Getting it right can be so good …for your Cause!

12650341_mApart from your organisation’name and perhaps logo potentially the most effective piece of marketing you can do is have a knock-out tagline, strapline or slogan! And it virtually costs you nothing.

Yet so few cause-based organisations seem to avail themselves of this golden opportunity to effectively promote their cause by having no tagline at all or by having one that is virtually meaningless. Those taglines that miss the mark usually do so because they focus on the service rather than the “promise”.

In the US they annually recognise the best cause-based organisation taglines at an Award Ceremony called the “Taggies”. Below is an article about the 2012 winners. Hopefully this will inspire your organisation to review and maybe improve it’s tagline:

Great Taglines Promoting Good Causes

By Nancy E. Schwartz
Publisher – / President – Nancy Schwartz & Company


A nonprofit’s tagline is hands down the briefest, easiest and most effective way to communicate its identity and impact, or to lead its advocacy or fundraising campaign, program marketing or special event promotion.

But this high-impact, low-cost tactic is often overlooked or under-emphasized by nonprofits like yours. Our recent Nonprofit Messages Survey showed just 29% of organizations like yours have a tagline that connects and spurs action.

The Nonprofit Tagline Awards program is designed to address this missed opportunity, and guide nonprofits to craft messages that do connect. And this year, for this first time, voters selected an advocacy campaign tagline award winner, in addition to the strongest organizational taglines, and fundraising campaign, program and special event taglines.

The 18 winners, listed below, were selected by more than 3,300 voters from 63 nonprofit tagline finalists identified by our expert panel of judges. The finalists were drawn from 1,400 tagline entries.

The organizations behind the winning taglines range from the regional (Elder Services of Worcester Area, Inc.) to the national (Wounded Warrior Project) and global (The TARA Project).

2012 Award Winners

  • Organizational  Taglines
    • Arts & Culture
      Organization: New Depot Players Community Theatre
      Tagline: Play Your Part
      This community theatre tagline uses a double entendre to invite  supporters to take part by taking action (donating). It’s   dramatic, and  broadly accessible.
    • Association
      Organization: Indiana Association for Community Economic Development (IACED)
      Tagline: You Make a Difference…(We Make It Easier)
      IACED’s tagline cuts through the clutter as it conveys the value of  membership, while giving subtle kudos to the community-focused work of  member and prospect organizations.
    • Civic Benefit
      Organization: Wounded Warrior Project
      Tagline: The greatest casualty is being forgotten.
      This distinctive tagline from the Wounded Warrior Project provokes anger,  compassion and a desire to help, in just six words. It’s an excellent example of a mission-driven tagline.
    • Education
      Organization: Librarians Without Borders
      Tagline: Putting information in the hands of the world
      This simple yet effective tagline from Librarians Without Borders leaves   no doubt about the organization’s mission and commitment. It’s definitive, with a powerful economy of words.
    • Employment & Workforce Development
      Organization: Youth Express
      Tagline: Potential Meets Opportunity
      Youth Express’ emphatic tagline is an equation that adds up to  perfection, telling a memorable story in just three words. It stops you  in your tracks, makes you want to learn more and sticks with you afterwards. That’s the kind of potent nonprofit message every  organization needs.
    • Environment
      Organization: Lake Champlain International (LCI)
      Tagline: Clean Water. Healthy Fish. Happy People.
      Lake Champlain International’s tagline highlights the value of its work and impact by connecting clean water with healthy wildlife and food, and satisfied swimmers and boaters. Such cause and effect is seldom so  clearly articulated by environmentalists..
    • Faith-based & Spiritual Development
      Organization:The Jewish Federations of North America
      Tagline: The Strength of a People. The Power of Community.
      The work of faith-based organizations often operates on several planes at once, a challenge for any organization and its messages. Here, The Jewish Federations of North America delivers a tagline twinset that inspires Jewish pride and highlights the Federations’ role as reliable shepherds of that community power.
    • Grantmaking
      Organization: University of Hawaii Foundation
      Tagline: For our University, our Hawaii, our Future
      The University of Hawaii Foundation’s tagline thoroughly communicates the value of its work while evoking every Hawaiian’s typically loyal ties to this special place and its future. You hear the love!
    • Health & Sciences
      Organization: Community Food & Justice Coalition
      Tagline: Food for People, Not for Profit
      The Coalition surprises and engages hearts, minds and stomachs with this  impassioned tagline urging the separations of corporations and food.
    • Human Services
      Organization: Elder Services of Worcester Area, Inc.
      Tagline: There’s no place like home
      This concise tagline tells Elder Services’ story succinctly and  powerfully: It’s all about getting seniors and younger disable people the help they need to stay in their homes. Plus, this idiom as tagline forges a bond between those of us who aren’t seniors (yet) and those who are. All of us feel welcomed and secure, yet independent, in the corner of the world we call home.
    • International, Foreign Affairs, National Security
      Organization: The TARA Project
      Tagline: Empowering Communities. Ending Poverty.
      The Tara Project conveys the two equally important halves of its values and impact in a way that makes you think hard about the connection.
    • Library
      Organization: University of West Florida Libraries
      Tagline: The Quickest Way from Q to A!
      The UWF Libraries’ tagline was submitted in response to a student contest and highlights the value that librarians have (and the Internet doesn’t).
    • Wildlife & Animal Welfare
      Organization: Maryland SPCA
      Tagline: Feel the Warmth of a Cold Nose
      Animal welfare groups tend to be pros at stirring emotion, and the  Maryland SPCA excels here. Voters went wild for this tagline—it’s emotional catnip for animal lovers!
    • Other
      Organization: Enactus (formerly SIFE: Students In Free Enterprise)
      Tagline: A head for business. A heart for the world.
      If an organization’s identity contains within it a distinct contrast  between its key characteristics, that’s often good tagline material.  Here, Enactus surprises by capitalizing on the contrast between profit  and compassion.  An excellent example of the tagline clarifying a nonprofit’s focus, when the  organization’s (new) name alone doesn’t do so.
  • Advocacy  Taglines
    • Organization: Vehicles for Change: Freedom Wheels—Campaign to build support for a culture of donating used cars,       focusing on how having a car changes the lives of low-wage families.
      Tagline: Help Drive Change.
      This clever tagline is a satisfying and motivational play on words. That’s a tough balance to find, and this tagline does it well, painting a  crystal-clear call to action.
  • Fundraising  Taglines
    • Organization: Funding Exchange: No Small  Change—Small gift campaign to raise funds and friends.
      Tagline: It’s all big when you’re changing the world
      “You” are the star of this tagline for The Funding Exchange’s fundraising  campaign, which elevates every gift (no matter the size) into a powerful tool for good. The tagline “is an ideal introduction to our stories of small actions, ideas, gifts and grants that went on to cause big change,” says Barbara Heisler, executive director.
  • Program Taglines
    • Organization: Goodwill Industries Serving Eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa: Customer Connect—Employment       program training individuals for phone-based customer service jobs.
      Tagline: Your Future Is Calling
      Voters enjoyed the word play here: It adds depth of understanding without  being glib.
  • Special Event Taglines
    • Organization: Ecological Farming  Association (EFA): EcoFarm Conference 2013
      Tagline: Feed the World You Want to Live InThis tagline is  engaging and visual. It fosters an intellectual and emotional connection between you (and the future you hope for) and the practitioners who will  share their perspectives at the conference, while emphasizing the direct  impact of conference organizer EFA.“Our constituents feel the tagline speaks to the ongoing debate about how we can feed the world in an  environmentally-sustainable and socially-just way,” says Communications   Director, Joanna Dillon.

Kudos to the 18 winners for doing such an admirable job in putting a few select words to work to build their brands, programs, and advocacy and fundraising impact!

Nancy E. Schwartz helps nonprofits succeed through effective marketing. Nancy and her team provide marketing planning and implementation services to nonprofit organizations and foundations . She is the publisher of the Getting Attention e-update and blog. For more cause-based marketing guidance like this, subscribe to her e-update at

About B-Cause

B-Cause is published by Cause and Effective. We help good causes find and attract effective leaders.

Thats our take on things. Over to you, please add to the discussion.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s