United Methodists Win Best Tagline Award

The United Methodist Church's "Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors." was awarded best nonprofit tagline among religious organizations.

The annual Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards announced the winners on Tuesday and recognized the Methodists for delivering "a tagline trinity that supports its applied faith mission and is warm, enthusiastic and embracing."

Nonprofit marketing expert Nancy E. Schwartz says a nonprofit's tagline is "hands down the briefest, easiest and most effective way to communicate its identity and impact."

"But this high-impact, low-cost marketing tactic is often overlooked or under-emphasized by nonprofits," she adds.

Schwartz found that most nonprofits are not utilizing taglines effectively or are skipping it altogether. A 2008 GettingAttention.org survey revealed that 7 in 10 nonprofits rated their tagline as poor or didn't use one at all. The annual Nonprofit Tagline Awards was designed to address what Schwartz considers a missed opportunity.

The United Methodist Church won the award under the Religion & Spiritual Development category. The denomination began an "Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors." welcoming and advertising campaign in 2001 to raise awareness and draw new people amid declining membership.

Research conducted in 2008 by The Barna Group for The United Methodist Church showed that a majority of people who were exposed to UMC's ads recall the "Open hearts" tagline. Thirty-nine percent said they were fairly certain or extremely certain that they recalled the phrase and 12 percent said they thought they heard the phrase but were not certain of it.

This year, Methodists launched a new campaign urging the world to "rethink Church" and see it not as a building but as a movement of people empowered to transform the world. It is considered the next evolution of the original ad campaign.

In total, 1,702 nonprofit taglines were submitted to the Nonprofit Tagline Awards competition and more than 4,800 nonprofit professionals cast votes in the final selection round.

Other winners include Earthjustice ("Because the earth needs a good lawyer") and Nothing But Nets ("Send a Net. Save a Life.").