Strategic plans steer the journey that a nonprofit will take over a number of years. The allocation of resources, the scaffolding of programs both new and old, and the core values that drive your team as you connect with your community all rely on a meticulously crafted plan and process.
While programming, donations, and capacity building often stand at the forefront of these conversations, branding and design play a significant role in the secure and supply of resources for organizational growth and transformation. As nonprofits evaluate how to best serve their communities in the strategic planning process and how to reach beyond their established audience, several questions may come to mind.
Does your website position you as an authoritative leader or as an organization stuck in the past? Are your values translated into design elements like imagery, copy, and color palette? Is your content easy to find and understand for people to engage with?
Though these elements are often overlooked, they do the important work of solidifying who you are in the imagination of your audience and can determine the success of goals like increased donations, visibility of research, and overall engagement. The resources we’ve included below are meant to provide a starting point in thinking about how branding and good visual design can forge sincere audience relationships. We hope you find them useful as your work continues to evolve!
Brand Strategy 101
When you consider brand strategy during the execution of a strategic plan, you hone your mission and values into concrete ways to engage with your audience. Hubspot discusses how the core elements of brand strategy can help you intentionally tap into what resonates with your organization, employees, and audience to deliver an impactful brand experience.
The Force of Brand Strategy and Design
Design is a sensory experience and, for many, vision is the sense in question. This article demonstrates how color palette, website, and other elements of identity can determine how memorable your organization will be in the minds of those you’re trying to reach.
Why is a Clear Brand Strategy so Important to Nonprofit Website Design
A nonprofit’s website plays a pivotal role in driving audience engagement and establishing initial interest with site visitors. Our Founder and Executive Director Matt Schwartz accentuates how credibility, proximity, and impact are determined through website design, and how the right UX choices can directly correlate to an interest in donations, research engagement, exploration, and more.
The Power of Design Translation: Visual Communication
High quality imagery and sleek UX are only one iteration of visual design. In addition to aesthetics, visual design can be used to create tangible “artifacts”—such as images or design elements—that simplify complex ideas. This article highlights how this aspect of design is helpful to both internal stakeholders facilitating the translation of strategy to design and external audiences.
Creating Brand Connectivity Through Design and Content Strategies
Though an emphasis is often placed on a website’s visual strategy, content—and how people are able to access that content—plays a vital role in communicating what your organization stands for. Forbes examines how site navigation, content legibility, and emotive imagery can create genuine connection with key audiences.
How your Brand’s Credibility Starts with Great Visual Design
First impressions matter. Your website, social media, flyers, and other design items are often the first thing that people will know about you, and they speak loudly. This article outlines the importance of aesthetics, usability, and people-centered design to bolster rather than undermine your message.
More Constructively Curated
• Adopting Digital Design Systems to Strengthen Your Nonprofit’s Brand: 8 Resources
• 7 Resources to Help You Understand and Reduce Your Nonprofit’s Technical Debt