Blog - June 1st, 2021

Branding a charity

Branding | Reading list

At Rusty Monkey, we love working with charity and non-profit organisations because we’re motivated by great causes and people who care passionately for what they do. We choose to work with clients whose values are aligned with ours, and we get a lot of reward from knowing that we’re contributing - even just a little bit - towards making the world a better place.

We believe that branding is vital for achieving success in charity marketing. Maybe you’re looking for someone to partner with to help you with your branding, or maybe you’re not sure if branding is for you. Either way, we want to share our experience with you to help you decide if a Rusty Monkey branding project could help.

charity branding spread love wristband

What is branding?

To understand why branding is so important, it’s useful to know what we mean when we talk about branding. For an in-depth look at our brand philosophy and creative process, head over to this other article.

In short, your brand is more than your logo. It’s really everything you do. It’s how your whole organisation communicates, visually and verbally. It’s the general feeling people get when they interact with you.

Why does branding matter for charities?

Branding is about connecting organisations with people, which is vital for the survival of a charity organisation. Non-profit branding is important because it will help you to communicate your cause better to those who share your values.

It will make you look more trustworthy

If you’re a charity that relies on public donations or funding, having a strong brand can hugely help in this regard. People are more likely to donate money if they believe it will be used well, and having a good, consistent brand will make you look more professional and more trustworthy. 

charity marathon winners

It will help you build customer loyalty

Many businesses rely on their product or service to generate customer loyalty, and don’t bother too much about their branding. (This can work, although we don’t think it’s the best path.) However, many charities rely on donations rather than commerce, and therefore don’t have the option to let a product or service do all the talking.

Instead, your brand is what will generate that loyalty. If your brand communicates your cause well, people who believe in your cause will align themselves with you, make donations and support you.

It will help you to stand out

The charity market can be competitive, so it’s important that your organisation stays in people’s minds. Having a striking visual identity and communication style will make you more memorable and more easily identifiable.

A charity branding case study

NACCC - National Association for Child Contact Centres - is a charity based in Nottingham whose goal is to ensure that the children of separating or divorcing parents can still have contact with both of their parents. They oversee the running and operation of contact centres across the country that give children and relatives a safe space to spend time together.

NACCC came to us with funding for a small-scale branding project. We’d already worked with them previously on some illustrated storybooks for children and their website, so we were excited to take them up on it.

Their old brand was limited and underdeveloped, which meant that individual content creators often put their own creative spin on things in order to make assets look more eye-catching. The problem was that everyone was doing something different, and the result was inconsistent and confusing.

We had already done a little groundwork when we redesigned their website, so we had a good place to start. Our goal was two-fold:

  1. To expand the brand so that there were plenty of opportunities within it for creative expression;

  2. To provide NACCC with a comprehensive brand guidelines document that would enable all content creators to produce work that was consistent and on-brand.

NACCC charity brand guidelinesNACCC charity brand guidelinesNACCC charity brand guidelinesNACCC charity brand guidelines

We worked with NACCC stakeholders in a series of workshops to ensure we understood the correct direction to take their brand. They wanted to put the children first and foremost, but they also needed to look professional in front of official bodies and funding partners - so it was important that the brand was appealing to children, but also communicated the seriousness of NACCC’s mission.

We created two stylescapes, which allowed NACCC to pick and choose individual design elements to fit their overall vision. After ratifying their final stylescape, we created the brand guidelines and provided them with a comprehensive brand pack full of useful assets.

The project was a huge success and has been welcomed by all of NACCC’s stakeholders. The brand guidelines and brand pack are being used to empower the NACCC team and external contact centre managers to tell a coherent story of their important work.

Click here to view the full case study.

Can we help you?

Do you run or work for a charity that needs a bit of a brand-lift? We’d love to hear from you. We know that money doesn’t grow on trees, so we offer scalable branding packages to suit your needs and budget. Just get in touch to discuss your goals.

Who wrote this?



She / her; red / blue. Mel is a writer, editor and designer. Equally happy hiking a muddy trail as playing tabletop roleplay games by candlelight. Will seize any opportunity for a party, as long as said party features copious food, prosecco and hits from the 1980s. Her true passion lies in words. A student of literature, she is fascinated by enduring myths, etymology and science fiction. Kurt Vonnegut is her hero. “We are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.”

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