Small businesses in the UK spend an estimated 16% of their annual budget on marketing activities. Marketing is an essential source of income generation and it’s no different for charitable organisations.
The general public wants to see their donations spent on charitable causes, and provided an organisation is transparent about how it uses these donations, marketing is not only acceptable — but a crucial — element of a charity’s success.
All major charities — such as Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation — invest in “income generation” activities that help to raise awareness of their campaign. WISE Worksafe has worked with many charities to create corporate branded clothing that effectively promotes the organisation’s cause — and helps them to exceed their expectations when it comes to their charitable objectives. Branded clothing can significantly contribute towards fundraising, membership, engagement and revenue goals. We’ve put together this handy guide to help you understand why.
Building a brand with a human story
Branding is widely-recognised as a key element of any successful company’s business plan. How your brand presents itself can impact your consumer’s feelings about your company — which will influence whether they choose to buy from you or not.
Branding is just as important for non-profit organisations. There are nearly 170,000 charities in the UK, so whether you’re a local organisation or a national operation, it’s crucial to find a way to stand out from the crowd. We are all bombarded with requests for support from charities — on the TV, on social media, in the post and from people we know. Most of us have a finite budget for charitable donations. So creating a human and personalised image can help people to identify with your cause.
While online marketing has dominated in recent years, for charities, the impact of in-person, face-to-face interactions cannot be overstated. According to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), 91% of UK charities rely entirely on volunteers. When people are approached by individuals who are volunteering their time to help a cause they feel passionate about, the impact is often very powerful. A volunteer wearing corporate branded clothing will help a potential donor to identify this sense of purpose and commitment with the charity and its cause. It is an incredibly effective branding strategy that can help a charity to exceed its goals.
Emotions play a big part in an individual’s decision to donate to charity. Many campaigns are designed to tug at the heartstrings and encourage empathy. Without this human angle, campaigns would struggle to raise awareness and generate income. This is why, in this age of technology, many charities still send volunteers door-to-door and to attend events. It’s not surprising that charities in the UK raise 90% of their revenue through offline sources. A volunteer in a branded uniform extending a handshake and a smile can do more for a charity’s success than countless TV adverts.
Creating a walking call to action
Equipping staff and volunteers with corporate branded clothing provides an invaluable opportunity for engaging with potential donors. Whatever your main goal — be it increasing newsletter subscriptions, raising funds or encouraging people to purchase charitable merchandise — you can customise branded clothing to include a relevant Call To Action (CTA). A Call To Action is simply a marketing term for a short phrase that aims to induce the person who sees it to perform a particular action — for example, “Ask me for help”.
A CTA can be useful for volunteers trying to get subscription sign-ups in the street or manning stalls at an event. It gives people an easy way to start a conversation and helps them to quickly understand how they can get involved. It also allows a charity to add a personal touch by using their tone of voice, which helps build familiarity and trust in the brand.
For fundraisers who go door-to-door, trust is essential. A branded uniform in the organisation’s colours, with a helpful CTA, can be the difference between a sign-up and a closed door.
Boosting the Commitment of Staff and Volunteers
The majority of charity workers are giving their time for free because they believe in the cause. Charities need to make sure they harness this enthusiasm and commitment. Providing both paid staff and unpaid volunteers with corporate branded clothing will make people feel valued and foster team spirit. Standing outside, shaking a bucket on a rainy day may challenge the motivation of even the most dedicated charitable volunteer. But if that individual feels they are part of a team working towards a shared goal, they are more likely to maintain their level of commitment to the cause.
Not only will charity workers in a team feel more secure and confident, but they will also present a more impactful brand message. A large group of people wearing identical branded clothing will attract more attention than a solo figure, as they represent a united cause.
Work uniforms also help people to identify with an organisation and its cause, sparking enthusiasm and boosting performance. A smiley, lively charity worker is much more likely to engage people and encourage them to get involved.
Protecting your workers
Fundraisers and charity workers often spend long periods working outside or at events where there are large crowds of people. Both settings have potential hazards. Providing a uniform for workers and volunteers can be an effective way to protect them while raising brand awareness.
If you have a team of volunteers fundraising in the streets in December, providing corporate branded waterproof jackets and hats will keep your workers comfortable and motivated — while ensuring your brand remains visible. In this instance, branded t-shirts — which are covered up by outer garments as soon as the temperature drops — may not be the best investment. If your workers are attending an event, you may need to invest in hi-vis clothing or corporate branded clothing designed specifically for that event — to keep your staff safe and conspicuous, and help you to achieve your objectives.
Ensuring your workers are safe, comfortable and happy will result in higher levels of performance and fundraising success.
How to get started
Designing corporate branded clothing for your charitable organisation is a great way to humanise a charity’s brand and its cause. Create a strong and consistent brand image that runs across your campaigns and is incorporated in work uniforms to help your charity stand out from the crowd. Make sure you choose garments with the safety and comfort of your staff and volunteers in mind, as well as your brand identity. And don’t forget to add a personal touch by incorporating helpful CTAs to let people know how to get involved.
Still not quite sure how to get started designing branded workwear? WISE Worksafe has many years of experience working with charities, combining the power of their brand and people to reach organisational objectives.
Find out how to achieve the ultimate brand success for your charity — get in touch with our team today.
Get free email updates
Keep up to date with fundraising news, ideas and inspiration with a weekly or daily email. [Privacy]