Part of our focus at ATE Central is to create pathways to information and experts that can support and strengthen the work of ATE grantees. ATE Central recently sat down with Farra Trompeter, VP of Big Duck, a communications firm that works exclusively with nonprofits based in Brooklyn NY, to discuss how branding and marketing can enhance the work of projects and centers.
Please tell us a little bit about Big Duck and your role there.
Big Duck (www.bigducknyc.com) develops the voices of determined nonprofits by creating strong brands, campaigns, and teams. We specialize in working with nonprofits experiencing significant growth and change. I’ve been a member of Big Duck’s team since 2007. As Vice President, I guide organizations through major brand overhauls, fundraising campaigns, and much more. I also speak around the country, training nonprofit professionals on marketing, online fundraising, and donor engagement. You can learn more about me here and connect directly via Twitter via @Farra.
What exactly is branding and why should ATE grantees be concerned about branding their project/center work?
A brand is your project or center’s voice. It’s what your audiences hear, see, experience, and feel—and the impression that is formed as a result of their experiences with you. Your voice may be disjointed, murky, and barely louder than a whisper. Or your voice can ring out, differentiate, and reverberate.
A strong brand isn’t just a temporary fix or a website update. It’s built for the long haul, often to embody a new strategic plan, the vision of a new leader, or other seismic shifts. Rebranding means expressing that vision deeply and authentically, internally and externally.
For a project or center, a strong brand can help you reach and engage with students, faculty, program partners, and other key audiences. It can also help you build relationships with funders and donors for programmatic sustainability.