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New Book Reveals Proven Three-Dimensional Technique to Achieve "Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding"

As competition for supporters increases, practical branding concepts and tools borrowed from the corporate world advance the missions of charitable organizations; Contest with $100,000 of free advertising celebrates book launch

Published 11-04-10

Submitted by Edelman Brand and Corporate Citizenship

At a time when nonprofits are growing globally, and as the U.S. and world economies slowly sputter back to life, competition for donors, volunteers, and partners has never been more intense, according to "Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding," a new book by Carol Cone and Jocelyne Daw, with co-authors Kristian Darigan Merenda and Anne Erhard. The book offers a detailed roadmap to help an organization develop a brand meaning that articulates what the organization stands for, the compelling, focused idea that sets it apart and is meaningful to its supporters. In doing so, a nonprofit can rise above the competitive fray to more effectively reach stakeholders and make a significant impact on the communities they serve. The authors based the book on their decades of combined experience working with nonprofits, and on in-depth case studies of eleven visionary organizations.

To help put the book's teachings into practice, the authors are launching a contest on November 9th, 2010, for nonprofits based in North America. The first prize is $100,000 worth of free advertising space in USA TODAY. For more information and to register, visit

"As nonprofits have grown in number and importance, the charitable marketplace has become more competitive," according to co-author Carol Cone. "Supporters are becoming more selective and discriminating, so nonprofits have to continuously demonstrate that their mission really does make a difference. Building a breakthrough nonprofit brand is no longer an activity that can be put off until tomorrow; it's a nonprofit imperative today."

A three-dimensional, 360-degree approach to nonprofit branding

Charitable giving in the U.S. dropped 3.2 percent between 2008 and 2009; this was the first annual decline in giving, based on current dollars, since 1987. Even so, there are now more than 1.5 million nonprofits in the U.S., and 161,000 in Canada, reflecting a 35 percent increase in the number of organizations in the past decade. In this complicated, crowded philanthropic market, potential donors and supporters are deluged with overlapping messages from a large number of organizations, often difficult to distinguish.

"Only the nonprofit brands that break through the clutter will thrive," said co-author Jocelyne S. Daw. "A nonprofit's brand is crucial to its ability to grow, be sustainable, and fulfill the organization's mission. It is the compass and driving force that acts as a central operating principle to guide strategy and provide daily inspiration to employees."

According to "Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding," every successful nonprofit demonstrates a three-dimensional value proposition, as follows:

  1. Convinces the head - Effective nonprofits rationally articulate a unique and differentiated idea that explains what their organization does better than others.

  2. Touches the heart
  3. - Breakthrough nonprofit brands put a larger cause and the outcomes they seek ahead of its own organizational needs, in order to become a magnet for those who are passionate about its mission.
  4. Engages the hands
  5. - Nonprofits can create a sense of community - both inside and outside the organization - by uniting groups of strangers in an experience of kinship of shared experiences and commitments.

"Our book provides nonprofits and their stakeholders the opportunity to learn from gold-standard organizations large and small, showcasing successful practices in action," according to co-author Carol Cone. "In each chapter, we share principles, techniques, and the latest tools to shed new light on challenges organizations face, so they can build a breakthrough brand."

"Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding" articulates seven core principles: discovering the authentic meaning of a nonprofit brand, embedding a brand's meaning across the entire organization, rallying internal brand ambassadors, developing comprehensive brand communications, mobilizing an external community, cultivating partners to extend a brand's reach and influence, and leveraging the brand for alternative revenue and value.

The eleven nonprofit groups profiled in the book encompass a variety of sizes, regions, ages, and issues; the common thread is that their brand work has resulted in greater social impact and vibrant results. Organizations highlighted in "Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding" include the American Heart Association; College Forward; Food Bank for New York City; Inspiration Corporation; Kids Help Phone (Canada); Memorial Health Works Kids' Museum; Susan G. Komen for the Cure; NatureBridge; Stratford Shakespeare Festival (Canada); Goodwill Industries International; and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

About "Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding"
"Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding" (ISBN-10: 0470286911 ) by Carol Cone, Jocelyne Daw, Kristian Darigan Merenda, and Anne Erhard was published by John Wiley & Sons and is supported by the AFP Fund Development Series. The authors have also made blogs, book excerpts, videos and additional resources available at To arrange a book signing or media interview, contact Andrea Rudert at 212-819-4851 or

To place individual orders for the book visit To place bulk orders, contact the publisher at the following address:

Reseller Sales Department
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Edelman Brand and Corporate Citizenship

Edelman Brand and Corporate Citizenship

Edelman is the world’s largest independent public relations firm, with 3,300 employees in 52 offices worldwide. Edelman was named Advertising Age’s top-ranked PR firm of the decade; Adweek’s “2009 Agency of the Year”; PRWeek’s “2009 Agency of the Year” and “UK Consultancy of the Year”; and Holmes Report’s “Agency of the Decade,” “2009 Best Large Agency to Work For” and “2009 Asia Pacific Consultancy of the Year.” Edelman owns specialty firms Blue (advertising), StrategyOne (research), BioScience Communications (medical education and publishing), and MATTER (sports and entertainment).

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