and seen more web revenue. Brandraising also paves the way for more corporate partnerships, more major-donor gifts and long-term sustainability of an organization.
First published in NonProfit Pro, January 2016, “80 Nonprofit Trends for 2016”.