Thursday, March 6, 2008

Branding... Your image can take a hit from myths

By now, the term "branding" is ingrained into the consciousness of everyone in the nonprofit/philanthropic sector. Despite this widespread awareness, there is a lack of understanding about just what a brand is and what it does.

At a recent national conference on nonprofit marketing, Larry Checco, of Checco Communications in Washington, D.C., discussed the most common myths about branding and offered the straight story on where those myths go wrong. The myths are, as he sees them:

  • Myth: Marketing and branding are one and the same. Fact: marketing and advertising sell products and services. A brand is a reflection of everything associated with the organization, including but not limited to the quality of the organization's work, as well as its reputation, staff, leadership, culture, core values, programs, services and products. A good brand is nothing less than an organization's DNA.
  • Myth: Once you have an attractive logo and catchy tagline, you have your brand. Fact: Your logo and tagline are the banners for the brand. Your brand drills much deeper into your organization's core values.
  • Myth: Branding is the responsibility of your communications/marketing staff. Fact: Branding is the responsibility of everyone in the organization, from board members to support staff. If it helps, consider the person who answers your phones as your Director of First Impressions.
  • Myth: We don't have a budget for branding our organization. Fact: If you effectively leverage your current resources, you might not need much of a budget to better brand your organization.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

New NonProfit Times Editorial - Don’t Tell The Donor and many more!

NPTimes has a new editorial section! Visit us every two weeks to check out our latest web-only content including articles from Don't Tell The Donor and many others. Click Here to go to NPT's Web Exclusives. Below is a taste of the latest article from Don't Tell The Donor featured on our site.

*Editor’s Note: Don’t Tell The Donor is one of the hottest blogs in the sector. It’s written anonymously because the author is well known in the sector and he/she/its bosses wouldn’t be pleased. Be assured, The NonProfit Times knows the author’s identity, at least enough to write the check. You’re going to have to trust us.

When I was growing up, my mom used to say to me:

“Little fundraiser. I told you to clean your room. Go in there and do it right now or else, I will take this garbage bag and go clean it myself – and you won’t like what I’m going to throw away!”

It was the scariest threat my mom ever made. Yet, I never found out if she was bluffing or not because nothing motivated me more than the fear of my mom rampaging through my room throwing my beloved toys in the trash.

I’ve been thinking of this personal experience during the past few years as I’ve listened to Congress’s threats that if the nonprofit sector failed to regulate itself then government will stage its own intervention. We all know there are some bad apples within the nonprofit sector. But, there should be a way for the industry to clean its own room first before a bunch of bureaucrats get involved.

In October of 2004, at the urging of Congress, the Independent Sector conveyed the “Panel on the Nonprofit Sector” in an attempt to build consensus around a list of principles that could serve as a guide for self-regulation. The idea was that if nonprofits could find a clean our own house of misbehavior, we could avoid the intrusion of scary government intervention.

Read Complete Article Here...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Nonprofit IT Staffing

Staffing information technology positions at nonprofits is not easy and it can be very expensive. The NonProfit Times and NTEN, the nonprofit technology network, teamed up to find out the state of the nonprofit IT sector from more than 1,000 organizations. Small organizations continue to struggle. The average tenure of an IT profession is slightly more than four years. Read the report at: http://www.nptimes.com/webex.html#nten