Most NFPs hear the question “but what do you actually do?” all too often.

Unfortunately, the best tool for ensuring people know who you are and what you’re about – a strong brand – is often discarded as unnecessary unless you are in the business of selling products for a profit.

The number of social-purpose organisations is rapidly increasing as we struggle to find solutions to the myriad of problems we currently face. With roughly 600,000 NFPs in Australia, the importance of branding cannot be overstated.

In essence, branding is  a strategic tool to help organisations achieve their long term goals.A strong brand develops a coherent identity, both internally and externally, that effectively communicates their purpose and ensures everyone is on the same page.

Recently, OHO brought a number of our Project Partners together to deliver an intensive capacity-building exercise in branding. Facilitated by OHO’s resident branding expert, Benjamin Haynes, the workshop enabled participants to develop a much more clarity around who they are as an organisation, what makes them unique and brilliant and how this is relevant to key audiences, as well as the main focus for external communications over the next 2-3 years.Crucially, they also left with the ability to clearly articulate these things to relevant stakeholders in order to maximise buy-in and support.

“Before the workshop I essentially thought that a brand was just a logo for an organisation like ours.  I couldn’t have been more wrong!  Since the workshop we’ve been able to involve the entire organisation in a discussion about our brand essence and everyone has been able to have input. Watch this space for our new brand to be launched later this year!” – Marina Chand – World Wellness Group – Workshop attendee

Benjamin agreed that the face-to- face nature of the workshops ensures that they are highly beneficial for partners in developing  their capacity to achieve their goals:

“The process of a facilitated workshop is essentially about extracting existing knowledge from the minds of the participants, and helping to structure and document this information in a clear and succinct way. Combined with a positive group dynamic and the ability to bounce ideas off other people with similar challenges and goals, it’s a recipe for pure gold.”

For any individual involved within an NFP, knowing what you do and why, having a consistent identity that builds trust and allows you to develop the relationships to attract the resources you need, all combine to produce a more effective organisation.  Therefore, a strong coherent brand can provide a vital boost to your NFP in attempting to achieve its long-term social purpose.

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