Get your vision aligned: The work before branding or capital campaigns
A few times over the years, at a crucial moment of a branding or capital campaign project, an important voice at the organization (usually a senior staff person or influential board member) asks, “Why are we doing this now?”
Sometimes this person simply hasn’t been looped into major conversations, and they need to catch up. Other times, however, by asking, “Why?” this person is surfacing larger issues around alignment at your organization.
Maybe you started a branding process because your logo feels out of date. Perhaps you decided to kick off a capital campaign because you desperately need to raise some unrestricted funds.
These aren’t bad reasons necessarily, but there are probably bigger visions behind those reasons. If your logo looks out of date, you probably feel that it doesn’t express your vision for the organization. If you need unrestricted funds, you probably have a vision for the future of your organization that these funds will help you achieve.
It’s around those visions that you need to make sure you have alignment with your senior staff and board members.
I’m using vision broadly here. And yes, defining everything that makes up your vision for the organization—from where you’d like to see your organization in the next 5–10 years to the values that drive your work to your programmatic goals to alignment around your actual mission and so much more—is the stuff of strategic planning.
We’ve generally found at Big Duck that our work is most successful after an organization has gone through a strategic planning process. But for both branding and capital campaigns, alignment around why you’re investing in this work right now is the most important thing.
Make sure the most valued voices on your staff and board agree and can answer these questions the same way:
- What does the next phase of our organization look like that a new brand can help express?
- Where are we going as an organization that this capital campaign will help us fund?
Investing in new brand assets or all of the materials required for a capital campaign is expensive. So make sure you have internal alignment around your vision first, so that it’s completely clear why now is the time to make that investment.