There are nearly 170,000 charities operating across the United Kingdom. From the smallest charities hosting cake sales at the local village hall, to charity giants such as Cancer Research UK and Oxfam GB broadcasting adverts on television and fundraising nationally, every charity understands the focus it has: to achieve the goals it cares about.
Here at WISE Worksafe, we understand the importance of achieving goals. That’s why we combine our company ethos with branded clothing to help charities exceed their own expectations when it comes to their charitable objectives.
We believe that an investment in branded clothing will considerably benefit charities aiming to reach their goals, whether they are engagement, fundraising, membership or revenue goals. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you understand why.
Giving charity branding a face
In the business world, branding is an essential aspect of any organisation due to the importance of brand equity. Brand association and representation directly shape how consumers feel about companies, and often these feelings can be strong enough to impact whether they invest in their goods or not.
Yet, this concept is not solely isolated to profit-focused companies. Branding also conveys ideas of symbolism and meaningfulness which can have direct impacts on the willingness people have to help causes.
Branding is a powerful tool, and in recent years an oversaturation of brands across all sectors and markets has made it critical to set yourself apart from the masses. That’s why a human and truly personalised image can make you stand out from the crowd.
In recent years, the significance of visual branding has increased prominently, but the platforms on which it exists have also adjusted. Whilst online organisations dominate the visual market, this only engages potential charity donors and supporters to a limited extent.
In-person, face-to-face visual portrayals of human beings representing their charity and displaying passion about their cause is capable of giving a brand a living, breathing and relatable face as its image.
When it comes to charity, people want someone they can associate the meaning and organisation with. That’s why some campaigns are so capable of tugging at emotions. It gives the goals of the charity a voice and feelings and a smile, and becomes more than just a series of facts and statistics on a screen begging for donations or other engagement. People can be passive with their engagement to assist online, or even with signage and literature, but human interaction is far more rousing.
A branded outfit will help potential supporters to quickly connect the charity representative with the ideals they are campaigning for, whether that’s through a slogan or image on their clothing, or because the charity has enough recognition to be linked simply by a logo printed in a suitable place on the garment.
A large percentage of offline donations are aided by the fact that members of the charity can go door-to-door or dedicate personal time to get to know those willing to help them. A smile and a conversation can go a long way and this positive image will help to successfully raise funds.
Recognition of the cause
There's a general consensus that people doing good things look like good people. Being altruistic is a virtue sometimes passed over but the worth of it is immeasurable. A dedicated employee or volunteer stepping up to address their cause will make others want to reach out and become part of that. They can recognise what the charity stands for and therefore back its ideals.
In any organisation, a brand should not only be recognised for its efficiency to maintain itself as a business, but also because it is part of something that is bigger than themselves.
A small construction company fundraising at a local park, to ensure the grassroots football team doesn’t have to struggle with hiring out its pitch, is a bigger picture that people can get behind. People love the resonance of a good story and it helps an organisation identify as a contributing part of the community.
People can also associate a brand with a future event. If they’ve seen the organisation doing something in the past and recognise the name or logo, they are more likely to engage with it again. The reason consumers indulge in the same brands over and over again, is because they trust what they represent and what they can receive from them. In the case of charities, this is more likely to be focused on making people want to become a member or regularly donate.
There are many ways to choose and personalise garments, so your cause is well portrayed. For example, a charity that operates restaurants or cafes could provide each member of staff with a branded apron, including a message emphasising their mission. A smart, embroidered chef’s jacket can subconsciously appeal to people’s stomachs and emotions, and guide them to support the organisation through the food they buy.
Using clothing for calls-to-action
In the same way a business uses branding to boost engagement with its customers, charities can incorporate their own style to inspire the desired actions. These can involve giving, spending and registering for new memberships, but are not limited to those. Becoming a volunteer themselves will help to spread the message and add another person with the same ideals working toward a shared goal.
Customer engagement is vital to ensuring you make the most of charity events and campaigns, to raise the highest amount of funds possible to aid your cause. Therefore, what is displayed on your branded clothing can be used to maximise the level of engagement and participation.
Clothing can sometimes speak louder than a voice, and a short, punchy call-to-action that’s easy to digest is more likely to engage supporters, so they can quickly figure out what’s expected of them. A highly visual image or slogan can demonstrate at first glance the impact your charity has and what it aims to do.
Long sign-up forms that require extensive personal details can become a thing of the past. Setting up a text donation code is relatively simple, and short phrases on staff clothing instructing donors how to give via their phone can prompt immediate action.
Reception staff at a visitor attraction can wear name badges and a smart branded shirt. Giving a name to an otherwise anonymous face makes them more approachable, and a bold call-to-action encourages visitors to speak to them and ask for help.
Museum tour guides can have prompting statements on their staff uniform such as “Ask me more about Henry VIII’s six wives” or “Tell me about your favourite dinosaur”. This adds fun and enjoyment to the visitor experience, which in turn encourages donations, positive online reviews and repeat visits.
Charity event marshals wearing bright colours, bold designs and fun, catchy phrases will spread the word about the great cause they’re campaigning for. Drawing attention to the volunteers by their clothes and branding, will make it clear to attendees what’s expected of them, and prominently display the charity’s ambitions.
Similarly, door-to door fundraisers should be clearly branded with the charity logo and ID badge, and maybe a motto or hashtag too. This will inspire confidence in potential donors, because the purpose of your campaign is clear and the people are deemed trustworthy. It’s all about ensuring a positive connection between the volunteer and donor. A smile, a recognisable brand and a positive message goes a long way.
Filling people with confidence
Ultimately, charity is all about reaching an end goal, and making the face of your brand identifiable, meaningful and trustworthy is vital whatever the mission. As discussed in a previous article on providing uniforms for charity volunteers, both employees and volunteers who can truly identify with the cause will possess more passion and ambition to strive for the organisation’s goals. The knock-on effect of this is consumers’ willingness to join in.
Those working for the charity need to feel confident and part of a strong team. If staff are confident, the charity’s message will come across confident too.
Many people can feel overwhelmed and alone when representing something by themselves. Company uniforms enforce solidarity and a sense of togetherness. They give individuals a sense of belonging to something great, which can be incredibly empowering. The same can be said about wearing any branded clothing, like the examples we talked about earlier.
The power of group conformity should never be underestimated. Not only does it make those in the group feel more secure about what they’re working towards, but clusters of people dressed the same will gain attention and attract interest because it’s obvious they represent something.
Branded clothing for fundraising doesn’t have to be limited to the traditional t-shirt. You can add a smart flair to an event with a clean cut, fitted polo shirt or a smart softshell jacket. Not only should workers feel comfortable and well-presented, but this positive image is also crucial to your brand.
With a smart uniform and shared ideologies, new people will want to get involved and share in the work your organisation does.
Bringing it all together
Having explored the power of branding clothing for charities, let’s summarise what we’ve discussed.
- Staff and volunteer clothing is a great way to humanise a charity’s brand and what it stands for.
- Combining devoted people with strong, visual, consistent branding makes the organisation they represent memorable and stand out from the crowd.
- Garments personalised with bold messaging and calls-to-action increase engagement with those around.
- Providing your staff with smart, quality uniform strengthens the psychological bond between the wearer and the charity they work for.
- Well-presented and clearly identifiable people feel more confident and inspire trust from those they interact with.
WISE Worksafe has many years of experience working with charities, combining the power of their brand and people to reach their objectives. If you would like further advice on how to maximise the impact of your charity branded clothing or corporate uniform, please get in touch. We would love to help you bring your ideas to life.