Your big NGO isn't a big brand. So what should be your brand strategy?

By Lisa Cornish 31 October 2016

Children take part in an exercise inside a BRAC primary school in Manikganj, Bangladesh. Photo by: Conor Ashleigh / AusAID / CC BY

Most people have probably never heard of the world’s largest nongovernmental organization. BRAC, with a workforce of over 100,000 people and projects reaching 1 in every 55 people, is the biggest development organization operating today.

But compared with groups such as Amnesty International, Oxfam, Red Cross, UNICEF and World Vision, BRAC is hardly a household name. Other organizations have become synonymous with supporting and advocating for developing communities.

The difference between BRAC and other international NGOs could be about strategy. Being a brand name doesn’t suit every organization’s needs and may not even be in its benefit. But all NGOs have stakeholders and a message that needs to be communicated to them, so brand does matter.

Devex spoke to branding officials and NGO leaders about how organizations decide if popular brand recognition will help their cause. What sort of branding strategy makes sense for big NGOs that aren't and don't want to be household names?

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About the author

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Lisa Cornishlisa_cornish

Lisa Cornish is a Devex reporter based in Canberra, Australia. Lisa formerly worked with News Corp Australia as a data journalist for the national network and was published throughout Australia in major metropolitan and regional newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph in Melbourne, Herald Sun in Melbourne, Courier-Mail in Brisbane and online through Lisa additionally consults with Australian government providing data analytics, reporting and visualization services. Lisa was awarded the 2014 Journalist of the Year by the New South Wales Institute of Surveyors.

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