“A nonprofit that understands its brand—not just its mission—is in a better position to get things done.”
That’s according to Jennie Winton, founding partner at San Francisco-based branding firm Mission Minded, which works exclusively with nonprofits. In a plenary at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the National Conference of Bar Foundations, Winton walked participants through a model that can help you craft an effective message about your organization—whether you have one minute of someone’s time, two minutes, five minutes, or longer.
Though this is changing a bit as nonprofit management becomes a profession in its own right, Winton said, it’s typical that someone working on staff or as a volunteer comes to an organization with a passion for its cause, but without a lot of knowledge in marketing and branding.
This can lead to the feeling that, though you love and believe in the organization, you don’t know how to explain it to others in conversation—or make them care. If you’ve ever panicked when someone approaches you and says, “So … what does your organization do?” then read on.