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Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding: Seven Principles to Power Extraordinary Results Hardcover – October 26, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Seven Principles to Power Extraordinary Results

At a time of intense competition, low barrier to entry, and lightning-quick brand recognition, leading nonprofits are building more value-rich branding programs. They are proactively creating business models that bring their brand to life in the hearts and minds of their stakeholders. Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding demonstrates how a constituency-focused, compelling brand can revolutionize an organization and the way people view and support it.

As practiced in real life, most nonprofits define "branding" as their visual identity produced to aid in awareness and fundraising. However important logos and trademarks are, this limited perspective leaves a significant amount of value on the table. Visionary, mission-driven organizations recognize brand as a bigger canvas for their work. To them, branding is the daily expression of their purpose and a way to communicate their promise to stakeholders. Their brand is their trust mark—their commitment to consistently deliver on who they are, what they stand for, and their unique benefits.

Drawing on their combined seventy plus years of experience in the nonprofit and corporate sectors, the authors studied eleven visionary nonprofits to reveal the seven principles for transforming a brand from ordinary trademark to strategic competitive advantage. The groups profiled reflect a variety of sizes, breadths, regions, and issues. The common thread is that their brand work has resulted in greater social impact and vibrant growth.

Through the use of case studies, Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding reveals how:

  • A nonprofit put its renewed brand to work to propel its organization forward—despite inconsistent community support

  • Renewed brand meaning heightened stakeholder commitment, stabilized an organization's financial position, and empowered it to weather a roiling economy

  • A small organization's brand campaign resulted in exceptional growth

  • A re-brand transformed a nonprofit, enabling it to expand from a regional to national footprint

  • One of the largest nonprofits lost momentum and regained direction through a revitalized brand process

Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding shows you how to create a brand that creates unique value, builds deep relationships, fosters loyal communities, and increases social impact. It offers a practical road map and essential tool for nonprofit leaders, board members, and volunteers, as well as communications professionals, development consultants, marketing agencies, academics, students, and all those interested in catalyzing dynamic results for the organizations they serve.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding

"Nonprofit organizations have to realize they are competing for mindshare not only with other nonprofits, but with for profit corporations as well. The keys to success are in this book, and practical tools and advice will jump off the pages to advance the missions of organizations both large and small."
—Cass Wheeler, Strategic Consultant and retired CEO, American Heart Association

"Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding guides nonprofit organizations to think beyond branding as a logo and a tagline and gives them a clear road map for capturing the minds, hearts, and hands of their audiences. This must-read book is filled with examples, checklists, and practical tips that will help large and small nonprofits have greater social impact."
—Beth Kanter, Beth's Blog and coauthor of The Networked Nonprofit

"Finally, a book on branding for nonprofits that encompasses a holistic approach! It can help organizations of any size practice 'breakthrough nonprofit branding' to differentiate themselves, gain more supporters and alliances, rally communities, attract strong executives, engage more volunteers, and improve their sustainability. It offers tools and excellent case studies that demonstrate success in the field. The organizations that embrace the authors' seven principles can experience exciting change and growth. So, what are you waiting for?"
—Elaine Fogel, President and CMO, Solutions Marketing & Consulting LLC; Chair, American Marketing Association Nonprofit Special Interest Group

"Every organization has a brand and this book clearly, compellingly, and in a very straightforward manner demonstrates how the brand of a nonprofit is crucial to its capacity to grow, to be sustainable, and to fulfill its mission. Branding is demystified and presented in practical and easy to adapt components that will help you maximize your potential and your results. Whether your nonprofit is large or small, local, national, or international, the case studies and examples in Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding ensure it is relevant to every reader."
—Andrea McManus, CFRE, President, The Development Group; Chair-Elect, The Association of Fundraising Professionals


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470286911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470286913
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #778,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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Carol Cone, recognized internationally as the mother of cause marketing, once recounted to an eager group of MBA students how she shared a stage with the Dalai Lama. She described how you could relate shared themes of connectivity, collaboration, and compassion to their very different spheres of work, and how companies and their brands aligned with a core purpose could change the world. Ms. Cone and Jocelyne Daw bring the "brands can change the world" spirit and their collective know-how to Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding: Seven Principles to Power Extraordinary Results (The AFP/Wiley Fund Development Series). It is an important book, both instructive and inspirational on many levels.

There is a lot to learn about branding, and what that really means, for example, the rational-emotional-engagement dimensions of a brand and how brand meaning serves (or should serve) as an organization's central operating principle. I especially liked the chapter on brand communications and new media tools that socialize brand meaning and tie into business objectives. (Point of disclosure: I work for an Irish internet company, "ammado," whose global engagement and giving technology is designed expressly for this kind of purpose.)

The chapter on brand communications/Principle 4 is representative of the many levels on which the book operates, presenting an overview of the principle, specific how-to success factors (detailed in an exhaustive checklist), and real world experiences of selected nonprofits.
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Format: Hardcover
I don't read many books anymore. Social media has ruined me. Give me the 140 character summary. But I knew I would read a book by Jocelyne Daw and Carol Cone. I've been learning from these two women for years.

For background, I'm a local, transactional cause marketer at a Boston hospital. If you're a cause with a corporate partner I'll show you how to raise money with register programs and cause products. I'll help you enhance those efforts with special events, social media and location-based services.

But what I do has limits. And through the years I've grappled with how nonprofits can shift to truly transformative cause marketing. I even posted about this recently and enviously explained how some cause brands are like magnets that attract power, partners and money to pursue their worthy missions.

But how do they do it?

Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding has a lot of good answers.

BNB identifies seven principles for evolving a cause brand from something ordinary that has no pull to something powerful and really serves the cause. The best part is the 11 case studies the authors use to illustrate the principles, which really bring them to life.

My two favorite causes profiled were UNICEF and the Food Bank For New York City because they both reminded me of my own organization in some way.

UNICEF reminded me of my hospital because the initial research done on the brand revealed that people were unsure what UNICEF stood for. I think the same is true of my hospital. Sure, we're New England's largest safety-net hospital, but what does that really mean? Some key takeaways for me from this section were:

* Research is key. If you have to figure out where your brand stands before you can chart a course for it.
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Format: Hardcover
Written by the gurus of cause, Jocelyne Daw and Carole Cone, this is the book we've been waiting for. This well-researched book nails the ultimate question: how do we turn nonprofit brands from logos into living value propositions? Daw and Cone explain branding in a way that is powerful to both nonprofits and for-profits. And most importantly, Daw and Cone don't just highlight case studies of organizations, they tease-out the key principles that all nonprofits can relate to and break it down into simple easily-understood elements. What I particularly liked about the book was the way that the authors tie branding into impact and teach us how to engage stakeholders to learn how our organizations create value. This is something that very few books discuss.

Daw and Cone have hit upon something pretty powerful - the emotional connection to a brand. this is something that EVERY company wants today. The principles - things like "rally internal brand ambassadors" and "expand your brand by mobilizing an external community" are fresh, new and incisive. The authors take this concept the full distance: extending their message all the way through to fundraising, offering creative ways that brands can be used to generate revenues and create new value. All of my concerns were anticipated and convincingly dealt with.

This book is a must-read for every nonprofit board member, executive director and consultant.
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Format: Hardcover
I'll preface my review by disclosing I personally believe that the public, private and non-profit sectors serve as a system of checks and balances between one another. As a result I am not in favor of cause marketing because of how it blurs the boundaries between the private and non-profit sector. Cause marketing is attractive to non-profits because it appears to be a mutually beneficial arrangement--non-profits create another revenue stream and for-profits sell more products and make consumers feel good about their purchase. However, since the motivations of the private and non-profit sectors are so disparate (shareholder profits versus and the greater good), the non-profit sector loses more than it gains because it discounts (in my view) its most valuable asset, philanthropy.

Despite my bias, I approached this book with an open mind and was pleasantly surprised to find tremendous value in Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding: Seven Principles to Power Extraordinary Results (The AFP/Wiley Fund Development Series). It is clear that Daw and Cone are highly experienced in the area of cause marketing. However, the elements I most appreciate about this book had nothing to do with cause marketing. The way the authors addressed the topic is what brought me the most benefit. I appreciate that this book uses a Jim Collins-esque approach of selecting top performing organizations to case study--this brought great credibility to the methods these organizations utilized. The authors don't just explain key concepts, but apply them in a way that makes the principles of engagement, loyalty, and community real and actionable.
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