Could your nonprofit's tag line use an update? Not even sure if your nonprofit has a tag line or why you would need one? Great tag lines are brilliant marketing "soundbites" that instantly communicate your organization’s mission and underscore your branding. Better branding helps those not familiar with your organization to quickly and easily understand what your organization is all about, and can help boost fundraising (for more on this, see the comparisons of money raised on branded vs. generic donation pages in the Online Giving Study 2010). Nike's tag line, "Just do it" and Allstate's, "You're in good hands" are two examples of famous corporate tag lines that really reinforce the image that each company has built for itself. In the nonprofit sector, two good local examples are United Way's tag line, "Live United" and the American Cancer Society's tag line, "The official sponsor of birthdays."
In light of our upcoming month of marketing events (going on in January with our Expert in Residence, Susan Burnash), I wanted to highlight two great resources to help you make your organization's tag line both memorable and effective for 2011:
1. Tag Line Workshop: Crafting a Great Positioning & Branding Line for Your Nonprofit
This workshop is going on here at the Foundation Center Atlanta next Wednesday, January 5, from 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm. In this free workshop, you'll learn from presenter Nina Rubin, Director of the Georgia Parent Advocacy Network, what makes a compelling tag line and why it’s worth the sweat and discipline to write a great one in eight words or less! Using examples from both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, the workshop will look at the best of the best and critique a few that miss the mark. You’ll also learn the difference between a mission statement and a tag line. Then, in an interactive exercise, the workshop will actually write a tag line together based on the needs of class participants.
More about our presenter: Nina Rubin is a former associate creative director with a wealth of experience writing advertisements and television commercials, and in creating consumer product campaigns in the New York advertising world. Nina now works at the Georgia Charter Schools Association and consults with a wide range of Atlanta area clients on marketing, communications, and social media strategies. She loves a great tag line.
2. The Nonprofit Tagline Database
Created by Nancy Schwartz of the Getting Attention blog and Nancy Schwartz & Company, the Nonprofit Tagline Database contains more than 4,800 fully-searchable tag lines that have been entered in the Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards program since 2008. You can browse tag lines by type and category and check out the Tagline Award Winners from 2008-2010.
Some suggestions from Nancy for different ways to use the database:
- Get ideas on ways to integrate a specific word or phrase into your tag line. Use the Search tool to find all tag lines that incorporate it.
- Be inspired and guided in shaping your organization's messages by the tag lines of organizations like yours. Select the relevant Category view—be it Education or Human Services—to scan them.
- Brainstorm on how to strengthen your program messaging by reviewing program tag lines of other organizations via the Program tag line view. If you want to review only the program tag lines for organizations like yours, use the Search tool to select Program tag lines and the relevant organizational category.
- Break through your paralysis in naming (or re-naming) your organization by reviewing names of other organizations in your field. Use the Search tool to select Organizational tag lines and the relevant organizational category. If you're considering including a particular word or phrase, enter those Organizational name keywords to see how they're used by others.
Given the importance of messaging, this is a really fantastic resource for those who want to strengthen the way they talk about their organization and the work that is being done there. Together with the Nonprofit Tag Line Workshop, this tool is a great way to give your tag line some oomph and start your year off right!
Other marketing events coming up at the Foundation Center-Atlanta in January:
- Marketing 101 and Marketing 102:Marketing Plan Fundamentals and Workshop, January 12, 2011
- Marketing 201 and Marketing 202: Public Awareness Campaign Fundamentals and Workshop, January 19, 2011
- Expert in Residence Walk-in Hours with Susan Burnash from 2:00pm - 5:00pm on January 14, 2011 for Marketing Assistance and January 21, 2011 for Community Outreach and Public Relations Assistance.
Elyse Klova, Program Associate, Foundation Center-Atlanta