While your balance sheet may not look as healthy as you'd like it to right now, you've probably an asset that you're under-valuing
your brand. Thoughtfully defined and, yes, invested in, it can provide a bridge to your organization, a connection that can help raise funds, friends
and a corps of enthusiastic advocates.
But your brand can only move people closer if it's meaningful to them. Sure, you know your mission and vision are valuable and important, but to donors confronted with many competing organizations they "should" support, yours may not be a top priority. To build a wider, deeper base
and to move donors from check-the-$50-box transactional participants to being significant partners in your enterprise
you need to foster both a rational and emotional connection, and show donors and prospects how your organization is their best investment to realize their (ideally, shared) vision. Communicating a compelling brand story in which donors can see themselves is always important, but in these challenging fundraising times, it's critical.
Building a brand that moves people closer to you requires connecting your value and values to those of your constituents, not another mailing; it requires crafting "ways in" that link donor passions to institutional priorities; it requires proving impact; it requires listening, engagement and dialogue
to build the relationships and support necessary to realize your vision.