Why is brand awareness important for your donors?

Creating and policing graphic standards is not typically within the scope of work assigned to a donor relations team. Most often, donor relations teams work with a variety of materials coming from multiple sources with little opportunity to reformat the information they receive. There may even be specific directives to avoid taking leadership in the expression of the graphic identity for the organization.  However, it is to your advantage to encourage the development of such comprehensive guidelines over time.

Recognizable graphic consistency is important for two reasons:

  • It expedites the completion of the team’s work, especially for complex tasks or those that require a combination of information from different sources
  • It enhances the recipients awareness of and appreciation for the brand and the organization it represents

Brand consistency does not mean that everything has to be identical.   Consistency that is associated with your organization specifically helps build a flexible and dynamic relationship with your audience.  Rigid sameness makes things too similar and eventually overshadows the messages contained within your communications.  Your brand can and should be applied to everything from printed notecards and donor plaques to webpages and event plans.

Think of it this way:  the brand should communicate the character of the organization, which includes both style and substance. If the character is consistent–no matter how complex–so should be the brand.

It is a worthwhile endeavor to develop a versatile set of graphic standards for all print and online communications. This may include the “easy stuff” like consistency of logo, font and colors. Better examples also address similarity in language and the use of photography. We really like these two very comprehensive online examples:  http://www.sc.edu/toolbox/identity_guide.php and https://vpcomm.umich.edu/brand/style-guide.  If you have a good example to share, please email a link or samples to anne@heurista.com.