Monthly Archives: December 2018 - Page 2

Recovering Economy Drives Nonprofits To Reclaim Their Brands

Recovering Economy Drives Nonprofits To Reclaim Their Brands Nonprofits that have survived through the rough economy may be facing an uphill branding battle even while people begin returning to their former levels of charitable giving. The right messaging and marketing strategies could make all the difference in how smoothly the crest of that hill is reached.

In a time when “approximately 87% of nonprofit organizations report the decline in the U.S. economy continues to impact their operations”…it’s important to look to brand reinforcement to help refill the coffers. Yes, a good part of the blame for the current struggles nonprofits are facing can be placed on the recent recession. There’s no denying that tightening budgets and corporate downsizing inflicted a double-whammy on charitable organizations. Complicating the issue is that, even as those budgets start to loosen again, they are not doing so at the rate needed by nonprofits to gain ground after 5+ years of increased demand on their services. As society slowly climbs back to ‘the way it was’, more than half of nonprofits find their donation income at a plateau, if not lower than before the economic turnaround.

However the economy can’t be burdened with the full blame of today’s challenges for nonprofits. Ironically, some of the onus also falls on marketing and communications strategies which quite effectively kept them afloat during the economic downturn. During the hardest times, the savvy nonprofits appealed to anyone and everyone on the basis of crisis. Branding for nonprofits turned from niche to something much more general: “In these hard economic times, we are an organization in crisis… we need your support to stay in business.” Like the triage team in the E.R., people rallied for their cause and pooled resources simply to keep it ALIVE.

But now, as the economy is looking rosier, it’s getting harder for nonprofits to motivate donors with the ‘crisis’ cry. In the general consumer eye, nonprofits are businesses, too… so, as they hear reports of higher employment rates and business recovery, the crisis appeal has become a weak one. Moreover, as nonprofits relied on this for years, they got further away from the core branding on which they were founded – and succeeded in building – before the economic downturn. As the economy has recovered, many nonprofits have fallen into a bit of a branding limbo…no longer able to be the organization in crisis, but grappling for an identity without it.

Recovering Economy Drives Nonprofits To Reclaim Their Brands In order to get back on their feet, nonprofits need to remind consumers of who they are, and recover their brands. On the positive side, the strongest branding platforms, from visual identities to written positioning, are already built. Nonprofits now have to:

Refresh people’s memories.
Educate them on the ‘deficit’ the poor economy left because of increased need.
Embrace ‘newcomers’ to expand their donor base.

Finally, the biggest brand recovery bonus of all for nonprofits is the opportunity to embrace tools that were nascent around the first time they asserted their brand – that is, before the economic downturn. Facebook. Twitter. YouTube. Apps. As nonprofits turn the corner from the downturn, there are new ways to simultaneously recover and empower their brands. Effectively using social media platforms can distinguish an organization as the “breast cancer leader at work right here in your neighborhood every day,” or “the ballet that upholds all classical integrity while pushing boundaries”, and help them connect in a meaningful way with supporters.

Do you think that some nonprofits are better poised to come back than others? Does it make a difference whether they are a national, regional or local brand?

A Dallas, Texas Vacation Guide

A Dallas, Texas Vacation Guide

Thanks to the worldwide popularity of the old television series “Dallas” with its cliche images of unscrupulous Texas oilmen and their spoiled wives, Big D–as the city is sometimes called–has an undeserved image as brash. But Dallas is a sophisticated city with a vibrant downtown arts district, parks and lakes, old neighborhoods filled with art galleries and bistros, and legendary shopping venues that capture both the city’s sense of luxury and its Western roots. It is a mix that makes Dallas an ideal choice for a romantic getaway where couples can reconnect, relaxing in luxury, experiencing quiet moments and taking in the city’s vibrant nightlife.

Luxury Hotel Hideaways
No need to leave the luxury of your historic hotel room for an intimate breakfast or late night glass of champagne if you book a weekend romance package at the historic Adolphus, a 1912 landmark that consistently ranks as one of the best hotels in the world, or the five-star Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, a palatial haven of luxury that was once the home of a Dallas millionaire in one of the city’s richest neighborhoods.

His and Her Shopping
The legendary downtown flagship Neiman Marcus store opened in 1915 to serve the oil and banking millionaires who built Dallas and now stands as a reflection of the days when shopping was a dress-up affair, not a quick trip to the mall. Each floor is a jewel box where unique, luxurious goods are showcased in constantly changing floor displays that wow visitors as they step off the antique elevators. Specialty Texas shopping of another sort is on display nearby at Wild Bill’s Western Wear emporium where urban cowboys can shop for custom-made boots and authentic cowboy hats.

A Dallas, Texas Vacation Guide

Picnic in the Park
Pick up a basket of prepared goodies, from pasta salad to creme brulee, at EatZi’s, a very popular bakery/deli in Oak Lawn, on the northern edge of downtown, and head to the Dallas Arboretum for a quiet picnic amid the constantly changing flowerbeds–chances are you might see a wedding taking place at this serene lakeside park.

Feng Shui Afternoon
The Crow Collection of Asian Art in the downtown Dallas Arts District offers a serene retreat from worldly stress and noise with its displays of Oriental ceramics, jades, silks and paintings, evidence of the shared lifetime passion of the collectors, Dallas developer Trammell Crow and his wife.

Feng Shui Afternoon
The Crow Collection of Asian Art in the downtown Dallas Arts District offers a serene retreat from worldly stress and noise with its displays of Oriental ceramics, jades, silks and paintings, evidence of the shared lifetime passion of the collectors, Dallas developer Trammell Crow and his wife.

A Dallas, Texas Vacation Guide

Bistro Evening
The Deep Ellum district is packed with bistros, vibrant nightclubs, quiet bars and art galleries. Dallas blues bands were the first to celebrate their music here, just three blocks east of downtown, but now the sounds of salsa and rock have joined the chorus. Loft conversions of old buildings have brought hip, new life to the old neighborhood and hardly a weekend goes by without a music celebration or art festival.