Working On Your Nonprofit Branding & Website? Start Here with Marketing Expert Jane Pfeiffer

Reading Time: 5 minutes

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Get your notepads ready because Jane Pfeiffer, Founder and President of branding, web, and advertising agency Fieldtrip, is teaching us how to make our branding stand out, level up our marketing efforts, and why we need to start with a job description if we’re thinking about revamping our website.

In this episode, we go in-depth on three core topics: branding, websites, and advertising. Jane and I also discuss a fun “Triple A” exercise that will help you define your audiences, improve your conversion rates, and help your audiences much more effectively become advocates (you won’t want to miss this part).

If you’ve ever thought your brand is too complex or not “sexy”, Jane is about to prove you wrong!

The power of nonprofit branding and becoming even more memorable

We remember so many companies and organizations by their memorable branding. If I was to ask you to name a laundry detergent, a brand of athletic apparel, or even a TV streaming subscription service, I don’t doubt one or even a few names would immediately come top of mind.

Jane believes that branding in its essence is an “inspiration.” And while branding can often be overlooked in some sectors (including nonprofits), we should be able to think of a cause, like feeding the hungry, and instantly have an image in our minds of who does it best.

Even if what you do is more complex and complicated or not “sexy”, you can still create a beautiful, emotional representation of your brand, whether it’s through your images or even your words. (Pro tip? Hiring a copywriter is a game changer. Investing in the power of words is incredible!)

Jane worked on a project with The National Stem Cell Foundation and broke down their brand into the simplicity of a dot. The dot was a representation of a cell, and a stem cell can grow up to become anything that is within our body. If you go to their website, you can see firsthand the surprise movements. So unexpected and clever!

Ready to revamp your website? Start by writing a job description.

You’ve heard me say it before and I’ll say it again. Your website is like your storefront – it’s a living, breathing, evolving entity. How will you create the absolute best first impression and experience?

If you’re thinking about giving your website some fresh energy and revamping it, don’t start with a wishlist of features. Jane actually encourages us to start with a job description first! Consider these questions as a starting point, and consider doing this with your team and turning it into a fun activity.

  • What role does your website need to perform? 
  • Does it need to be the receptionist and greet people?
  • Does it need to focus on creating transactions or allowing people to take action and align with us to get to know us? 
  • Or is it more about helping the people you serve?
  • And then what are the measures of success? 

Study your analytics and observe how many impressions you’re getting now, how long visitors are staying on the site, and then how can you incrementally move each of those numbers so they’re stronger and stronger.

It’s easy to let our websites sit, but taking the time to do an audit and figure out what’s worth updating – visuals, copy, your donor program, or tool – is worth the time investment.

The best way to raise funds and awareness comes back to the three A’s

When it comes to advertising, we usually have two goals in mind: raising awareness and raising funds.

Jane worked on an impactful project with the Kentucky State Parks Foundation that accomplished both, in an unexpected way. The foundation was trying to figure out its way forward. They created a campaign based around the most popular parks, working with local artists to create stunning posters.

Now, they could sell them with Kentucky retailers at the parks itself, at local events, and online. It became a ripple effect. The posters became t-shirts! And now, for EVERY t-shirt or poster that’s purchased, a child is funded on a classroom trip to go to a state park.

The magic in this experience is through digging a little deeper, the project got bigger, the impact grew, and what they learned, as a result, brought new opportunities their way, all accomplishing the end goals of putting much-needed funding back into the organization.

Jane leaves us with a great nugget about her triple-A assessment (be sure to tune in for the full breakdown or watch her video on it).

When it comes to our advertising efforts, the most important part is focusing on building awareness. Are you under the radar, or does most of your audience recognize your logo? Once you have awareness, you can nurture alignment, and then advocacy with your audience.

Jane’s Ask

Jane is working on a research study and would love to hear from listeners about how you are addressing the large gap that exists between beneficiaries, especially in health and human services, social services, and then the mindsets and lifestyles, and perspectives of those that have the skills, the money, the resources to actually support what we do? 

She says there can be a lack of compassion, empathy, and understanding. How are you closing that gap mentally and emotionally to create a connection that moves people to action?

Reach out to Jane at janep@hellofieldtrip.com

Notable Quotes from Jane

“If you don’t inspire first, then your rationale and your explanation will fall flat. It will be ignored. Even if you’re trying to speak to the people who utilize your services, every decision begins and ends in an emotional state. So you should inspire the people in need as much as you should inspire the corporate sponsors or the community partners or employees, whatever audience you have. A brand is all about creating that emotional, inspirational representation of who you are and what you do.”

“You actually need to think and start backwards in improving your conversion rate so that those who believe in you can readily become advocates. Instead of a funnel, it’s more of a fat pipeline, and then start working on awareness because it’s going to be much more productive and efficient and effective, because you’ve got everything lined up to just nurture that relationship and make it deeper and stronger over time.

Resources & Links

Learn more about Jane at Fieldtrip and connect with her at janep@hellofieldtrip.com

Check out Jane’s client, The National Stem Cell Foundation and see their beautiful branding work. Jane also has an in-depth case study you can read about.

See the work Jane did with the Kentucky State Parks Foundation.

Watch Jane’s video about the Mission Multiplier, which breaks down more of her framework around awareness, alignment, and advocacy.

Jane recommends we follow Drew McLellan on LinkedIn. He coaches small to mid-size agencies and has great resources and workshops.

Curious to get your hands on my decision matrix? Check it out here!

Want to make Missions to Movements even better? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram. Be sure to tag @positivequation so I can connect with you.

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