Branding Helps Nonprofits Build Entrepreneurial Ventures

Branding Helps Nonprofits Build Entrepreneurial Ventures

Posted on April 18, 2017 by Mike Oxman, Managing Partner and Principal, No Margin, No Mission™

By Michael Oxman, Managing Partner and Principal, No Margin, No Mission

Brands give meaning and value to the products and services they’re attached to beyond the tangible features and benefits associated with the offerings themselves. They imbue everything from cookies, to retail stores, to museums, to gyms, with characteristics that consumers come to know and trust over time. Some well-known (not-for-profit) brands that come to mind are Girl Scout Cookies, Goodwill, MOMA, and YMCA, just to name a few.

Brands also help distinguish products and services of all kinds from one another so they stand out and get noticed. With a name, logo, tagline, typeface, and color scheme, a brand identity can bring unique personality, character, and other valuable traits that shape the way brands are perceived by consumers and potential customers.

So it only stands to reason that the “Super 6” nonprofit participants in Margin & Mission Ignition -- The Patterson Foundation’s initiative designed to help nonprofits increase their entrepreneurial capacity, boost revenue, and expand mission impact -- created unique brand identities of their own to launch and grow their earned income ventures.

When Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity branded its new cleanout service to remove furniture and household items left behind in vacated homes, apartments, and other residences, they chose the simple and straightforward approach:


  • Brand Name: Habitat Cleanout and Removal
  • Colors: Blue, Green, Tan, White
  • Brand Personality: Prompt, Courteous, Friendly, Reliable
  • Graphic Image: A diagram to show the simple and complete process of home cleanout, removal, and transport
  • Graphic Design: Eli Sare, Think Tank Solutions, Punta Gorda, Florida

When Friends of Sarasota County Parks branded its new and exclusive line of sun safety and hydration products that provide protection from solar radiation to help prevent skin cancer, they chose a clean and contemporary approach:

shade is good

  • Brand Name: Shade is Good
  • Tagline: Helping to Fight Skin Cancer
  • Colors: Green, Blue, Yellow, White
  • Brand Personality: Safe, Protective
  • Graphic Image: A contemporary shade structure blocking the sun to symbolize how proceeds generated from Shade is Good will be used to protect park-goers at athletic and recreation areas in Sarasota County Parks
  • Graphic Design: Rough & Ready

When Friendship Centers branded its accredited continuing education courses for licensed professionals focused on geriatric-related coursework, they chose a warm and friendly approach:

friendship centersfinal

  • Brand Name: Friendship Center for Aging Studies
  • Colors: Blue, Green, White
  • Brand Personality: Familial, Approachable
  • Graphic Image: People gathered around a circle united by an embrace to symbolize sharing, learning, understanding, and caring
  • Graphic Design: In-house

When Legal Aid of Manasota branded its new venture designed to provide quality legal assistance to clients with limited financial means in divorce and paternity cases, they chose a professional approach:

florida low bono

  • Brand Name: Florida Low Bono
  • Tagline: Project of Legal Aid of Manasota
  • Colors: Gray and White
  • Brand Personality: Credible, Trustworthy, Strong
  • Graphic Image: A simple protective shield emblemized with the Legal Aid of Manasota initials (LAM) to support the adjacent and more dominant Florida LowBono brand as a program of the parent organization
  • Graphic Design: Magnify Good

When Lighthouse of Manasota branded its specialized retail store offering a unique and comprehensive selection of best-in-class low vision products at competitive prices, they chose a highly unexpected, yet effective, approach:

peepers final

  • Brand Name: PEEPERS Low Vision Store
  • Tagline: For Your Low Vision Needs
  • Colors: Blue, Green, and White
  • Brand Personality: Warm, Friendly
  • Graphic Image: A bespectacled frog perched atop the PEEPERS logo to symbolize the importance of vision aids to help improve one’s sight and quality of life
  • Graphic Design: Rough & Ready


When Pines of Sarasota branded its vast selection of practical, skill-focused, affordable dementia-care education offerings targeted to caregivers, they chose an approach that aligned with the umbrella brand of their parent organization:

Pines of sarasota final

  • Brand Name: Pines of Sarasota Education & Training Institute
  • Colors: Blue, Green, Yellow, White
  • Brand Personality: Strong, Nurturing
  • Graphic Image: Three towering pine trees stand alongside the dominant Pines of Sarasota corporate icon, serving as an overarching umbrella to the Education & Training Institute subsidiary
  • Graphic Design: In-house

Want to learn more about earned income and related topics?
Read all of our Guest Blogs for The Patterson Foundation.
Visit No Margin, No Mission’s™ Website and Resources page
Contact or
Follow No Margin, No Mission™ on Facebook and Twitter.
Follow the initiative on Twitter #TPFMarginMission.

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