FUNdraising Good Times: When does your nonprofit need to rebrand? An interview with Christopher Lee

FUNdraising Good Times

Nonprofits focus on making change, serving residents, healing patients, educating students, conducting research, and advocating for civil rights and liberties amongst other priorities. But what about a focus on “brand?” Should that be a nonprofit priority? Our opinion is “yes.” Your brand is, quite simply, how your constituents, donors, funders, and community know who you are, what you do, and why they should care.

We recently had the opportunity to talk with Christopher E. Lee, CEO of Think Inspired and we asked him many questions about brand. This is part three of our interview with Lee and his focus is brand measurement, when to rebrand, and what rebranding entails.

Measuring a branding program. There are several ways an organization can measure the impact of a branding program. As mentioned earlier, specific quantitative and qualitative analyses can be performed to determine the success of a campaign or identify improvement opportunities. Additionally, a brand’s management team can tabulate results based on their specific call to action, within the campaign. For example, did you see an increase in donors, attendees, or another key performance indicator deemed appropriate for the specific campaign.

What are the clues that indicate your organization may need to rebrand? If you are in a mature market or if you are noticing new and innovative competitors rising within your market or community, you may want to begin gaining insights into market perceptions of your brand. Based on these results your organization’s leadership team may want to explore brand modification tactics.  Also, if you have noticed several quarters of decreased giving; or a drop in the number of donors, funders, sponsors, students, or event attendees; or challenges to revenue in general, your leadership team may want to seriously consider rebranding efforts. You want to take action to maintain your brand equity while updating messaging, visual brand identity or market positioning.

What does a nonprofit need to do as it prepares to start the rebranding process? The first thing is to be honest in evaluating the current perceptions and market analysis of their brand. Many times, long-tenured leaders have a difficult time accepting the fact that market dynamics are ever evolving and that a once-held position in the marketplace may no longer be valid. The first step in the rebranding process should be to conduct a S.W. O.T. Analysis. This allows a brand to understand their brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  The results should provide insights into the rebranding process.

How long does it take to complete a rebranding campaign? There is not specific time frame allotted to a rebranding campaign.  Like most things in the life of a nonprofit, the budget allocated to the process will dictate the scope and time required for rebranding.

Our experience is that your brand communicates who you are and how operate. Whether you are aware of it or not, your brand impacts your fundraising. Take the time to review and leverage your brand: your organization is worth it.

You can always reach Lee at or 901-201-4419.

Copyright 2019 – Mel and Pearl Shaw

When you are ready to build a fund development program, grow your fundraising, or increase board engagement we are here to help. (901) 522-8727.


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