Communications, brand shifts, and campaigns can be hard to implement amid the current crises.

We can help

Tamaki Sono

Brands

A brand is your organization’s voice. It’s what your audiences read, hear, see, and experience – and the impression that is formed as a result of their observations and engagement with you. Your nonprofit’s voice may be disjointed, murky, and barely louder than a whisper. Or it can ring out clearly, differentiate, and reverberate.

A strong brand is built for the long haul. A rebrand expresses a new strategic plan, the vision of a new leader, an audacious theory of change, or other seismic organizational shifts. Rebranding means communicating your vision authentically. It should advance the mission and help you grow.

We intended to blow the roof off our communications. Big Duck has helped us do that and more. Our voice is clear, direct, and rings true to the work we do every day to dismantle oppression. Everyone on our team has the tools to tell our story, and together, we’re connecting with and inspiring the next generation to get involved in our cases.

— Vince Warren, Executive Director, The Center for Constitutional Rights

Big Duck has been developing the voices of determined nonprofits since 1994. By seamlessly combining elements of strategic planning, rebranding, and communications, we tailor the process to your organization and build on the work you’ve already done. We even wrote the sector’s most widely regarded book on nonprofit branding (it’s called Brandraising).

Our step-by-step brandraising process clarifies and activates your organization’s most powerful voice. It includes crafting a brand strategy, messaging, and visuals that everyone can use, delivered with a comprehensive brand guide and training.

In addition to producing stellar strategic and creative work, Big Duck’s staff of strategists, designers, writers, and account managers will help you manage other variables that influence your rebrand’s success. That includes navigating buy-in issues, managing your board’s participation, prioritizing multiple audiences, and more.

Big Duck gets to the core of what your organization’s communications must accomplish to advance your mission.

Brand strategy

A nonprofit’s vision, mission, and objectives, which may evolve as the result of new leadership, external changes, and other variables, inform its brand strategy. Big Duck regularly works with nonprofits that have recently undergone strategic planning to translate that work into clear communications strategies, objectives, and plans. 

Brand strategy includes positioning (the primary idea you want people to associate with your organization) and personality (the ideal tone and style for all of its communications). With these as a guide, it becomes clearer what needs to change and how to communicate.

We also lead strategic processes where clear communications outcomes are essential. Our expert facilitators provide an objective voice to keep your team focused on the ideas that matter most. Our writers and designers then translate those ideas and bring them to life.

Messaging

Effective messaging can help your staff and board members write and speak with greater clarity, consistency, and impact. Big Duck develops overarching messaging that helps your team explain your organization, persuasive messaging to motivate a particular audience to take a particular action (for instance, to make a major gift), and interim messaging during a period of change or transition (for instance, when in-person programs are closed or there’s a change in leadership).

Identity systems

Big Duck’s in-house creative team includes writers and designers who expertly craft logos, taglines, organizational and program names, and other elements that express your nonprofit’s voice clearly and powerfully. This includes redefining the hierarchy of your programs, events, and initiatives in relation to each other and your master brand (brand architecture).

Day-to-day brandraising

Your organization’s voice is expressed through all the places your team writes, speaks, designs, and shares. Big Duck’s process includes creating easy-to-use digital brand guides and trainings so you’re equipped for success from the start. We help you update your website, create new templates, or set up your existing staff and partners so you’ve got what you need to communicate clearly and consistently every day.

Models, movements, and coalitions

Big Duck regularly works with coalitions and groups of nonprofits to define the messaging, marks, and other elements that unite and define the voice of their collaboration or movement. We also help organizations visualize and explain unique programmatic models and frameworks in simple, clear terms that make them easier to explain, share, and scale.

Over the years, Big Duck has helped us shape the voice of our organization. We’ve leveraged that brand in our programs, fundraising, and advocacy efforts, establishing our leadership and engaging people to join our cause. We’ve more than doubled our annual budget, funded life-saving research, and passed legislation along the way. Big Duck has helped us refine and shape our identity at every stage.

— Pat Furlong, CEO, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy

Let’s transform your voice from a whisper to a rallying cry.