Nonprofit Rebranding: Facts & Tips to Help Take the Leap!

By Kara FrostPDW Blog 4 Photo

The question of whether or not to rebrand your nonprofit is a big one, and can seem a little intimidating when considering the time, cost, and effort it takes to make this step. There are several important factors to reflect upon when making this decision, including: “will this increase my donor base?”, or “what will the return on investment (ROI) look like?”.

Luckily, Network for Good did some digging into The Rebrand Effect: How Significant Communications Changes Help Nonprofits Raise More Money a book written by nonprofit communications agency Big Duck, and got some real answers! (Click here for a free download!)

For clarity purposes, Big Duck identifies a comprehensive rebrand as changing or developing four or more of the following elements, while a limited rebrand only targets three or less:

  • Brand Strategy
  • Organizational Name
  • Tagline
  • Logo
  • Key Messages
  • Elevator Pitch

Here are some of the main points Network for Good found from the book:

Nonprofits that rebranded raised more money

If your organization is looking for a way to connect with individual donors, rebranding might be a good option. The book studied 350 nonprofits, and results from Big Duck’s surveys indicated 50% of organizations that rebranded saw an increase in revenue, with the most striking growth in individual giving.

Comprehensive rebranding yielded the largest ROI

Some advice for rebranding – go all in! When comparing organizations that fulfilled a limited versus a comprehensive rebrand, only 41% saw a revenue increase for a limited rebrand whereas 56% saw an increase with a comprehensive rebrand. While a 15% difference is pretty significant, nonprofits that implemented comprehensive rebranding also saw additional benefits including:

  • increased audience participation
  • improved staff communication effectiveness
  • better media coverage

Factors for relevant rebranding

An effective rebrand is built upon more than marketing and branding. Results from Big Duck’s survey indicated nonprofits were more likely to reach their goals if the rebrand was supplemented by the following:

  • new organizational focus or strategic plan (51% said this factor was necessary for rebranding advancement)
  • new leadership
  • commitment to brand advancement by staff and leadership

Specifically speaking, rebrands were more successful when staff felt these three factors were also in place.

Leave a comment and let me know how your rebranding process has helped your nonprofit!


Kara Frost is a senior at the University of Iowa studying Health & Human Physiology and currently working on receiving a certificate in Fundraising & Philanthropy Communication. She is very passionate about the nonprofit world and hopes to someday work for a nonprofit health organization.


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