Assessing Your Nonprofit’s Logo: 6 Questions

Marketing and Social Media

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Speed test: you see golden arches. What do you think of? McDonald’s. Slick black check mark? Nike. Cursive red C? Coca Cola. All of these mammoths have unforgettable logos that require no introduction. The question is, how does your nonprofit’s logo ascend to the ranks of the logo gods? Well, it involves a bit of design and reflection, so get your pens and papers out and pay attention. Logo assessment is on the agenda!

In order to tackle this graphic topic we have posed a series of 6 questions to consider when assessing your nonprofit’s logo.


Do other nonprofits have similar logos?

The first point to consider is uniqueness. You want your logo to be the only one of its kind. If there are other organizations with similar logos, your donors, volunteers, grantors and other important groups are going to confuse your organization with others. Your logo is a symbol of your organization that is reproduced over and over again. If another group is using something similar, your logo is definitely not one of the best nonprofit logos!


Does your logo still represent your nonprofit?

How old is your logo? What was the mission of your nonprofit at the time your logo was created? Has your mission evolved since them? It is not uncommon for nonprofits to shift their focus over time. However, if your logo was created pre-transition, it might not truly represent your organization right now.


In order to assess the current state of your organization, you’ll need to consider a few additional questions.


  • What’s your organization’s written mission?
  • What population does your nonprofit serve?
  • What overall feeling should your logo exude?


Now look at your logo. Does it match with the answers you gave? If not, it may be high time for a makeover.


How does your logo translate to different platforms?

Logos are funny little things: they have to look good both digitally and in print, and you want your logo to perform equally well on both. Plus you have to check them out on various social media platforms and how it will display on mobile. Tired yet? Don’t be! This is a great time to call in some outside eyes.

Get together a test group of people (outside your organization) and get some external opinions. Make sure your test group includes people of different ages so you can get generational perspectives.


It is important that your nonprofit also have a print and digital version of your logo. And if you don’t have two versions, you already know there is work to be done and you should revisit your nonprofit logo design process.


Can your logo be simplified?

What is the unifying theme of the logos that was mentioned at the onset of this article? Simplicity! The best logos are not complicated. They should be striking, bold, memorable and, above all, simple. If your logo includes a ton of design elements, consider getting rid of some of them.


Are your logo variations consistent?

Do you have multiple versions of your logo but all appear somewhat different? Let us give you an example. Are you a big nonprofit with smaller affiliated agencies but each one is using a different logo and now there is no consistency or connections amongst affiliated nonprofits?

Are you creating a new logo for each program so that you now have an excess of logo options being used without any rhyme or reason? Whatever the case may be, make sure your nonprofit is consistent. If it isn’t, it’s time for some logo changes!  


Does your logo go with your marketing materials?

Does your nonprofit have a brand style guide? If not, read this piece and then come right back! If so, you want your logo and its usage to comply with your own written guidelines. Making sure that your nonprofit consistently sticks to its brand style guide is essential in avoiding confusion and effectively promoting your brand.


Final Thoughts:

We know you’re busy saving the world and the last thing you want to do is add another thing to your to do list. But your nonprofit logo is essential for imparting your message and vision on your potential donors. It ensures that you remain in people’s minds, so take a good, long look at yours and see if it’s time for a change. Check out our logo upgrade checklist for more information and contact us at Elevation if you have any questions.We love to chat!


About the Author:

Emma Wolfe is the Content Marketing Growth Manager at Elevation, a full-service nonprofit web design agency. Emma has been involved in the nonprofit world for years working at multiple NGOs located both in the United States and abroad. Her experience ranges from refugee occupation counseling to empowerment programs for youth in West Africa. When she isn’t traveling Emma loves doing yoga and trying new food.

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