In the nonprofit world, when you think about the list of things that impact your organization’s financial health, what normally comes to mind are things like grants, donations, operational expenses, and employee salaries. But there is another, less obvious variable that can have a strong impact on how your brand, and ultimately, your bottom line. It’s your tagline—a few small words that make all the difference in how your nonprofit is perceived by the public.
According to The Nonprofit Tagline Report from GettingAttention.org, the majority of nonprofits don’t even have a tagline, or they are dissatisfied with the ones they currently have. In the report, only 41 percent of the organizations that had taglines rated them as effective.
Why is this important? Because as any good marketer will tell you, your tagline is a powerful extension of your brand name. It identifies who you are, what you do, and why you are different from everyone else. Second only to your nonprofit’s name, your tagline is the most frequently used marketing message you use. And that directly translates to how you are perceived by grant-giving organizations, donors, volunteers, and the public.
The Nonprofit Tagline Report is an excellent resource that offers an extensive list of dos and don’ts for developing a strong tagline. Carve out some time to with your staff, volunteers and other stakeholders to evaluate your existing tagline, or to create a new one from scratch. Use this as an exercise to unify your team on your mission and your elevator pitch.
Here are some highlights from the report to get you started. Your tagline:
- Must be eight words or less
- Must convey your nonprofit’s impact or value
- Must be authentic
- Must make an emotional connection
- Must be specific to your organization
As you work through the process, check out the Nonprofit Tagline Database for some creative inspiration and to make sure that your new tagline isn’t already in use. Your bottom line will thank you!