Why your non-profit brand identity is important

Jun 27, 2017 | Non-Profit


As a non-profit brand identity can get a bit confusing but today we are going to help you understand what brand identity is, why your non-profit brand identity is important and finally go over what makes a good logo. To keep this blog short and less complicated we will be going over one part of your identity, which is your logo. We will also go over three non-profit logo examples that we love and talk about what makes them good.

What is brand identity?

Simply stated a brand identity is “anything that visually represents your non-profit”. For example, your logo, your marketing collateral, the colors you use on the wall when I walk into your non-profit’s headquarters, it can even be your website. In our opinion, a website is one of the best forms of identity in the digital world as of now. A great tool and hub for your entire brand. But again, today we will be focusing on the logo within your brand identity and nothing else.

So why is brand identity important?

Here is a list, in no specific order, on why brand identity is important:

1.) It defines who you are and what you stand for.

2.) It will target the right donors and get them supporting you.

3.) It has a strong psychological effect and creates an overall experience.

4.) It’s the overall perception of your non-profit.

What makes a really good logo?

1.) It will work when big or small.

2.) It must work in black and white.

3.) It must be able to work across different mediums.

4.) It must be timeless.

5.) It must tell your story and have a meaning.

Three strong examples of non-profits logos

(Note that these are our own comments and opinions about the logos, we may be right, we may be wrong.)

1.) Invisible Children Logo

The invisible children logo is in classic black and white, has a very bold font/typography that fits with the type of difficult tasks the organization tackles every day. It also has a distressed look that adds a great element to the logo and may even represent the distressed environment that the children in Africa live in on a daily basis.

And finally one of the biggest points to this logo is that it’s strictly using lettering, there is no icon in this logo because the NAME itself is very strong, powerful and empowering. It would have been easy to just put a child’s silhouette or something of the sort but they didn’t go with the cliche or the first thought and went with something more unique. Props on that!

The name itself makes you think, Why are these children invisible? How can something like this be silent? The children and family stories in Africa weren’t being told in America’s mass media. Invisible Children made that happen with their great non-profit campaigns, marketing, and branding efforts. So does the logo speak the story? Yes!

2.) To Write Love on Her Arms Logo

To Write Love on Her Arms is in black and white but what makes this logo unique is that actually directly communicates to younger teenagers and young adults struggling with suicide. How? It’s directly linked to a great story and music!

But what really makes this logo great is that the name was originally a very real and emotional story that converted into a great non-profit, name, logo and overall brand. Even the tiny star that you see on the logo has an interesting touch and we think it’s related to the original story and here is a snippet to finalize this logo: “Tell them to look up. Tell them to remember the stars.” Does this give you hope if you are having troubles with suicide and does this speak its story? Absolutely.

3.) WWF (World Wildlife Fund) Logo

World Wildlife Fund is a long name so what did they do? They shortened the name by just using the initials- WWF. This logo teaches us that it is important to think about where you are using your logo if you have a long name. Thinking about it can save you the trouble of trying to squeeze it into different mediums where it possibly won’t work.

Another great aspect of the WWF logo is that it utilizes great negative space which in turn keeps the logo simple and timeless. You do not need to keep all the details and overcomplicate it.

We also found a great web page by WWF that goes over more information on the logo. Here is a great snippet from the website that we thought we would share:

“We wanted an animal that is beautiful, is endangered, and one loved by many people in the world for its appealing qualities. We also wanted an animal that had an impact in black and white to save money on printing costs.” -Sir Peter Scott

We hope you found this article and our accompanying video useful and that you implement some of the things we went over. If you need help with your logo do not hesitate to contact us for more information! More coming soon.


Article Author

Victoria Islas – Founder of Creative Two / Omni Online Marketer & Designer

She is inbound marketing certified, loves creating amazing projects for her clients and enjoys reading a great book on marketing or music. On other days, she is spending time with her kettlebells and playing guitar.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.