Donor Recognition “Branding” within Your Organization

August 27th, 2009

Most often one thinks of branding as a marketing activity but if you flip the branding coin you see how basic marketing theories go hand-in-hand with donor recognition. The two together work as a team, enforcing your organization’s overall presence, personality, and values.

When branding is done well, you see an overarching theme through your organization’s architecture, signage, printed materials, web presence, and even the attitude of the people there. Your brand presence creates an experience. What, then, is the best way to incorporate donor recognition into that mix?

A successful philanthropic brand excites your community about the various recognition opportunities available. You communicate about on-going needs and accomplishments. The look and feel of the unique graphic identity for philanthropy should coordinate with your organization’s mission statement and values. It may pull certain elements from your marketing brand, such as your logo or typestyle, but be distinctly tied to a unique donor recognition experience for your viewers, with an awareness that these are also your potential donors. Donor recognition is a messaging and solicitation tool, just like your marketing objectives. It is your silent partner in encouraging others to give while celebrating those who have already become a part of your philanthropic family.

We encourage you look at your organization’s donor recognition for ways to improve the messages conveyed. Is it consistent and easily recognizable? Does it reflect the organization’s values and personality in the way you want to be perceived? If you find areas for improvement, we advise you to integrate consistent donor recognition branding into a thematically cohesive package for your audience.

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