Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 27 seconds

Today's Cloud Computing Infrastructure allows companies and nonprofit organizations of all sizes to provision and scale servers in hours instead of months. It means new applications are being created faster than ever before with smaller distributed builds being pushed out and tweaked on the fly.

It's what makes social media possible. Social brands can enter conversations and add their voices to the ongoing dialog in real-time, thanks to the Cloud.

The Cloud Infrastructure is why mobile apps are becoming a communications standard and a new fundraising tool. The recent spike in mobile phone donations during the Haiti quake crisis is only the beginning of this new and rapidly growing fundraising application.

And we've yet to see what new applications and user experiences will emerge in the near future as businesses and nonprofits begin to explore how to incorporate the interactive touch technologies, such as Wii and Windows 7, into the Cloud for their branding and fundraising communications.

The open applications that are now being explored due to Cloud Computing services means that technology isn't just an enabler for nonprofits, it's a game changer.

New and Newer Meet Newest.

In addition to the exciting and ever-changing apps and communications channels Cloud Computing is enabling, more nonprofit organizations have also begun to incorporate paid, organic and real-time search engine optimization and marketing, blogs, video, article marketing and back-linking to gain greater visibility and viability. Not to mention that many nonprofits have also been integrating all of this with their communications efforts in direct mail, email, online ads, splash pages, microsites and websites.

But what do all of these new channels and applications mean for your branding, marketing and fundraising communications?

Many Channels and Apps, One Brand Platform.

In the face of such a diverse and rapidly growing number of channels nonprofits are now needing to add to their communications and fundraising mix in order to engage and converse with supporters and advocates, establishing a branding and key messaging platform that is channel- and application-neutral has never been more critical.

Channel neutrality is the only way to make certain your branding and communications platform remains on-target and on-message without becoming diffused, diluted and ineffective.

So let's look at how to build a channel- and application-ambivalent key messaging platform.

Your Mission is the Message

The first leg of your organization's branding and messaging platform is anchored in your mission statement. In no more than 50 or so words, you should have a clear and concise statement of who you are, what you do and how you're different. If you do nothing else to develop a branding and messaging platform, you must at the very least create this statement. All of your outward and inward-facing communications will be rooted in this statement.

Words of Power

The next leg of your platform consists of your key messages. These are the "power words" that support your mission statement. Often, this key message is articulated as a tagline. This is a short statement that usually resides under your logo, which clarifies your mission and differentiates your organization.

If the name of your organization does not covey who you are or what you do clearly and quickly, then your tagline provides that information. If your name does communicate who you are, then your tagline helps to position your organization in the mind of your constituents and donors and aids memory recall.

Words of Support

And lastly you should add supporting statements to your platform. These bulleted proof points add more detail and weight to the claims made in your mission/positioning statement. They add clear and concise credibility and supporting proof by further articulating your mission and differentiating your organization.

In summary, as the Cloud infrastructure continues to expand, and as it and other technologies add more and varied ways for us to communicate with and engage each other, the need for nonprofit organizations to build a branding and communications platform that remains unchanged and channel-neutral will become more important than ever.

With your platform in place as your guide, whenever and wherever you communicate and converse with your supporters and advocates, you will be able to remain on-message and on-brand.

Last modified on Sunday, 19 May 2013
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