Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash
2 min Read
July 30, 2019

5 lessons from our Summer Brandraising Academy

Hundreds of nonprofit staff joined us for our first-ever Summer Brandraising Academy, a free five-part webinar series designed to build your team’s branding, fundraising, and communications skills.

In case you missed any of them or want to re-watch your favorite, here’s one takeaway from each webinar, along with a link each recording.

Is it time to change your nonprofit’s name?

Big Duck’s Farra Trompeter and three nonprofit communicators who led their organizations—Candid, Community Change, and Race Forward—through name changes discussed how to assess if your organization should change its name and how to successfully navigate a name change and rebrand.

Top takeaway: Buy-in from your staff and board is crucial.

When Race Forward changed its name from the Applied Research Center, the organization’s founder, board, and staff were engaged during the entire process—from building consensus at the start to training stakeholders how to use the new name and brand.

Tell a good story: Crafting mission statements and messages for your organization

Chandra M. Hayslett of the Center for Constitutional Rights and Farra Trompeter shared how to evaluate and evolve your mission statement and craft key messages that are memorable and consistent.

Top takeaway: Prioritize your audiences and focus on their needs.

By identifying who their story was for and what motivates those audiences, the Center for Constitutional Rights was able to target their messages to engage specific personas.

Writing and designing for major donors

Big Duck’s Sarah Durham and Claire Taylor Hansen shared their creative tips for concepting, writing, and designing materials to engage major donors, during capital campaigns and beyond.

Top takeaway: Make sure your major donor communications inspire, inform, and reassure.

Donors need to be excited to give, and also know that their investment is a smart one and will have a meaningful impact.

Turf wars to love connection: Get your teams to stop fighting like cats and dogs

Digital engagement strategist Chris Tuttle and Farra Trompeter led a conversation on improving collaboration between development and communications teams.

Top takeaway: Create purpose statements that define each department, connected to your organization’s mission and used to guide how each work together.

With clear delineation of purpose, teams can eliminate confusion or frustration over who manages what and when/how to better collaborate.

So many choices, so little time: Setting strategies to guide your tactics

Big Duck’s Laura Fisher and Farra Trompeter and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s Meghan Finn shared how defining your communications strategies can help determine which tactics and channels are worth your time and resources.

Top takeaway: Start with the end in mind.

Considering organizational context and goals, the ultimate problem you need to solve with communications, and what success looks like will help you set your communications strategies and determine your tactics.