Does Social Fundraising Mean Losing Control of Your Brand?

06.22.2011By

One really scary thing about social fundraising is the idea of losing control of your brand. But depending upon how risk-friendly your organization is, “losing control” can often feel liberating as well.

In the book Brandraising, Sarah Durham talks about how individual constituents have varied motivations for connecting with your organization. Your biggest fans often have very personal reasons for being as involved as they are with your organization.

Why It’s Scary

Your supporters may want to connect with you through various different channels, including a personal fund raising page.

What seems scary to some orgs about a personal fundraising page is that it’s more than a tweet or a status update. It’s an entire webpage! Yikes!

If you’re reading this and feeling scared, think about this:

If they want, your constituents can create a whole damned blog about your nonprofit!

Feeling better? 😉 Remember — just because you’re scared doesn’t mean the boogie man is real.

Social Is Different From Media

It’s easy to get caught up in the technology and the tools, but what’s central is the people.

They want to connect with your cause as human beings. They want to connect with you around their experience and what they value, and your brand needs to reflect that.

Let the Love In

Start by understanding what motivates your supporters. When you listen to and connect with them on their terms, your “brand” will take on a whole new meaning:

  • Your brand will mean standing by your core principles
  • Your brand will be relevant
  • Your brand will be about humanistic conversations and not just a style guide.

With this approach to branding, how your supporters present themselves on personal fundraising pages becomes a reflection of the org-donor relationship, and what they love about you.

What Does “Brand” Mean to You?