Get Your Tagline Right

Powerful, expressive, meaningful—is your association's tagline everything it should be?

The message that arguably costs associations the most agony in terms of ratio of time spent to length of message is the organizational tagline. Take a moment to think about yours: Is it memorable? Does it capture the essence of your organization?

"It's always harder to write something shorter than longer, and your tagline is as short as it gets. It is the absolute essence of your association's messaging," says Nancy E. Schwartz of Nancy Schwartz and Company and Getting Attention, a nonprofit communications blog. "Your steps in the tagline development process build the insight you'll need to craft a potent positioning statement and key messages or talking points (the other two elements in your message platform)."

If you'd like some tagline inspiration, consider the following taglines, winners in the 2009 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards. The 13 winning taglines were selected from a group of 60 finalists through the votes of nonprofit professionals and others interested in nonprofit taglines. Here are a few examples of the winning ones:  

  • Send a Net. Save a Life. —Nothing But Nets
  • Because the Earth Needs a Good Lawyer. —Earth Justice
  • Big Sky. Big Land. Big History. —Montana Historical Society
  • Nothing Stops a Bullet Like a Job. —Homeboy Industries

Visit the Getting Attention blog for the full list of winners and a report on strengthening nonprofit taglines. You can also read more about the keys to good taglines in "What Makes a Strong Tagline Work?" from the December 2009 issue of ASAE & The Center's Communication News e-newsletter.