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Gone are the days in which charities were able to effectively fund their efforts through promises of “making the world a better place.” While that is an admirable goal, finding people who are willing to donate to such a vague statement is sure to be challenging. In such a brand-heavy world, clearly explaining an organization’s purpose and making its strategies public information is what can ultimately lead to an increase in donors.

Competition is sure to factor in when approaching charity marketing from a branding perspective. But, it’s important to distinguish the difference between a charity brand and a commercial brand. Commercial brands thrive on the idea of having to compete, where as charity brands must instead cooperate. The purpose of a charitable organization is to work alongside like minded businesses and individuals that believe in a similar cause, and form mutually beneficial relationships.

Unlike corporate brands who consider their personal strategies sacred, charities should actually encourage the repurposing of their work. Spreading word of their efforts is one of the best ways charitable organizations can gain donors. What better way to do this than to have people share your brand across all platforms? Take a look at the Breast Cancer Now logo for example. This is something simple enough to be reprinted on nearly every possible surface possible, and one that can be copied with ease.

“Participation matters more than perception,” as stated by Nicholas Liddell of The Clearing. Rather than wanting donors to regard themselves as “loyal customers,” charities should push to have more people incorporate their donations within their daily lives. That being said, the ways of going about this should be anything but difficult. The easier it is support the charity, the more people will be inclined to participate. For example, a food bank partnering with a local restaurant in which a certain percentage of proceeds are donated back to that bank is a mutually beneficial relationship, with funds going to both parties, and those willing to help not having to perform a challenging task to do so.

Many nonprofits and charities fall short in terms of financing to truly challenge their corporate rivals at their own game. However, that is not the end-all-be-all factor for effective marketing. A truly successful charity brand is one that touches the hearts of people across the world, and is one of collaboration and compassion. Reminding donors that we are all human is a surefire way to inspire them to give.