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What’s Your Magic Color?

by Charity Dynamics

Let’s dive into some psychology on this post and talk about how important branding is to your nonprofit. Your logo, colors and other imagery you choose work to evoke feeling. When you’re asking for support, feeling can go a long way. Whether you like it or not, color is somewhat responsible for how the public perceives your brand.

It is important to select something visually appealing, yet appropriate, that will allow your org to stand out above the rest. Colors play an especially large role, 80% of surveyors believe that color increases brand recognition. There’s many supported theories that color affects buying (and thus donating) behaviors just as much.


The question now is how to select the colors that best fit your organization. Your colors will not only be used for your logo, but for your website, advertisements, thought leadership documents, power point slides and possibly even your office’s design scheme. By keeping your colors consistent throughout, you will strengthen your brand and create better memory retention in the minds of your supporters. Having a style guide in place can help all departments keep your colors and branding consistent.

Make sure to pick colors that are appropriate for your organization. You don’t want to be stuck with “fad” colors that you thought your supporters might like during a specific point in time. Your colors will represent your organization’s personality. If your organization is focused on children then bold primary colors may be right up your alley. So, what do the pros say about the feelings evoked by different colors? Let’s start with some of the basic colors and what they are primarily associated with.

Red – Energy, danger, power, determination, desire and love.
Orange – Enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, attraction, success, and stimulation.
Yellow –  Joy, happiness, intellect and energy.
Green – Growth, harmony, fresh/clean and safety and is commonly associated with money.
Blue – Depth, stability, trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith and truth.
Purple – Power, nobility, luxury, wisdom and ambition.

Different shades will also evoke different feelings and immediate associations within the people who see them. For example, a bright yellow evokes feelings of energy and joy. Light yellow may have a youthful feel to it and a dark yellow could emit a feeling of decay and danger. Choosing your exact color and shade is very important when creating a logo or even going through re-branding. Though, don’t over think it. There’s so many colors and shades out there that you may never pick one (let alone a combination of a few).

Always be sure that your “Donate Now” and “Register Now” buttons to stand out on the page. Call-to-Action colors should be different than your normal colors in order to really pop. Make sure that they don’t clash with your logo and other branding. A coherent aesthetic will allow the viewer’s eye to flow in a natural, comfortable way. You don’t want your website visitors to feel bombarded, but you want that call-to-action to be clear.

Deciding on the visual appearance of your organization may seem like an intimating process, but truly it is a chance to be fun and creative. Take this short quiz to determine which color describes your organization’s personality. Answer the questions “as” your organization to see if BuzzFeed has you on the mark for your color decision! Maybe not the best way to actually choose your color, but hey, Buzzfeed quizzes are fun!

For more information on colors affect on your supporters, check out these other articles:
What Hue are You?
Color Wheel Pro: Color Theory in Action
Choosing the “Right” Colors for your Nonprofit’s Brand
Psychology of Color [INFOGRAPHIC]

Learn more about how Charity Dynamics can help Peer-to-Peer Fundraising fit into your strategic plan