Brand value for historical organizations

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The Minnesota Historical Society’s Local History Services helps Minnesotans preserve and share their history. This blog is a resource of best practices on the wide variety of museum, preservation, conservation, funding, and non-profit management topics. We’re here to help.

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Brand value for historical organizations

By: grabitsdm | April 1, 2008

One of the concepts in business is that there is value in a good name or "brand value," which is the difference between appraised value and purchase price. For example, the good name of sports franchise could be said to be worth $20 million, if the appraised value of the team was $200 million and it recently sold for $220 million. Nonprofit historical organizations likewise have good names that are worth something, but how might that value be measured? Can that value be measured in dollars? Could it be measured in other ways?

Policy Innovations believes there is untapped power in nonprofit brands. Local historical organizations often see results of their good name when people turn to it for all sorts of reasons: community events, genealogical questions, natural disasters, offering artifacts, and on and on. The brand value of a local historical organization can make the organization more than a department of civic life. As the value rises, the nonprofit historical organization becomes more central or meaningful to people's daily life because they think well of it.  Robin Rusch writes more about this in "Do nonprofits have value?"  She concludes: "The more nonprofits understand the value of their brand, the better control they can exercise over how and when that brand gets used and the better they can put their donations to use in furthering their cause.."

How would you measure the value of your organization's good name?

Here's a potential scoring system based on Robin Rusch's work. Measure for Brand Strength