The playing field for most nonprofits is going through transformational change. Organizations thinking they can survive the future by being inattentive to basic brand and communications principles should think again.

Let’s list just some of the ways your nonprofit may be getting sideswiped:

Let’s start with funding. If your organization relies on government support or reimbursement, do you really know what the future holds? For many organizations, they know change is coming, or may be here already, but they just don’t know what it means since there seems to be fuzziness coming from policy makers.

Another funding pothole nonprofits must navigate may be individual donor gifts. According to some, with the new tax law, some individual donors who no longer itemize returns may simply forego giving to organizations they’ve supported in the past.

The aging of nonprofit donors (the ones who typically, and have the financial ability, to support nonprofits at meaningful levels) is a real concern for some organizations. While this donor group is dwindling in numbers, the importance of reaching a new donor is more important than ever. That new donor will represent a generation that has an entirely different idea about interacting, and supporting, organizations. Is your organization ready to cultivate relationships with Millennials and Gen Xers the way they want to be cultivated?

Finally, have you ever considered, with the above three “sea changes” underway, how your funding base differentiates your organization from other organizations that provide the same services and resources to the same audiences as your organization does? Today’s nonprofits are no different than a fast food restaurant competing with other fast food restaurants; a beer brand competing with other beer brands.

So, how does your organization begin to position itself for sustainability in the future? Begin thinking about your organization as a brand and leverage the disciplines a brand uses to create a compelling point-of-difference and story that attracts key stakeholders to your organization. 

In today’s technology-forward world, your nonprofit has the same possibilities as a major brand for getting in front of key audiences with a compelling message. Don’t miss this opportunity to understand what your stakeholders need from your brand and how to craft a story around it.