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7 of The Best Charity Logos to Inspire Your Nonprofit


Have you ever wondered why most brands utilize symbols in their logos? Well, one massive trait that makes human beings so different from other species is our ability to differentiate between and assign meaning to these different symbols. When someone first hears about your nonprofit, you probably want to make sure it is a memorable experience. Symbolism is an incredibly compatible interface for the human brain, and using them in your nonprofit logo design allows your brand to stick into the minds of your viewers. 

Your nonprofit logo is a kind of introduction as it is likely the very first piece of content that your community sees about your brand. It acts as a virtual handshake between you and your viewer, and a firm handshake is always welcome! Your organization's logo should be memorable, and it is important for it to convey an inspirational message about your nonprofit immediately. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite logos, and what makes them so efficient!

Let’s go!


1. Amnesty International

Source: Amnesty International

Amnesty International fights injustice around the world. The text is clear; the art is simple, and it definitely creates a unique image. The candle represents the light of a soul, and the barbed wire represents imprisonment. It utilizes two objects that you would not normally see together, which makes the message even clearer. It is also often printed in this yellow color, feeling like the little flame is emanating across the entire logo. It is inspired by a Chinese proverb: "Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." A noble energy, with a noble brand logo to match. 

When thinking about your own logo, take a page from Amnesty International’s book. Use color to help make your logo resonate. Choose fonts that are clear and readable and ensure any symbol you choose to incorporate is reflective of the mission of your organization, whether direct or through power symbolism.


2. Peace Corps

Source: Peace Corps

The dove is a wonderful icon for representing peace, and the colors of the American flag historically represent freedom. Circular shapes emanate positive emotional messages and promote unity. It has a very nice flow to it, emanating a feeling of ease and peace; exactly in alignment with the organization. It is important to create that alignment within your logo, as it adds substantially to your brand consistency. 

Additionally, the colors are muted to feel more relaxing, and the dove is flying to the right. This, in conjunction with the curved lines trailing the dove, bring a feeling of productivity and movement, which the peace corps is definitely known for. Would movement in your logo represent your organization appropriately? If so, consider utilizing movement arrows, a flying creature, or a tool that is in the middle of its job e.g., scissors cutting, a shovel digging, or a hose spraying water.


3. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Source: Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

This iconic hot-air balloon serves as an extremely efficient pictorial mark, and it has been a prized fundraising tool for the organization since 1983. Hot air balloons represent friendliness, wonder, and freedom, which is exactly what the organization wishes to impart to the children it helps. Precise shapes emulate professionalism and strength, and the hot-air balloon reminds us of expansiveness. It also tends to represent sharing ideas. Both of those mental cues are extremely useful for the brand. 

Many logos use red to inspire action, so the color choice is aligned with organization goals based in fundraising. It is important to take note of this: if your organization is primarily geared towards attracting donors, you may want to incorporate red into your charity logo. 


4. Mind

Source: Mind

This simple logo is incredibly effective and equally attractive. This organization exists to help people unclutter their mind, one mental mess at a time, and their logo exemplifies it. They provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing mental health problems. It has an appropriate color choice, as deep blue has a calming effect on viewers; exactly what they wish to do for the world. 

When you choose colors for your organization, consider what you are trying to convey and how the right colors may be able to help you achieve that goal. Mind’s goal is not necessarily to acquire new donors so much as educate folks as to who they are. Therefore, there is no need to use snappy colors that feel action-oriented. Is your goal to motivate prospective members to act? If so, an warm colors like red, orange, or yellow, which are typically associated with energy and excitement, may be more appropriate.

In addition, when you look at Mind’s scribble and see it transform into loose free flowing text, you can feel the purpose of the organization immediately, without overcomplicating it. When creating your logo, consider employing focus groups that include people unfamiliar with your organization to see how your logo makes them feel. Use that feedback to determine if your design elicits a response aligned with your nonprofit and mission.


5) WWF

Source: WWF

Of course, we had to include the iconic World Wildlife Fund. The genius usage of white space here allows the black sections of the panda to go on a variety of different mediums, and as the years go by, it never gets stale. Most people love pandas, and they understand that they are endangered, so you instantly have at least some idea of what this brand represents when you look at it. Think about your organization. Is there an icon that you can utilize that would clearly communicate to the outside world what your nonprofit represents?

The typography is always praised as being modern, despite being over 50 years old. They have never needed a rebrand. It is classic, timeless, and sleek, and it continues to represent an amazing organization. It is incredibly plain, lacking anything that may take away from the energy of the brand, but jumps off of billboards all the same. To learn from the World Wildlife Fund, ensure whatever font you employ for your nonprofit name or any accompanying tagline, will stand the test of time.


6) The Happy Hippie Foundation

Source: Happy Hippie

A warm smiley face allows for an efficient memory tool as the yellow is almost always going to catch attention. Additionally, people will think of this charity logo when they see other smiley faces. Remember that warm colors attract attention while cooler colors (like blue, green and purple) offer a feeling of tranquility. Match your scheme with the feeling you want to create.

The double H is immediately noticeable and recognizable, and though many people may still be unaware of this organization, general awareness is certainly growing. The use of circles is at play here once again, as it is within many effective templates. According to Logo Poppin, a circular design displays an idea of inclusiveness. If this is a trait you would like your organization to be known for, consider implementing a round shape.


7) PBS

Source: PBS

For the PBS logo, they chose this shade of blue because it represents trust and integrity, along with being the most loved color on earth. It has very few elements, which allows focus to remain on the pictorial mark. Consider using white space, or a block of solid color, to draw viewers' eyes to the brandmark.

The PBS rebrand rolled out in 2020, representing the fact that you should never be afraid to rebrand if it is simply time to do so! The symbol evokes a sense of reliability and competence, while the use of a blue shade gives the feeling of serenity, which you can employ for a similar feeling for your organization. It is a very distinctive little face, and the typography is very straightforward and effortless. Altogether, it represents quite efficiently the mission PBS holds to educate and inspire people with high-quality television programming. 


Final Thoughts

When determining how to create a memorable logo, examining tactics that many organizations have successfully utilized can give you the inspiration you need to put pen to paper. Whether you choose a color that elicits the feeling you desire, choose a symbol that creates an easy link to your organization, or utilize a shape or movement features to give the appropriate feeling, we hope the logos above will get your gears turning about what you can create!


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