Is your charity's brand future-proof?

Is your brand fit for the future? How can you tell? And the sector as a whole? In this week's guest blog from experts Spencer du Bois, they explain why it is essential that charity brands are set for the next five years and beyond- and reveal the worrying results of a survey into the preparedness of the industry.
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Spencer du Bois
 

Is your brand engaging and built to drive your charity forward over the next five years, or is it showing signs of struggling to keep up?

This is an important question to answer. As against an increasingly difficult backdrop, charities will need to be able to flex and evolve if they are to survive and then thrive.  

This according to a report published by PwC, who also believe the starting point for delivering the necessary change, is to successfully establish a vision and mission, to clearly define purpose and the difference a charity wishes to make in the world today.

Importance was also heightened by a speech recently delivered by Baroness Stowell, Chair of the Charity Commission, who cited the growth of informal philanthropy, purpose driven business and the fact charities can no longer rely on the benefit of the doubt from the general public, as the biggest challenges threatening the sector.

The Baroness concluded, by urging the sector to not only deliver their vital services, but to inspire and give hope to the people they serve and support, as well as the wider population.

When looking at the results from over 250 charities, many of whom responded to our Brand Effectiveness Score Card after it was publicised across the nfpSynergy newsletter, we were alarmed to find that only 13% felt their brand is currently highly engaging, and built to drive their charity forward over the next five years. More worrying were the 30% who felt their brand was showing signs of struggling to keep up or already not coping.

The results were consistent for smaller charities right through to those with an income of £50million. It was only when looking at charities’ with an income of more than £50 million that respondents started to show a little more confidence.

25% reporting a brand that is set for the future, 40% confident their brand is doing well and has eye on the future and as few as 11% unsure their brand will be able to cope.

The lack of confidence for the future across the majority of the sector is a worry; especially considering the NCVO has recently reported a dip in public donations for the first time since 2008/09.

The sector may have grown as a whole, but this is only because of grants and legacy income, two things the medium and smaller charities are less likely to be able to rely on.

All of the above may be painting a rather negative picture of the landscape, but what it does do is heighten the importance of having a brand that can support every charity in the pursuit of its objectives. Understanding purpose and the problem it exists to solve is the foundation for longevity and the necessary starting point for innovation strategies for all charities moving forward.

See how your brand is performing, if you haven’t already, by taking our Brand Effectiveness Score Card, and sign up for the benchmarking report in full.

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