A report published by not-for-profit sector think tank nfpSynergy decries the lack of importance given to branding by many organisations in the voluntary sector.
The report, 'Polishing the Diamond', criticises some of Britain's biggest organisations such as Oxfam, Age Concern and the RSPCA for not having a strapline to communicate their identity. Others are accused of choosing vague or over-long descriptions.
The report's author, Joe Saxton, says better branding would help charities avoid some common pitfalls such as trying vaguely to target the general public.
Joshua Blackburn, a charity brand consultant for Wolff Olins, says an increased awareness of the value of brands is helping some charities shake off the sector's "slightly amateurish
He said: "A brand has implications for how you work, think and construct your image and build relationships and it's absolutely critical. Brand is the starting point that helps charities work better.