Awareness to IMPACT: How Your Brand Can Drive Higher Value


For the past 10 years, the Blackbaud Institute Index has tracked year-over-year trends in philanthropy and annual giving statistics—with the goal of empowering organizations to know their sector and raise more, faster. Over this time, the Index has grown to track over $40 billion from over 8,400 organizations in the United States!

To celebrate, we’ve invited some of our most trusted advisors, industry experts, and friendly faces to lead virtual fireside chats, podcast episodes, and more! Today’s episode features a conversation between brand strategist Ben Smithee and the Blackbaud Institute’s Ashley Thompson. At The Smithee Group, Ben Smithee has been helping leaders and businesses dream bigger and achieve more. In this excerpt from their conversation, Ben shares his expert advice on how a powerful brand allows for organizations to drive higher value and cataclysmic demand. Unfortunately, as Ben points out, powerful branding like this is one of the biggest areas where organizations fall behind today. He and Ashley connect on current trends in philanthropy and the for-profit sector to outline how you can get ahead of the curve by creating a relevant, legacy-focused brand in today’s digital ecosystem.

Topics Covered in this episode:

  • What is a brand and, more importantly, what isn’t?
  • Building equity by delivering on your brand’s promise
  • Growing your legacy alongside a new generation of donors

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunesStitcher or your preferred streaming service for future episodes!


Blackbaud Institute Index’s 10th Anniversary Celebration

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“A brand is a promise that an organization has the opportunity to deliver upon.” – Ben Smithee

“How do we become relevant to the future of the organization and create a legacy? By focusing on the future stakeholders of the organization. We can’t fall in love with how we’ve always done things.” – Ben Smithee