Tutorial: Brand Checklist

This Brand Checklist summarizes the key messages that need to be included in all communication items such as website, newsletters, direct mail letters, advertisements, press releases, emails,  mailing inserts, elevator speech, presentations to major donors, social media, annual report, etc.

Keep this Checklist handy to avoid the “ooops we forgot” when you are approving any creative.  Each time, only select the points that are relevant for the audience of each creative.  For example, if you are sending a piece to donors that love your cause, you do not need to clutter up the item with information justifying the importance of your cause.  They get it.  Instead, focus on why your non profit is doing a great job alleviating the cause.

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Furniture Bank Brand Checklist

Emotional and Visual Feel

Bold text, red and black colour theme.  Use stock photos of models acting like our clients.  The theme adapts for online brochures, web pages, on site posters, on site banners, mailing inserts and all promotional items for the Fall Event.

What is the compelling reason?

  • Donors of furniture want an easy way to get rid of their furniture.  Secondary reasons are to get a tax receipt and to avoid landfill.
  • Donors of money want to “help the vulnerable” (at-risk youth and women and children fleeing abusive relationships).

Our message

1.  Unique for donors of furniture

  • we give tax receipts for donated furnishings
  • we offer a truck service to pick up donated furnishings
  • donors can avoid adding furnishings to landfill

2.  Unique for donors of money

  • cost efficient (administrative costs are xx% of revenue)
  • social purpose enterprise
  • operations are efficient (truck wait times and inventory turnover is improving)

3.  Unique for clients

  • we give away furniture for free
  • we offer a truck service to deliver (below market rates)
  • we can supply furnishings for an entire apartment
  • we provide job and life skill training for referred clients and youth at risk

What donors look for in every non profit 

  • cost efficient (administrative costs are xx% of revenue)
  • create homes (over xxx families served, etc)
  • select a price point of $20, $70, $120, $650 and include rationale of each

What the segments need to hear.

foundations – housing (number of families served, etc)
corporations – youth at risk (number of families served, job and life skills training program, etc)
“see the difference” individuals – impact in local community (number of families served, map of deliveries, a community helping a community, etc)
“high impact” individuals – cost efficiency, operational efficiency, our relative size, etc


  • thank you
  • registered charity so you will get a tax receipt

Call to action 

  • Ensure it is obvious what we want readers to do
  • Is there a way for them to opt out?
  • include logo, address, website
  • donors of furniture need the telephone number displayed prominently

Words that should not be included

  • The amount of landfill diverted does not appear to resonate with any segment.
  • If the number of tons is included, it needs to be translated into the equivalent volume in “number of sofas”.