Commercial brands are behaving more like charity brands through CSR and cause marketing which means that charities must do more to stand out through marketing and brand communications, according to the CharityComms Branding Inside Out report.

Charities such as Macmillan and Save the Children that have invested heavily in marketing and branding have reaped the benefits of increased awareness and financial support, according to the report which aims to give charities ammunition to encourage financial directors to continue to invest in the brand despite economic pressures.

Macmillan, which overhauled its brand in 2006, has recorded an increase in awareness by 65 per cent in 2011 – up from 31 per cent before the rebrand.

Its fundraising income has increased to £141m in 2011 up from £97m in 2006 and it has been able to help 65 per cent more people suffering from cancer as a result of investing in its brand and marketing, the report adds.

Blind Veterans UK, which rebranded from St Dunstan’s, has seen a 31 per cent uplift in response rates to direct mail and a 38 per cent increase in the likelihood that the public would consider supporting the charity since the rebrand.

Joe Saxton, the founder of research firm nfpSynergy and current chair of CharityComms, who authored the report, says: “For a sector that deals in values, ideas and intangibles, making sure an organisations brand does justice to the work is of paramount importance.”

The report, published in partnership with Oliver Marketing, makes a number of recommendations to help charity organisations modernise their brands to boost donations and case studies to help fight the case for investment in marketing.