Nobody knows how to tell a compelling brand story better than nonprofit organizations. Packed with emotion and punctuated by a direct call to action, the nonprofit brand story is a well-crafted and effective marketing tool for communicating mission, conveying impact and engaging audiences. Even before it was a buzzword, storytelling was at the heart of nonprofit marketing. Successful nonprofits have always been able to identify a need and share their unique solution in a way that resonates with donors, volunteers and the community to accomplish their goals.
So what happens to that brand story when a global pandemic shifts everything from daily operations to fundraising to service delivery?
How do nonprofits continue to tell a compelling story when there are so many barriers? Well, if there’s one thing we’ve learned from working with nonprofit leaders for 15 years, it’s that they are the best-equipped professionals when it comes to overcoming obstacles, shifting direction quickly, and doing more with less.
As we engaged in discussion with the applicants for this year’s PIP Nonprofit Award, we asked what challenges they are facing in response to COVID-19. They shared their marketing and operational challenges which included:
- Delivering services safely
- Raising funds during an economic crisis
- Reimagining events in a virtual environment
- Reaching audiences without existing communication and referral channels
- Communicating quickly and clearly with multiple audiences
- Sifting through the information and resources available to nonprofits
- Adapting to a virtual work environment and keeping their team engaged and motivated
- Managing and engaging volunteers in a new environment
- Understanding the long-term impact of the pandemic and assessing the organization’s sustainability
As we contemplated all of these challenges, we realized that nonprofits are not only faced with making operational and financial changes, but they are also tasked with telling a new story. In order to take their nonprofit to the next phase of this crisis and beyond, nonprofit marketers are going to have to weave some messages into their brand story to address the way they serve in a post-pandemic environment.
One of the things we’re excited about doing is collaborating with our PIP Award recipient, RVAg, to help tell a more consistent and compelling brand story – not just in response to COVID-19, but as a tool for marketing in the new normal. We’ve invited all of our PIP applicants, along with our PIP Partners (Feedback, Journey Seven and Good Run Research and Recreation) and several of our nonprofit clients and friends, to join us for a free, virtual discussion about nonprofit marketing in the new normal.
Want to learn more about how nonprofits are adapting to the challenges of COVID-19 and shifting their marketing in response to the pandemic? Join us for a free virtual event: