Building Trust: The Role of Authenticity in Nonprofit Branding

Authenticity is a critical ingredient in nonprofit branding.

According to one poll, 88% of donors and supporters say authenticity is a key factor in deciding whether or not to support a nonprofit or when comparing nonprofits to each other and choosing which to support. For nonprofits, authenticity is critical to reaching passionate supporters quickly and turning interest into impact.

The Importance of Trust in Branding

Trust in branding is essential, which is why nonprofits should be open about their vision. They should show, plainly, their genuine commitment to their beneficiaries. Nonprofits build trust among donors by clearly documenting what they do to support the community and then showing that documentation to their supporters.

What Does it Mean to Lead with Authenticity?

“Just be yourself” may be the mantra of pursuing personal authenticity, but how does that translate to a nonprofit’s branding? With so many organizations, institutions, for-profit businesses, and other nonprofits competing for attention, how does a nonprofit brand itself as the most authentic? The one that is worth the audience’s attention?

Authenticity can be achieved by following a list of Do’s and Dont’s:

  • Do be consistent in your branding. Don’t rely on jargon or peppy lines that are overused.
  • Do incorporate interactive elements like visual storytelling. Don’t just copy/paste other trends.
  • Do prioritize creating quality branding material over quantity, and don’t overcomplicate the brand.
  • Do seek to include all potential audiences by creating relatable branding, but don’t come off as generic.
  • Do create branding that gets people talking about and interacting with the brand, but don’t overpromise.
  • Do train each team member on the nonprofit’s brand, and never use negative imagery when representing the brand.

Three Strategies for Building Nonprofit Credibility

Statistics on the importance of nonprofit credibility don’t lie. According to consumer reports, 74% of survey respondents say a strong, credible brand identity boosts recurring donations. About 81% of respondents say they need to trust a brand before giving money to it, a metric confirmed by the fact that consistent, authentic branding increases nonprofit revenue by 23%.

But how does a nonprofit build authentic and transparent brand credibility within its target communities? Three strategies include:

  • Publish case studies. The most transparent way a nonprofit can show communities what it’s capable of is by publishing case studies and delivering comprehensive presentations that outline the beginning, middle, and end of the nonprofit’s projects.
  • Display reviews and testimonials. Nonprofits should publish reviews and testimonials of people helped by the nonprofit, people who work with the nonprofit, plus volunteers, donors, and community members. Such real-life depictions of peoples’ experiences with the nonprofit build authentic credibility within the community.
  • Craft a clear and compelling mission statement. Mission statements are prime real estate in every nonprofit’s branding, one of the most-read pieces of text a nonprofit will ever publish. A compelling and unique mission statement invites the audience to relate to the nonprofit on a personal level.

Sulzer Inc. Helps Nonprofits Lead Through Transparent Communication

Transparent communication is key in nonprofit branding because nonprofits rely on trust and camaraderie to garner support from the community. To learn how to craft compelling, genuine, honest, and authentic brand messaging, contact Sulzer Inc. today.