nonprofit branding quiz

Everyone loves quizzes. Facebook and the web are full of quizzes–from personality tests to what kind of shoe are you (OK, I made that one up). Today we’re unveiling the Oneicity Nonprofit Branding Quiz. I hope you studied, because it’s a tough one.


Pop quizHere goes.
Question 1. Who determines the meaning of your brand?

Choose only one:

A. Your governing board.

B. Your PR consultant.

C. Your Vice-President in Charge of Marketing.

D. Your Chief Executive Officer.

E. Your Chief Executive Officer’s spouse.

Quick what’s your answer?

“E” is tempting, isn’t it?

But you should go with “B” right? No?

I suspect you’re trying to decide between “D” and “C” because clearly your Board is too out of touch to determine your brand.

So, “B” is your answer and you’re sticking to it. Right?

OK, this was a trick quiz on at least 2 levels:

1. There’s only one question which hardly constitutes a quiz. I guess it’s a “quizette.”

2. I didn’t give you the right answer as a choice. Tricky, I know. The right answer is “F”….


What’s “F?” OK, I’ll give you the question again:

“Who is it that determines the meaning of your brand?”

Answer: “F” Your donors.

Donors are the ones who have the primary relationship with your brand–the “outsiders” to your brand. Your founder, your staff, your board all have relationships with your brand but those aren’t the relationships that are primary–these are your “insiders.” It’s your donors (and the people who are watching you from the sidelines and who you want to become donors) who count when it comes to brand meaning.

Funny, it’s easy to listen to the “insiders” and hard to listen to the “outsiders.” If you want the straight scoop on your brand, ask your “outsiders.”

Oh, but don’t talk to “outsiders” about your brand. They won’t know how to answer. Ask “outsiders” questions like:

“What do you think we stand for?”

“When you think of us, what kind of words come to mind?”

“When you think of us, who is the opposite of us?”

“If we disappeared, what would be the loss to the world or society?”

“Why do you support us?”

If you ask donors and major donors these kind of questions, you’ll begin to find out what your donors think of your brand.

So what do you think? Do you agree that donors have the primary relationship with your brand? Why do you think it is important for nonprofits of all sizes to examine their brand?

I love hearing what you think. Leave a comment below or chat with us on Twitter. We’re @oneicity.

Steve Thomas
Partner, Oneicity

(unedited photo credit: kev_hickey_uk)

Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

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