Episode 69: Adventures in Nonprofit Branding

September 6, 2018 Blackbaud, Inc.


One way to define the word "brand" is to think of it as a promise. Branding is a way of letting the world know what an organization stands for. It's easy to think of branding as a commercial tool, but it's important for nonprofits as well.

Today's guest is Sarah Durham, CEO of Big Duck, a communications and marketing agency that has helped hundreds of nonprofits improve their branding, campaigns, and fundraising efforts. Sarah is an expert on the ways that branding can apply to nonprofit organizations and how branding affects communications with donors, activists, and others. Listen to the episode to hear what Sarah has to say about developing a consistent brand and voice, aligning branding and organizations strategy, and embracing branding in a digital world.

Topics Discussed in This Episode:

  • How nonprofits should think about the meaning of the word "brand"
  • The importance of finding a consistent voice for an organization
  • How developing a consistent brand simplifies communications for an organization
  • Whether consistent branding conflicts with the idea of understanding and appealing to different types of donors
  • How to align brand with organizational strategy
  • How major events that lead to a rebrand offer an opportunity to readjust priorities or shift focus
  • How to embrace brand in a digital world


Sara Durham 

Big Duck 

"There are a lot of aspects of brand development, whether you like that word or not, that are not only really useful for nonprofit advancing of the mission, but are also particularly useful for fundraisers."

"The opportunity for you as a nonprofit is to really think about how you want your organization's voice to be shaped, and to speak with one clear and consistent voice at all points of contact."

"The brand strategy is an expression of that organizational strategy."


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