Taggies Target Fab Nonprofit Tag Lines

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Taggies is the nickname for the 2010 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards & Report created by Nancy Schwartz, who works with nonprofits and publishes Getting Attention blog and e-newsletter. This year the awards added a new category for programslike your volunteer program. In fact, Robert Rosenthal, from Engaging Volunteers sent out a call to all nonprofits to do just that. I think the call is really to grab our attention on the importance of having a tagline.

We know how important volunteers are to us. Yet we spend far less money, time and marketing effort on selling our volunteer programs. My partner and I taught a series of courses on developing volunteer management programs for the Nonprofit Leadership Development Program at Anne Arundel Community College in which we included an entire section on marketing. We pointed to successful brands like the American Red Cross volunteer and the Girl Scout Leader as examples of organizations that really understood the value of creating a volunteer brand.

Associations haven’t embraced this though. Have you seen or heard of a tagline used by an association for its volunteer program? A Google search turned up nada. I think it’s because we focus so intently on the organization’s tagline and those cool taglines for membership campaigns and conventions. What if we shifted some of that effort to creating a brand for member volunteer program? Volunteers are after all our engaged members. Highly engaged members after all drive retention, acquisition and participation. So there’s an ROI here for those that need that to trigger action.

I did find some interesting ideas which associations could build on…

  • Produce Marketing Association’s volunteer page headline (that could become a tagline): “be the face of change.”
  • American Water Works Association’s get involved page calls volunteers the “cornerstone on which AWWA was built.” Could the tagline be “We are the cornerstone”?
  • Volunteer Pilots Association’s tagline is People Flying People in Need – yes the tagline is the association’s tagline but it’s also the volunteer tagline by virtue of the fact that the association is all-volunteer.
  • Young Alumni Volunteer Association’s tagline is Connecting People Through Volunteering which could work as a volunteer tagline for any of us.
  • American Marketing Association’s tagline is marketingpower … could they use networkingpower for their volunteer efforts?
  • The Virtual Volunteer Project has an interesting recruitment tagline: Don’t Just Surf, Volunteer and list of other options (most of which are pretty lame) including “Click into Action” that might get you thinking

And my favorite:

  • Professional Volunteering – the killer app!  This is the headline for a blog posting by one of my fan association volunteer’s Nick Senzee written way back in 2006.

If you need some help working on a winning tagline, check out Nancy’s pointers from “The Perfect Association Tagline” from AssociationBizNow or in her article “What Makes A Strong Tagline Work,” Communications News, December 2009, ASAE & The Center.

And in any case, take 3 minutes now to enter your nonprofit’s taglines. The deadline for entering is July 28.  All entrants will receive a free copy of the fully-updated 2010 Nonprofit Tagline Report in late 2010. It’s billed as “the only complete guide to building your organizational, program, fundraising or special event brand in 8 words or less—filled with how-tos, don’t-dos and models,” so it’s gotta be worth the 3-minutes.

Mariner Management & Marketing provides association management, volunteer coordinator and leadership development information for associations and non-profit organizations.