The word “competition” can bring up very binary responses. Some think “win, superior, survival of the fittest!” Others might muse, “unnecessarily aggressive, scarcity mentality.”
Whatever your attitude about competition, knowing where your non-profit fits in the competitive landscape, and having the design that supports your position, is vital to getting the attention you need to rally support and achieve your mission.
Consider how your branding and identity materials fit among your peers. Gather logos and examples from all organizations in your niche. Looking at your peers and competition from a high level can show you what you (and your competitors) have not addressed. While taking a broad view might seem intimidating, strategizing with a clear understanding of the landscape will help you solidify your position.
But if we tend to understand what is familiar, then what makes design both fresh and easily understood? If your logo looks out of place when viewed side-by-side with your peers, you should take a more in-depth look. Do any materials stand out as particularly well- or poorly- designed? Seeing your articles in context with other organizations can bring any design issues into focus.
Also, consider what you might like about brands and organizations outside of your niche. Comparing across different sectors can also emphasize what works and what doesn’t.
Competition does not have to be a threat: especially in the non-profit sector, where everyone aims to help. Your competitors can also be your peers, your community, and your support system. Comparing yourself to other organizations can highlight your weaknesses, but there is also an opportunity to reveal your strengths.