At Mission Minded we often refer to ourselves as “branding geeks.” Most of us read branding books for fun—like on the weekends or at the beach, when others would choose to read a juicy novel instead. See what I mean?
You can apply the many benefits of branding to help your nonprofit:
- raise more money
- recruit staff and volunteers
- attract program participants
- create love for your organization
If you’re curious about what branding really means (and how to reap its rewards), here are some books we really like. Some are old standards, some are newer, and they’ve all informed our thinking about the power of branding and its relevance to every type of nonprofit.
Branding has something to help your work stand out from the crowd, whether you’re part of an educational organization, an LGBT rights group, a social service agency, or any other field. It helps you attract the commitment and support you need to fulfill your organization’s highest potential.
- Positioning: the Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries
- Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
- Why Bad Ads Happen to Good Causes: And How to Ensure They Won’t Happen to Yours by Andy Goodman
- Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team by Alina Wheeler
- Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
- Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow by Chip Conley
- Nonprofit Management 101: A Complete and Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals, edited by Darian Heyman — Mission Minded wrote the chapter on marketing
- Bad Words for Good: How Foundations Garble Their Message and Lose Their Audience by Tony Proscio
- The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service Into a World-Class Brand by Al and Laura Ries
- Brandraising: How Nonprofits Raise Visibility and Money Through Smart Communications by Sarah Durham
Below are two helpful books about how to conduct effective (and inexpensive) market research:
- Designing Surveys: A Guide to Decisions and Procedures by Ronald Czaja
- Moderating to the Max: A Full-Tilt Guide to Creative, Insightful Focus Groups and Depth Interviews by Jean Bystedt, Siri Lynn, Deborah Potts, PhD, Gregg Fraley
Here’s a classic about writing clearly:
- The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
If you have a favorite to add to this list please, please share it. We’re looking for the next book to geek out on.
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Jennie Winton is a Founding Partner of Mission Minded and a 20-year marketing veteran sought out for her expertise in branding and positioning nonprofit organizations. She is a regular speaker at SPIN Academy and looks forward to another exciting session this August 27 – 30.