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Is your brand hurting your fundraising?


25 July 2019 at 8:29 am
Maggie Coggan
Branding should be built to support an organisation’s fundraising needs, not as an object of vanity, a new report warns.


Maggie Coggan | 25 July 2019 at 8:29 am


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Is your brand hurting your fundraising?
25 July 2019 at 8:29 am

Branding should be built to support an organisation’s fundraising needs, not as an object of vanity, a new report warns.

The report, published on Tuesday by the Philanthropy Centre and commissioned by ACA Philanthropy and Fundraising, found that investing in fundraising is linked to better financial results instead of just spending money on branding. 

Philanthropy Centre chief executive Adrian Sargeant, who co-authored the research with academic Harriet Day, said too many NFPs saw the brand as an object of vanity, and didn’t understand that investing more in fundraising would bring in more money.  

“Our work shows the folly of this approach. Or at least the folly if the goal is to raise

massively more income to make an organisation’s vision a reality,” Sargeant said. 

Financial accounts of 30 leading UK charities were examined for the research, and organisations with high levels of fundraising growth were interviewed to understand how brands were managed, and how branding could be leveraged to boost fundraising performance.

The research found that money spent on fundraising alone could account for 87 per cent of the variation in fundraising income, while money spent on the brand only contributed to 1 per cent of that increase.  

The report found that brands could play a role in making a charity “fundraisable” during the creation of the brand strategy if all employees understood the role of the brand was to build fundraising success. 

“Our outstanding fundraising organisations had been able to use the branding process to harness the passion the whole organisation had for the ‘why’ and thus lay the groundwork for everyone to understand why fundraising was so important and to get fully behind it,” the report said.  

Strong fundraising brands were also more likely to focus on purpose, proposition, personality, and passion.

These factors were consistent with the stimulation of “brand love”, and the report said that lessons could be learned from the commercial sector on how to develop that. 

Find a full copy of the report here. 


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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