Targeted Impact: Episode 6 Recap with Katie Appold

Marketing August 25, 2020


WildApricot’s Targeted Impact is a free bi-weekly Q&A session with experts in the membership and nonprofit space, dedicated to helping membership organizations thrive. 


We invite experts to answer your most pressing questions on topics ranging from membership growth to virtual fundraising and everything in between.


In Episode 6, we sat down with Katie Appold, Executive Director of Do More Good, to answer your most pressing questions about nonprofit branding and marketing.


Katie shared insights on the importance of branding, how much to spend on marketing, and how to use branding and marketing to grow your nonprofit. 


If you were unable to attend this episode of Targeted Impact, be sure to check out the recording.


As always, because we didn’t have time to answer every question from the audience, Katie has addressed the remaining questions in this blog post. Feel free to jump to the topic you’re most interested in or read them in order:

Benefits of Branding

Q: What are the benefits of branding?

For an organization of any size, scope, or purpose, a brand is as necessary as a mission statement. It is your organization’s identity, and when developed and managed well, it can work on your organization’s behalf. Think of your own identity…What do your friends and family believe you stand for? What personality traits define you? What physical traits are you most recognized for? Your organization’s brand is not dissimilar. It should have purpose, a consistent look, and behavior.

A logo is critical to building a brand, but it is only one small piece of a larger representation of your organization. Howard Schulz, founder of Starbucks and well-recognized branding expert, is quoted as saying when it comes to a brand, “everything matters.” Every touchpoint of your organization, be it your acknowledgement letter for a donation, the greeting guests receive when they enter your building, or the website where visitors go to learn about your work, matters. Is your message consistent and clear? Check out this Do More Good blog post titled Touch Every Touchpoint to take your brand further.

Brand Recognition 

Q: How do we increase brand recognition?

Organizations need to show up to be recognized. If your logo only appears on your website, your brand recognition is going to be limited to those who frequent that site. Effective marketing is a combination of positioning (where you show up), messaging (what you do/say) and frequency (how often you show up). To grow your brand recognition, show up in more places with a consistent presence and message.

Work your network, starting with your board, to build strategic partnerships, reference links, and social mentions that will build your exposure. Make sure your touchpoints with your audience are consistent across all platforms, and frequently post content to all platforms to keep engagement up. It’ll take time and attention, but your brand recognition and audience will grow.


Q: What type of budget does marketing require?

The marketing budget for an organization should be between 10-20% of gross income for a nonprofit in growth mode. For newer organizations, this is going to be on the high end, closer to 25%.

Famous business guru, Peter Drucker, famously stated that the purpose of a business is to, “create and keep a customer.” For a nonprofit, finding and retaining support is critical to being able to carry out your mission.  Too often, nonprofits worry about the “expense” of advertising and marketing while they struggle to raise adequate support for their mission. Marketing your organization should be seen as an investment in capacity building and long-term sustainability.

Leveraging Branding 

Q: How can we use our brand to convey our mission, promote membership and get donations?

Your brand’s messaging needs to be clear and consistent but finding the message that connects best with your audience can take some testing. Political candidates and big brands spend millions of dollars on testing words, images, and messages that connect best with their intended audience. While that sort of investment probably isn’t necessary for your organization, learning the preferences of your desired audience can help you craft winning messages.

Consider conducting a survey of current, past, and prospective donors using messages that your organization has utilized in the past as well as new ones you’re interested in trying. Be sure to only test one variable at a time (avoid compound sentences) to narrow in on the words and propositions that most appeal to your target audience. Join Do More Good on December 3rd for An Amplified Message workshop to take this step even further.

Attracting sponsors and support during the pandemic is a unique challenge facing all nonprofits. Despite the added challenges to fundraising during a pandemic, your organization should not stop seeking support. Check out Do More Good’s guide to communicating during COVID-19 for tips on how to reach your audience.

Branding in Practice 

Q: What's the most effective way to use branding without relying on it too little or too much?

If you’re the person managing your branding, it can feel like overkill to have your logo in so many places. Are people sick of seeing it? Should different images be used? Keep in mind that you see your brand more than your external audience does. What seems like overkill to you, may not even be enough to garner attention from the outside world.

Consistency is key to building your organization’s audience. It takes, on average, nine interactions with your brand before someone will recall it. That is a lot of exposure. If you feel like your logo is overused or perhaps does not work well in a particular expression, i.e. swag item or literature, consider drawing off your other brand elements, i.e. colors, shapes, name. Your brand is more than your logo, but identifiable and tastefully utilized elements of your brand should be present whenever possible.

Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Nonprofit Branding

Additional Resources

For more insights on how to build your brand and your audience, sign up for the Do More Good Nonprofit Conference on October 1, 2020. You’ll hear thought leaders from Facebook, Compassion International, The White House and more, as they share their wisdom to help nonprofits do more good. Use promo code WILDGOOD to receive $25 off each pass.

 Do More Good Conference 

So there you have it! A huge thank you to Katie for joining us on Episode 6 of Targeted Impact and for taking the time to address the questions we didn’t get to in the live Q&A session.

Don’t forget, if you didn’t get a chance to attend the live session, you can check out the recording here.

What’s Next?

Episode 7 of Targeted Impact is just around the corner. On Thursday, August 27, at 3:00 PM EST, we will sit down with Robbie Kellman Baxter, leading expert on subscription pricing and membership models, and the author of The Forever Transaction

Sign up here and come prepared with your questions for Robbie. Hope to see you there! 

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