How to Create Successful Branded Nonprofit Events

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November 19, 2013

Part 2 - Actions


Second of two posts

Non-profit Branding

Once you have identified and prioritized objectives and answered the basic “who, what, where and when,” you can begin to really get to the meat of the event. Here are several ways that you can successfully create a memorable branded event for a non-profit organization:

• Design a unique and recognizable logo. Once you have designed it, make sure that it shows up thoughtfully, but don’t plaster it everywhere! It should show up on collateral, social media pages, step and repeat, and on pre- and post-event correspondence. It should not show up on every décor item.

• Choose a color for the event that is either already associated with the organization or with its larger mission or choose one that will really make a statement and work within the context of what you are proposing to create.

• Create a memorable event name that you can use annually. Be sure to attach the organization’s name to the event name in some way so that there is a clear connection between the two. Make sure that the name that you choose is not already being used by someone else and check that it is not trademarked.

• Design an event environment that tells your story effectively through décor, lighting, sound, projections, entertainment, etc.

Non-profit Branding

• Invite top-notch working and honorary committees and pack those committees with as many influencers as you can get. It will be their guest lists that help to fill the room, lend support at higher levels, bring in major auction items, etc.

• Use your committees’ connections to get celebrities on your invitation as honorary chairs. Even if they can’t attend, their endorsement will go a long way to ensuring the success of your event. Having celebrity association with your event brand is critical to its success and visibility.

• Be sure that your event sells out and that there is an air of exclusivity. Make sure that it is the “must attend” event in your area. Social media and pre-event press will be a big help in this arena.

• The event’s brand should be easy to articulate. Your army of “word-of-mouth-warriors” (the committees) should be able to speak easily and fluently about the event objective with their friends. The same information should be available on the nonprofit’s social media pages and widely shared among its supporters. Committee evangelism is key. The event’s Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn pages should be on fire as the event draws near.

• Post-event is a great time to keep the story going, cement the organization’s newly formed relationships and further build the event’s brand. Publish great photos and any press to all of your social media pages and keep the conversation going for as long as you can. Encourage people to remain involved with the organization, to join the event committee and to attend the event the following year.

There is nothing so satisfying as making a difference for a non-profit organization by creating a strongly recognizable event. In the words of Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”


eNews November 2013


Merryl Brown

Merryl Brown is an award-winning event designer and owner of Merryl Brown Events, specializing in elegant corporate events, nonprofit events, social events and weddings.

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