Show Your True Colours With This Guide To Colour Psychology For Nonprofits

Colour is all around us. Whether you’re aware of it or not, our brains are wired to make snap decisions based on colour. With it influencing 62 – 90% of first impressions, it’s pretty important to choose the right palette for your nonprofit – but how? 

Whilst colours play a pivotal role in building a powerful visual identity for your nonprofit, it’s not all about aesthetics. Colours can be used to communicate important information about your charity and help to reinforce your identity on a subconscious level. Thus, when your audience is ready to make a donation or get involved via volunteering or fundraising, your nonprofit will be at the forefront of their mind. 

By taking the time to understand what different colours mean and how they align with your goals and values, you will be able to build a brand that enhances your mission and enables you to form deeper connections with your audience. 

But enough of that, let’s talk colours. 


What springs to mind when you think of happiness? For most, the colour yellow will certainly be there. This bright and intense colour evokes feelings of joy, warmth and energy. However, due to its attention-grabbing nature, it can sometimes become overwhelming and lead to visual fatigue. 

Whilst this complex colour can have negative connotations if used incorrectly when used effectively, it can help nonprofits to stand out from the crowd and convey their mission to the people that matter most. Take Dogs Trust, for example. They use the colour yellow to evoke feelings of happiness & optimism and highlight the joy rescuing a dog can bring to families. From TV ads and brochures to social media posts and fundraising campaigns, Dogs Trust ensures its memorable yellow hue is used throughout its communications, helping to reinforce its brand and messaging and create a lasting impression on its audience. 

colour psychology branding example for nonprofits and charities


Ah, blue. One of the world’s favourite colours – and for good reason. A colour for peace and wisdom, blue is a fantastic choice for any charity looking to position itself as a stable and trustworthy organisation. This non-threatening colour evokes feelings of calmness and serenity but can sometimes leave audiences feeling blue. 

Nonprofits that support the environment often incorporate natural colours like green, blue or brown into their palettes. This instantly highlights their link to nature and allows their audience to grasp the themes that underpin their mission and values. Similarly, this colour is a natural choice for water aid charities due to associations between the two. 

colour psychology branding example for nonprofits and charities


Like blue, green is thought to be a natural colour, often associated with nature. Whilst people are often said to be ‘green with envy’, the colour is most commonly connected with tranquillity, luck and the environment. This calming colour is both relaxing and refreshing and is a strong choice for environmental and health nonprofits looking to inspire growth, optimism and motivation.  

colour psychology branding example for nonprofits and charitiesRed

Did you know red is the first colour a baby sees? This eye-catching colour packs a powerful punch making it the ideal choice for any nonprofit looking to promote a sense of urgency. Red evokes the strongest emotions of any colour, often inspiring feelings of passion, love, power and anger. This fiery colour is almost guaranteed to grab the attention of your audience and ignite an exciting response. 

The British Heart Foundation intensifies its simple yet powerful message using the colour red. They use the hue to amplify their voice and ensure their words are received with a sense of urgency, empowering people to take action and join the fight for every heartbeat. 

colour psychology branding example for nonprofits and charities


Whilst pink is often associated with red, it can have rather the opposite effect. Pink is thought to be a tranquillising colour associated with love, kindness, and femininity.

This calming colour has become synonymous with breast cancer, often used within awareness campaigns, fundraisers and nonprofit branding. From the highly successful ‘Wear It Pink’ fundraiser to Asda’s ‘Tickled Pink’ campaign to the timeless pink breast cancer awareness ribbon, this colour has helped nonprofits across the globe to enhance their fundraising efforts and raise life-changing awareness and support for breast cancer victims. 

colour psychology branding example for nonprofits and charities


Ready to step up your nonprofit’s brand and create a lasting impact? Get in touch to organise your free consultation now.


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