How will our campaign be different from others like us?

Our agency specializes in creating the verbal and visual identity of fundraising campaigns for nonprofits. We love working in this lane because it means we get to be part of and witness incredible progress made in higher education, healthcare, and other purpose-driven areas like social and environmental causes. But prospective partners often want to know how we navigate a scenario where we might work on a campaign for two different hospitals or two different universities. How can we ensure the brand for each organization’s campaign won’t look and sound the same?  

It starts with one word: Authenticity. Sure, two colleges may have a lot in common. Take Clemson and Auburn University for example. Their campuses have a strikingly similar architectural style. In fact, Clemson’s Tillman Hall was modeled after Auburn’s Langdon Hall. This led Atlanta Constitu­tion columnist and humorist Lewis Grizzard to refer to Clemson as “Auburn with a Lake.” Orange is a primary color for both schools, even the legendary football coach and namesake for college football’s most prestigious award, John Heisman, coached at both schools – leading to Auburn and Clemson both having a tiger as their mascot.

Our job is to dig deeper and seek out the authentic qualities of your organization that can inform the spirit of the campaign. Two hospitals may have similar programs, technology, and treatments. But they likely have a unique approach to care or a special role in the community. Today, non-profits and for-profit companies are so focused on trying to differentiate that they end up saying a lot without having much substance to it. When you lead with authenticity, differentiation happens naturally.

We assure you, we do not have folders labeled Healthcare, Education, or Conservation that we copy and paste creative elements to make up a campaign brand. Before we ever start writing or designing, we discover. During our Discover phase, we do a lot of research, question-asking, and listening to learn what core elements of the organization should shine through in the campaign messaging and design. We also seek to answer questions like: 

  • Why are we embarking on a campaign and why now?
  • Why should someone support our campaign?
  • Why choose us?  

Two organizations may look similar from the outside, but no two campaign brands that we create are alike. Your campaign brand should reflect the soul of your organization. Crafting a strong campaign brand goes beyond how much money you want to raise. It’s who you are — your values, your rich history — and how you’re using philanthropy to creatively achieve impact. Your campaign brand should tell a story. Something that’s true for non-profits and for-profits is that the most successful brands endure not because of what they sell but because of truly authentic stories of impact.

Special thanks to collaborators Gray Gill, Tom Osborne, and Chad Paris.