This was the case with the organization formerly known as Gifts In Kind International (GIKI). The Alexandria, Va.-based nonprofits changed its name to Good360 a year ago, part of a re-branding effort to refresh their image after 30 years. Good360 also completely revamped its business model as part of that effort.
Re-branding doesn't always have to be that extreme but, whatever form it takes, the results won't come instantly. As Nick Saul wrote in his book "Five Good Ideas: Practical Strategies for Non-Profit Success," change takes time. If you are one of those nonprofits that is considering fundamental change to your brand, Saul suggested five things you can do to re-imagine your organization:
- Listen. It sounds obvious but it’s not just a matter of “sending out feelers” every few years. It must be habitual, part of your organizational DNA.
- Create a plan, but don’t always stick to it. A plan is always a work in progress so don’t get so caught up making it that you stall before taking action. “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”
- Embrace your inner entrepreneur. Nonprofits need to be as nimble and opportunistic as possible. Your landscape of service delivery can shift quickly and unforeseen opportunities will arise. You must be willing to be bold and think big.
- It’s competitive out there. You must be able to differentiate yourself from others. Be clear about the difference your organization is making and why you have no equals in the pursuit of your mission.
- Contribute to public policy conversations. Advocacy doesn’t turn people off -- it makes you relevant.