Report: Nonprofits Have Major Branding Problem in Weak Taglines

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Taglines are the best way to succinctly convey nonprofits' value, but 7 in 10 nonprofits rate their taglines as poor or don't have one at all. Now, a newly-released report based on recent survey findings drawn from 1,900 nonprofit communicators shows that most nonprofits don't have an organizational tagline that works to make their organizations' value clear, and easy to remember and repeat. This free report guides organizations on developing strong nonprofit taglines to address this critical marketing gap.

Nonprofits can develop a tagline at the organization, program or campaign levels to freshen up their messaging, emphasize their commitment and/or revive tired positioning

A newly-released report based on recent survey findings drawn from 1,900 nonprofit communicators shows that most nonprofits don't have an organizational tagline that works to make their organizations' value clear, and easy to remember and repeat.

"You might say 'A tagline is a terrible thing to waste'," says Nancy Schwartz, communications consultant and author of the report, alluding to the classic UNCF tagline 'A mind is a terrible thing to waste.'

"A nonprofit organization's tagline is, next to its name, the marketing message most frequently heard, and the easiest and most effective way to convey its brand," says Schwartz, president of Nancy Schwartz & Company (http://www.nancyschwartz.com) and blogger at Getting Attention (http://www.gettingattention.org).

"A strong tagline complements an organization's name to convey its unique value or impact with personality, passion and commitment. Nonprofits that fail to make the most of their taglines are basically throwing that opportunity away," she says.

Schwartz sees taglines as a key tool in building strong nonprofit brands, which are more important than ever in these times of increased competition for dollars, members, volunteers and other supporters. "Nonprofits can develop a tagline at the organization, program or campaign levels to freshen up their messaging, emphasize their commitment and/or revive tired positioning," she says.

==> More key findings:    
--> Nonprofit taglines that work generally fall into one of four categories, describing an organization's focus of work; impact or value; core values or spirit; or strategic approach.

--> An effective nonprofit tagline:

  • Relates to an organization's name, without repeating it
  • Must be easily accessible, memorable and repeatable
  • Is specific to that organization
  • Runs eight words or less.
  • Features verbs.
  • The leading reason that nonprofits don't have taglines is…they never thought of it (33%).
  • Human services lead the way in having taglines (75%), with grantmakers just behind.

--> Environmental organizations hold up the rear, with only 30% using taglines (while the field is becoming increasingly high-profile, complex and competitive).

Now The Nonprofit Tagline Report analyzing survey findings is available to the nonprofit community at no charge. This report features:

  • The 10 Have-Tos for Successful Taglines - Guiding readers to put their nonprofit marketing into high gear.
  • The 7 Deadly Sins - Examples of what not to do.
  • What Makes a Winning Tagline - Winners of the 2008 Nonprofit Tagline Awards.
  • Over 1,000 Nonprofit Tagline Examples to put to work for tagline brainstorming.

Download the report here:
    http://www.gettingattention.org/nonprofit_tagline_report.html
==> The Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards
The Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards program came about when so many powerful taglines were submitted to the recent Getting Attention survey on nonprofit taglines. More than 1,000 taglines were submitted as part of the survey.

The awards, to be conferred annually, represent the best taglines in all nonprofit sectors. After the 62 2008 tagline finalists were carefully selected, the 12 award winners were chosen by 3,062 nonprofit professionals who voted in an online poll.

Congratulations to the 12 award winners voted best in class. The organizations behind these taglines--which range from a new organization run by a part-time volunteer (LandChoices) to the well-established, big and global (UNICEF) did an admirable job in putting eight words or less to work to build their brands.

A list of the winners and more detail on the competition can be found here:    http://www.gettingattention.org/my_weblog/files/AwardWinners.pdf
==> The Nonprofit Tagline Survey
The Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Survey, implemented December 2007 through January 2008, investigated styles, usage trends, what's working and what's not in nonprofit taglines based on data provided by 1,900 nonprofit communicators working in organizations across 11 vertical sectors and countless locations (mostly in the United States).

Participant organizations ranged from the Pulmonary Hypertension Association to the Bendigo (Australia) Figure Skating Club and the Oregon Center for Public Policy. Respondents held a variety of positions within their organizations, although marketers, fundraisers and executive directors were most strongly represented.

==> For More Information on Award Winners, Survey Findings and 2009 Award Program
Download a copy of The Nonprofit Tagline Report at
http://www.gettingattention.org/nonprofit_tagline_report.html

When you do, you'll automatically be added to the list to receive information on the 2009 award program when available.

Or contact report author Nancy Schwartz for more information at nancy(at)nancyschwartz.com or 973-762-0079.

==> About Getting Attention/Nancy Schwartz
The Getting Attention blog and e-newsletters (http://www.gettingattention.org) are no-charge, high-value sources of ideas, tactics, and tips for nonprofit communicators focused on helping their organizations succeed through effective marketing. Publisher and Editor Nancy Schwartz also provides nonprofit marketing services via Nancy Schwartz & Company (http://www.nancyschwartz.com)

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