The branded nonprofit

In 1940, there were 12,000 nonprofit organizations. Today, there are more than 1.5 million! So as the competition for funds and the demand for services increases, it is absolutely vital to stand out from those other 1.499 million nonprofits.

It helps to have a solid brand name.

Yes, even nonprofits have brands! Think about it: a brand is made up of two simple things:

  • A promise…both promises made (think Volvo’s promise of 5 start safety rating) and promises broken (think Arthur Anderson)
  • Reputation…all the thoughts, feelings, associations and expectations people have about your organization or its services.

Why do nonprofits need to brand?

  • Because the benefits they provide are often not as identifiable by donors. (Just exactly what are the benefits of home visiting and how many donors understand them?)
  • Because the proliferation of nonprofits has increased competition for dollars.
  • Because for-profit companies that have entered the social sector pose a threat to nonprofits. (Can that off-the-shelf curriculum or a local parenting coach really produce the kinds of outcomes an evidence-based home visiting model can?)
  • Because being affiliated with a “brand” like Parents as Teachers increases a local affiliate’s perceived value. It allows affiliates to capitalize on the visibility generated by other Parents as Teachers affiliates across the country as well as the credibility, scalability, and presence generated by the national office.

 There is value in being part of the Parents as Teachers branded network.