Inspire Your Nonprofit’s Team with an Effective Brand
By Kyle Schnurbusch, Strategy Director
Branding matters when building connections to the world around your nonprofit organization. External stakeholders, such as donors, volunteers and clients, are influenced by the messages and unique experiences shaped by branding. They become better advocates for your organization’s mission and vision when your brand is delivered effectively to them.
The most important delivery vehicle of your brand is employees. From working with your clients to engaging with your supporters, your team ultimately determines the experience your organization facilitates. So, providing them with training and communications that keep them close to your brand in their everyday work is essential to the way they successfully evangelize for your mission. Here are five ways to inspire your team:
1. Your mission and vision statement are visible
What good is a mission and vision statement if it isn’t visible for your team to see? Put these important brand statements in the hallway or cafeteria. You can also encourage your team members to place these statements in their email signatures. If you manage your nonprofit’s internal communications or intranet, make sure the statements are displayed prominently.
2. Connect your nonprofit’s mission to team members’ “why”
Are you asking team members about ways your mission statement connects to their own professional convictions? It’s important to help them connect the dots, and display how they come alive in their daily work. Showcase their testimonies on internal communications as well as your social media channels and website. You might even consider structuring this exercise as part of an employer brand campaign.
3. Incorporate training opportunities that advance your nonprofit’s core values
When thinking about ongoing training to provide employees, structuring opportunities that align with your nonprofit brand values is a great place to start. If diversity is a value, what diversity, equity and inclusion training is available for employees? Every value should be considered when developing your annual professional training calendar, and make sure the connection between your nonprofit’s brand and available training is clear and promoted.
4. Keep your closest brand ambassadors accessible for questions
Oftentimes, team members have questions about strategic statements, especially as these statements become more prominent in their everyday lives. This is especially the case as they’re asked to participate in applying the statements into their own career journey and work. Therefore, your closest brand ambassadors—executives, fundraising, communications or HR team members—should be accessible to answer questions. It’s a good idea to ask for nonprofit brand strategy-related questions or feedback from your team in internal communications as well.
5. Include team members in your nonprofit brand development process
When it’s time for your nonprofit to evaluate your brand strategy, make sure to include your team members in the process. Set up interviews with team members that represent each department of your organization, and bring them in for feedback later in the process as nonprofit brand elements are developed. By including them in ongoing developments, you’re building ownership that can morph into unmatched brand stewardship.
Branding is a great way to unify your employees, and the most successful organizations work everyday to ensure their nonprofit brand influences a culture that inspires and creates impassioned leaders.
Share what your nonprofit is doing to ensure your brand is inspiring your team members.