Non-Profits: How important is a Mission Statement and Branding Identity?

Non-profits don’t always translate business strategies to their organizations. They should.

If you have no mission statement and don’t properly define your brand, you bring failure or long-term struggle.

Not having these elements in place sends a mixed message to the public from whom you are seeking support. You need to clearly define that to which a donor should want to contribute.

What is your 30 second speech? Do all the members of the board have the same speech? Is the message being consistently communicated? Do you have a marketing strategy to convey that mission? Are you using social media and email marketing to keep front of mind to your public?

  • No, it does not take away from the philanthropic aspect of the organization.
  • No, it doesn’t make you look mercenary.
  • No, it doesn’t diminish the cause.

Think of why you have this non-profit organization. Isn’t the purpose to succeed in your mission – to do that good in the world you set out to do…? Isn’t it important for your donors, members and potential donors to be kept aware of your organization, your mission, your progress and successes, and most of all, your needs?

Will you continue to garner support if you can’t show success in your efforts?

You are a Non-Profit ORGANIZATION that needs management, maintenance, and most of all, an IDENTITY.

Business cards, website, flyers, brochures, social media, newsletters – ALL must be consistent. That is BRANDING. And you can’t have consistent branding without a mission statement that encapsulates the core of your cause.

Take a look at Coca-Cola’s Mission, Vision, and Values page:

http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/ourcompany/mission_vision_values.html

“Our Roadmap starts with our mission, which is enduring. It declares our purpose as a company and serves as the standard against which we weigh our actions and decisions.

  • To refresh the world…
  • To inspire moments of optimism and happiness…
  • To create value and make a difference.”

Now take a look at UNICEF’s Mission Statement page:

http://www.unicef.org/about/who/index_mission.html

“UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.”

Not much difference, right?

This is not rocket science. This is determining commonality. This is ensuring consistent messaging. This is the way to offer credibility to your cause and communicate it to the public.

This is marketing in its deepest sense.

If you aren’t properly marketing your cause, you aren’t creating a road to success for your cause. You must create awareness to be successful in generating donations…

And that’s what makes marketing “OK” for a non-prof. Because when marketing is done right, i.e., with pure intent, it is communication in its purest form. And that’s what your organization needs to be successful – the best communication to spread the most awareness for the best possible results.

If your only interest in your non-profit organization is managerial, then you must find someone to market it for you. Stay involved in the decision process, but delegate the actual marketing to someone else if necessary. It must be done.

But don’t even start to seek someone out until you have clarified and cemented a mission statement and identified who your organization is as a brand!

What marketing strategies are you using NOW?



Categories: leadership, management, marketing, non-profit

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 replies

  1. You are ABSOLUTELY right. Too many non-profits have good people working in ten different directions. KNowing who you are and what your brand is all about is as important as the passion behind the mission.

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  1. Top 10 Reasons Small Businesses and Non-Profits Give Up on Social Media – and Why They Shouldn’t! « WHITFIELD CONSULTING

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