What should you know about capital campaign branding?

Feb 3, 2022

You want to make a good first impression when you’re launching a new fundraising initiative. And your capital campaign branding is the first step in helping your audience understand why this campaign is so important!

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of branding?

Names, logos, catchy slogans, and color schemes are all elements of a brand, sure. But effective capital campaign branding involves much more!

We’re talking about all of that, plus your message, the way you share it, and a lot more! So, let’s explore how you can build a brand for your campaign and expand it in a compelling case for support. 

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Why does branding matter?

Fundraising professionals are more likely to make an impression, reach their goals, and advance their organization’s mission when they take the time to think strategically about capital campaign branding.

Remember messaging, tone, and visual elements are all part of your brand. Your audience doesn’t have the same look into the day-to-day of your work. But your brand should clearly communicate the ideas behind your work and bring your audience closer to your mission.

It won’t be easy, and it will require participation from everyone in your organization. Board members, staff, volunteers, and advocates all play a role. You will need to train them to understand your brand, so everyone is on the same page when they meet with potential donors.

Your capital campaign branding should tie all the touches in your campaign together. You don’t want donors to lose sight of the big picture during a long multi-phase campaign!

READ MORE: The do’s and don’ts of going surround sound.

Build your strategic message by asking yourself, "what will this campaign accomplish and why."

Setting the tone with strategic messaging.

But you can’t move forward until you have the idea behind your brand nailed down!

Any good campaign will have a strong, well-planned, and strategic brand. And at the root of your brand is the organizing principle, the why of your campaign.

This core strategic message needs to touch every element of your campaign and reflect your case for support. It will serve as an anchor and demonstrate the importance of your initiative and how it will affect those involved.

So, think of your strategic message as the central tenet of your case statement as you build it out along with your capital campaign branding.

Ask yourself, what is this campaign going to accomplish and why?

The easy answer is “We need to raise funds to construct a new building.” But that’s not the right answer. And it won’t help you develop meaningful messaging!

Are you really just building something? Or can you elaborate on the ways this building will help you make the world a better place and fulfill your organization’s mission?

READ MORE: 5 methods to modernize your nonprofit’s message.

Your case statement should clearly explian the why, how, and what of your capital campaign.

Making the case.

Once you’ve established the big idea behind your campaign, you will develop your strategic message in a compelling case for support. And this brochure is an important part of your capital campaign branding!

Think of it as a document that answers “can you tell me more?” when you first talk with prospective donors.

The idea here is to convey why your campaign matters, how it furthers your goals, and what the result will look like.

It transforms your goals from a list of needs into messages that support a cause!

Your case should heighten the visuals and expand the content for high level campaign donors in a meaningful way. So, include some distinct visuals, like architectural renderings of a new building and other images that resonate with the community.

But don’t forget, being donor-centric is the best way to inspire your supporters to make a difference!

So, show your supporters the difference they can make through this campaign by including pictures of the people you serve. Remember, a building is just a tool you will use to make the world a better place.

One last tip: you can get more mileage from your case statement and improve relevancy by creating versions for each phase of your campaign or for segmented audience groups!

READ MORE: How to show donors the impact of every donation.

Effective branding helps tie everything together, so donors don't lose sight of the big picture during a long multi-phase campaign

Branding from the bottom up.

A strong brand sets the foundation for the tools and communications that will help you promote your campaign. If each piece isn’t anchored with strong capital campaign branding, there is a better chance your message will become disjointed and confuse donors!

And your supporters can’t help you change the world if they’re confused about what you’re trying to achieve!

That’s why effective capital campaign branding is so important! Your communications need to go beyond the physical elements of what you are raising money for.

So, as you’re building your brand and case for support, remember to keep the big picture in mind. These are core elements of your campaign and should work together to communicate and advance the goals your nonprofit shares with your donors!

If you can pull this off, the other pieces will fit into place.

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FREE eBook: Capital campaign communications - Easy as cake?