Fletcher in the News

The Secret to Managing Nonprofit Brands: Prof. Laidler-Kylander Speaks with Forbes

In an interview with Nathalie Laidler-Kylander, [professor at The Fletcher School, Tufts University, and] co-author of a new book titled The Brand IDEA: Managing Nonprofit Brands with Integrity, Democracy, and Affinity, we explored the origins of the book, key themes and insights, and how best to apply this new framework to your own nonprofit organization. 

Rahim Kanani: Tell me a little bit about the origins of this work. What motivated you to explore this topic in such great depth, and why now?

Nathalie Laidler-Kylander: The origins of this work came from a desire to understand how and why so many nonprofit organizations had strong and trusted brands. Over the past decade, I (Nathalie) conducted research on nonprofits, developing case studies and exploring the drivers of brand equity with several different colleagues. More recently, as a Senior Research Fellow at the Hauser Institute at Harvard University, through a generous grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, I co-authored an article with Christopher Stone in the Stanford Social Innovation Review titled, “The Role of Brand in the Nonprofit Sector” (Spring, 2012). The positive response to this article inspired further research, culminating in the publication of The Brand IDEA: Managing Nonprofit Brands with Integrity, Democracy and Affinity, (Jossey-Bass, 2014 with co-author Julia Shepard Stenzel). The book is therefore the result of over a decade of research and incorporates data from interviews with over one hundred organizations. 

Read the full interview