Only if your nonprofit wants to survive in the online era, when there is absolutely NO barrier to entry. Anyone who can build a website can attract a constituency to support precisely what your organization is already doing.

Your protection? Your brand … clearly recognized, sharply defined, and positively regarded.

In The Agitator’s recent DonorTrends survey, we probed a bit the "established & familiar" versus "new kid on the block" issue. Which isn’t to say a newcomer can’t quickly establish a strong, recognized brand … indeed that’s part of the "problem" … or better, challenge, for established groups.

In our survey, 40% agreed with the statement: "I prefer to support well-established organizations rather than new ones." 23% disagreed and 38% were sitting in the middle … on the fence. Not comforting to existing brands.

Similarly, 40% also agreed with this statement: "If I haven’t already heard about a charity or cause in the media or by word of mouth, I won’t contribute." 27% disagreed and 33% sat on the fence. The message here … you’ve got to get into the "consideration set" … and that’s what a strong brand helps you do.

Our DonorTrends survey measured for the first time donors’ awareness of and regard for over 100 "leading" nonprofits. More on those results in the coming weeks.

Meantime, we urge you to read Nancy Schwartz’s tutorial on nonprofit branding. Excellent insights and practical advice. For this contribution, Nancy, you deserve a raise!

Tom

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