After 30 years, what started as a food pantry has become a major Ohio food bank and a leader in the nonprofit community. With the need for food assistance increasing, awareness is critical.
Client: Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio
Second Harvest is a model of an organization that practices and makes believers in its brand: stakeholder perceptions of Second Harvest have never been higher.
The Cause: Hunger Relief
Led by a dynamic Executive Director and a very active board of directors, Second Harvest determined that in order to raise awareness of the food bank and its mission, it would need to realign itself with its brand.
Second Harvest's story is all about ending hunger. While this mission is focused, the stakeholders are many: foundation, corporate and individual donors; food pantries and human services agencies; state and local government entities. Projecting competence, professionalism and integrity is key.
From One Voice (clarity of messaging) and donor relations, to maintaining its visual brand framework, Second Harvest continues to be one of the most successful brand implementations in the northeast Ohio nonprofit community.
Keys to the solution, in both visible and invisible branding, are
- A comprehensive redesign of its visual brand framework (including typography!), in all print and electronic communications
- A strong presence of its tagline: More Food, Less Hunger.
- Messaging and writing that consistently explain what the food bank does in the communities it serves
- A strategic plan that revealed new opportunities and needs for donor recognition, donor relations, and awareness
- New opportunities for awareness building, such as social networking and business networking
- A comprehensive web presence, focused on the resources and informational needs of member agencies, foundations, volunteers and donors.
The results of the branding initiative have been measurable in media exposure, an increase in donations, and greater awareness and standing in the minds of the stakeholders. Second Harvest continues to make believers in its cause.
The Second Harvest capabilities brochure has been instrumental in explaining the role of the food bank in the communities it serves, and how people can help by volunteering, advocating and donating.
Thank to Julie Chase-Morefield, Executive Director for this feedback on our impact:
How has Aespire helped create greater impact and advance your organization's cause?
Through the branding process, Aespire helped us communicate not only the mission of the organization but some of our culture as well. Starting with our new logo through our materials, website and the design of our trucks it tells our story. During a recent study a number of donors recognized our trucks with our logo as being the most identifiable thing about our organization.
How has Aespire helped empower your organization to fulfill its mission?
Aespire has helped us be able to communicate our message in such a way the volunteers and donors understand our purpose and want to be involved. With the staff it created a cohesive image that bolsters our internal culture.
How has Aespire helped your organization create more stakeholder and community engagement?
The website design has been key to community engagement and we receive many compliments on its design and functionality. But it goes further because Aespire has helped us look at everything as an extension of our brand: messaging, letters, signage, materials, website, social media and even the shirts our staff and volunteer wear.
How has Aespire helped your organization with fund raising initiatives?
In particular with gala event, Generous Helpings, Aespire created the logo, materials and ads. A recent donor commented about the invitation for Generous Helpings that it was unique and well-designed and looked like us. Everything sets the tone for how we want to be perceived and the event is something that sells out every year.
How has Aespire helped your organization achieve its strategic communications goals?
By understanding what we do as an organization and complexity of the issue of hunger. Aespire is not just using a cookie-cutter methodology of “communications for non-profits” but looking at who we are uniquely as an organization and helping us hone the messages to the community.