Listen to the Podcast
How to Start a Nonprofit
Free Nonprofit Branding Course
Other Important Impression Makers
GET A WEBSITE
This should be one of the first things you do. A website that has your information on it is invaluable. You can put your mission, your contact information, your forms, your board meetings, your volunteer calendar, your donation page, your staff information and so much more online.
A professional looking website is easy to set up and very affordable (less than $100, really!). And it is a great way to build the capacity of your organization.
GET A LOGO
The number of new nonprofits that get created each year keeps rising. Separating your organization from the rest is an important part of establishing yourself in your community. No matter what your mission is, it will have more impact if it is branded with a recognizable logo.
Some Tips & Resources
Type in "free logo" in Google. You’ll be surprised how many decent choices there are.
If you are having trouble deciding on a logo, you can opt to have "text" logo. There are many organizations that simply use text as their logo. If you choose to do this, learn all you can about the subtleties of fonts, colors, balance, line height, font-weight and line spacing.
Pre-made logos are professional and inexpensive. GraphicRiver.com has over 25,000 logo designs. And it is easy to search for what you want. Their pre-made logos start at $29.
Hire a pro. I use 99designs.com*. All you have to do is post your project on their website and dozens of professional designers submit their ideas. Then you pick the one you like best. This cost about $300. They also have pre-made logos for $100.
Word of Caution
Watch out for volunteer logo makers. I have rarely seen a volunteer make a logo that I would want for my organization. This is not saying that they didn’t have artistic talent. But that is usually the problem. They are artist.
Logos are not art. Let me repeat that. Logos are not art. A logo is a simple, clean, easily digestible symbol. Your logo should not have more than three colors, two fonts and two distinct objects/shapes.
Designing a logo is the one thing I suggest getting a professional designer to do from the get-go. Having said that, there are actually some good "free" logos available. They can be a bit generic, but better than having "art" as your logo.
One last thing about logos. A logo does not define your business. Your nonprofit logo starts with no meaning. The logo acquires the meaning from the product and/or services you provide.
(Here’s a little secret: The Nonprofit Ally logo is a free one I found on the web. But the logo for the nonprofit I started I had custom made at 99designs).