For Top 10 Nonprofit Power Brands, Engagement Is Key

Since yesterday’s launch of The Cone Nonprofit Power Brand 100, we’ve had many great discussions about the research. Every conversation starts with the same question. “What is it about the Top 10 that makes them the Top 10?” The answer, in a word, is ENGAGEMENT.

Whether 100+ years old, or newer kids on the block, these nonprofits are experts at leveraging multiple points of consumer engagement. Many have bricks-and-mortar facilities (YMCA, The Salvation Army, American Red Cross, Goodwill, Boys & Girls Clubs) or in-your-face marketing (Habitat, American Cancer Society) that keep them top-of-mind with consumers, donors and other stakeholders.

Other common threads include:

  • Their services have broad appeal to an array of stakeholders

  • They are entrenched in hundreds or even thousands of local communities across the country with extensive consumer touch points

  • They provide a credible voice and are a sought-after resource to help in difficult times

  • They have successfully partnered with companies to reach a broader array of constituents with a clear call-to-action

  • They have derived significant revenue through cause commerce (selling goods or services that help fund their cause)

It’s also notable that six of the Top 10 Nonprofit Power Brands are domestic social needs organizations (The Salvation Army, United Way of America, American Red Cross, Goodwill Industries International, Catholic Charities USA and Habitat for Humanity International). This sector is thriving as Americans turn their attention homeward since the devastating disasters of September 11 and the 2005 hurricane season. And, in these tough economic times, individual support of nonprofits providing life’s basic necessities has actually increased, and we expect this sector and its organizations will only sustain their upward momentum.


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