What is your volunteer program’s brand? Or, maybe a better question, does your volunteer program have a brand, to begin with?
Your volunteer program’s brand encompasses your logo, brand colors, fonts, and the tone and message you’re trying to convey to your audience. When these elements are streamlined and cohesive, your brand becomes a powerful marketing tool for appealing to and recruiting new volunteers to help your cause.
If you’re looking for creative ways to engage volunteers and increase your program’s brand recognition, you’re in the right place! We’ll review these four tips for boosting your volunteer program’s brand awareness:
- Create a brand style guide.
- Develop your brand’s personality.
- Design branded merchandise.
- Use uniform branding across marketing platforms.
Ready to improve your volunteer engagement strategy with greater brand awareness? Let’s dive in.
1. Create a brand style guide.
It’s vital to document all of your brand elements in a written style guide. This guide should consist of all of the defined elements that your team will need while creating any communications on behalf of your organization. Your brand style guide is a crucial guiding resource for creating digital and print marketing materials.
Your brand style guide should include specifications for your brand’s:
- Logo – Include several logo variations, such as black and white versions or other color options.
- Colors – Note your brand colors with their hex codes and label primary and secondary colors.
- Fonts – List all of your approved fonts, when each font should be used, and specify the guidelines for using bold, italics, and different font sizes.
- Tone/message – Provide information on the tone of your volunteer program’s brand by mentioning the types of words your team members should use and when or avoid communications and describe your brand’s personality.
Remember to make your volunteer program style guide easily accessible once completed. Send it out to your full team, and let them know who to contact if they have any questions or concerns. This ensures that everyone is aligned with your brand guidelines!
2. Develop your brand’s personality.
Beyond the visual elements, one of the most impactful elements of your brand strategy is your brand’s personality, tone, and message. These elements convey your program’s beliefs and values and form a strong impression in audience members’ minds.
Your brand’s story and personality are crucial factors that will help you get the attention of your target audience. A brand personality refers to the human characteristics that are associated with a brand. For example, a friendly brand will use more of an informal tone and warm, inviting colors.
Getting Attention’s nonprofit branding guide describes these main elements of developing your brand’s message:
- Connect with your audience using a message that compels them to act.
- Make interacting with your brand a rewarding experience for volunteers.
- Include calls to action to encourage prospective volunteers to join your organization.
- Create a memorable message using emotion and tangible rewards.
When you develop your brand’s personality, it allows you to determine how you will choose other brand elements, such as colors and fonts. These help craft a well-rounded sensory experience for your target audience.
3. Design branded merchandise.
Creating branded merchandise turns your volunteers into walking advertisements for your program. When they wear or use your merchandise in public, they help spread awareness of your logo, colors, and other brand elements. These also make great gifts to show gratitude to your helpful volunteer team!
Consider creating branded merchandise such as:
- T-shirts – This is a great way to promote your volunteer program to a larger audience. Use a t-shirt design platform to develop your custom t-shirts. Remember to brand your t-shirts with your organization’s logo and colors.
- Mugs – Designing mugs with your organization’s logo along with your volunteers’ names reminds them of your organization each time they enjoy a drink! Plus, your logo won’t wear away over time.
- Tote bags – Tote bags can be used over and over again, at the grocery store, department stores, or just for general storage. Consider offering a sustainable tote bag designed for every age and brand it with your company’s colors and logo.
- Sweatshirts – Who doesn’t love comfy sweatshirts? This will not only make a great gift for your volunteers but will easily help get your organization’s name across when your volunteers wear it.
Make things fun by asking your volunteers to participate in a design competition. Ask volunteers to submit design ideas and allow them to vote on their favorites using a poll system. This is a great way to get all your volunteers engaged and feel a part of your nonprofit.
4. Use uniform branding across marketing platforms.
Now that you’ve got a better understanding of your brand’s elements and personality, it’s time to get your strategy up and running. As InitLive’s volunteer management guide explains, effective volunteer recruitment requires a multi-channel marketing approach. To keep your brand consistent and raise awareness, we recommend keeping your branding elements uniform across platforms.
These platforms include your:
- Volunteer management app – This will help you improve your communications with your team by sending alert notifications to everyone all at once. Your volunteer management app can be branded with your logo, colors, and fonts to help reinforce brand recognition and offer volunteers a professional, uniform experience.
- Social media profiles – Social media is one of the most effective ways to reach a large audience all at once! Create fun and engaging posts and stories to attract your viewers. This is the perfect way to tell a story about what your organization is all about.
- Printed materials, such as flyers and direct mail advertisements – This is the time to use your graphic design skills and create exciting flyers and other marketing materials to get your name and brand across! Post these in high-traffic areas where your target market is most likely to see them.
Every marketing message that is created on behalf of your volunteer program is an opportunity to inspire and bring in new people to support your cause. This is why it’s crucial to ensure that all of your materials and communications promote a consistent and cohesive brand story.
Exceptional branding is critical to help you raise awareness of your volunteer program. Now that you’ve learned several ways to boost your program’s brand recognition, it’s time to start planning accordingly and put it into action! Whether you want to attract new volunteers or remind your organization’s existing volunteers why they dedicate their time to your organization, investing in a well-thought-out brand will set your program up for success!
About the Author
Shreya is a creative content creator focusing on delivering information about the importance of volunteerism for nonprofit organizations. She is passionate about creating engaging content, writing, and graphic design to help viewers easily retain information. You can find her work at www.initlive.com or on Linkedin and Twitter.