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The Problem With Passion

From the front lines of American entrepreneurialism, here’s an encouraging report: our passion reserves are plentiful.


In our line of work, we come across many enthusiastic leaders looking to accomplish big things. Whether they’re transforming the world through nonprofit work, launching an innovative startup or impacting their organization from within, these folks are guided by conviction and eager to affect change. Maybe this sounds like someone you know.

Make it Tangible

Ambition is wonderful, but specificity is more relatable and compelling—and your brand needs to be both.

Having trouble narrowing things down? Sometimes a little distance can help. Find your power users—your most important customers, donors and stakeholders—and ask for their input. It should come as no surprise they know your brand well, if not better, than you do.

Here are some good questions to get you started:

What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of our organization?

What first drew you to the organization?

What would a world without our organization look like?

Once you find some common ground, combine your knowledge and those external responses and distill them into a distinct and specific story. Remember: you can always expand your reach later.

Stay on the Path

We get it. You want to describe your work accurately and with nuance. But when it comes to your brand, it’s more important to tell a simple story that resonates first, then expand into more. Imagine that you’re explaining your work to a twelve year old. You’d probably focus more on the big picture, not the process. Try and remember why you started doing this kind of work and forget those pesky details learned along the way.

Empower Your Team

You can’t do it all! And you’ve got a team for a reason. So let’s get you some help.

Creating useful and clear guidelines—covering everything from your visuals to your verbals—will help you empower your team members to steward the brand, freeing you up to focus on the really important stuff. This will feel like a heavy lift at first, but the consistency and confidence will be well worth it.

Building a brand from the inside out isn’t easy when you’re covered head to toe in Passionitis, but with some of these remedies in mind, you can recuperate. Perfecting your story and brand identity is essential for any organization, especially a non-profit. If your condition is more severe and you need additional help, you’re in luck, we specialize in solving complex branding problems.