Ultimate Guide For Nonprofit Brand Building For Your Startup

Written by

Tyler Besse

Published on


So now that you know how important building a brand identity for your nonprofit is, let’s get down to some of the foundational aspects involved in launching a nonprofit startup.

Nonprofit Name And Personality

What’s in a name? For a nonprofit organization, a name can make a huge difference in the public’s opinion.

When choosing a name for your nonprofit, look for the following factors:

  • Memorability. Nonprofits tend to have straightforward names, often using the locality or the name of the person who set up the organization. Even within those typical limits, you can choose a name that stands out, rather than something generic. Make sure that your nonprofit’s name won’t easily be confused with something else. And it looks good when you create your logo design
  • Ease of spelling and pronunciation. Unsurprisingly, a name that is difficult to pronounce or spell tends to turn people away from a company or organization. If possible, opt for a simple name using only a few words.
  • Communicates the purpose of the nonprofit effectively. Nonprofits also tend to include the intended purpose behind their setup in the name, such as “Alexander Dawson Endowment For The Arts.” Including the purpose of your nonprofit within the name reinforces the message and mission each time the name is used.

Along with the name, craft the brand personality. Nonprofit organizations tend to be centered around trustworthiness, which is always a good starting point for your brand. But depending on the purpose behind your organization, your brand personality may take on other, more specific or unique personality traits: humanitarian, family-centered, dignified, intellectual, educational, and so on.

Your brand personality should mesh well with the chosen name, and should reflect the goals and values of the nonprofit as a whole.

Constructing Your Website

A dedicated website is the home headquarters of a nonprofit, so it goes without saying that your site should be designed in a way that accurately reflects the personality, priorities, and values of your organization.

  • A few vital aspects of an effective nonprofit website include:
  • A clean, simple layout which makes it easy to understand the information included on the page.
  • User-friendly navigation.
  • All the important information, such as contact information or frequently asked questions, should be easy to locate.
  • Content that is educational, informative, and accurate, as well as easy to read.
  • Calls to action, making it clear what your audience can do to help and why they should want to.
  • Effective use of photos, illustrations, infographics, and other visuals.
  • Effective use of videos when possible.


To further make use of your website, it’s recommended to include a blog, either on a separate but linked site or hosted on your main site itself. Regularly updated blogs keep public interest up, as well as making it easier for search engines to quantify, rank, and suggest your site.

Make sure to include on your site a section to acknowledge sponsors and funding. This is a great way to not only show your appreciation for these contributors but also to build your brand’s reputation as a caring nonprofit who takes note of others and gives back whenever possible. This may sound manipulative, but gratitude is an effective way to market your brand personality.

Networking Effectively

  • Naming:
    • Memorable
    • Easy to spell and say
    • Evocative
    • On-message
    • Unique
  • Personality:
    • On-message
    • Appealing
    • True to your mission
  • Visuals:
    • Logo
    • Promotional materials
    • Marketing materials
    • Business cards
    • Banners and headers
    • Pamphlets and brochures
    • Infographics
  • Website:
    • Simple layout
    • Easy to navigate
    • Good user experience
    • Easy for your visitor to locate important information
    • CTAs
    • Graphics, videos, logo, etc.
  • Social media:
    • Social media presence on different platforms
    • Interact with followers
    • Network with other nonprofits
    • Increase awareness 

Use Branding To Build Awareness Of Your Nonprofit

Running a nonprofit isn’t exactly identical to running a more traditional for-profit company, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any similarities. And how you structure and reinforce your branding for your startup is an important correlation.

Follow the branding checklist above, making sure that everything harmonizes for a coherent brand presence and personality. The more appealing your branding, the easier it is to raise awareness of your nonprofit startup. There may be a lot of factors to consider, but it’s as simple as that.

About Hailey Anne

Embracing the work and travel paradigm wholeheartedly, Hailey likes to write while she’s exploring the world’s destinations. She ghost writes for her clients in the night and enjoy new cities by day. Connect with her for freelance writing projects. 

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