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Join Business CENTS and Julia Reich, Principal of Julia Reich Design in this new workshop designed with Nonprofit organizations in mind! 

Business CENTS and Julia Reich, Principal of Julia Reich Design presented this new workshop on Wednesday, July 27, 2011, designed with Nonprofit organizations in mind.

Our workshop objectives were to:

• Learn what branding is

• Understand how a strong brand can benefit your nonprofit

• Learn about the process of creating a strong brand

• Evaluate your organization”s name, tagline and logo

Key Takeaway: A strong brand can help you create a consistent look that reinforces your mission and attracts donors.

Below are some of the Resources and Case Studies we shared and discussed.

Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog — Written for do-it-yourself nonprofit marketers and one-person nonprofit communications departments.

This guest post by Allison Monnell demonstrates not only the power of storytelling in nonprofit communications, but just how beneficial it can be to your nonprofit when you integrate a culture of story sharing into your everyday work, as the Chemung ARC has done with its Stringer Success Stories.
Creating a Strong Nonprofit Brand | Nonprofit Marketing | Getting Attention

© 2002 – 2011 Nancy E. Schwartz. All rights reserved. You’re welcome to "reprint" this article online as long as you do not alter the article in any way, and you include the author byline and attribution as displayed below. If you would like to edit the article, please contact us.
Nonprofit Brand Institute

Council on the Environment of New York City Gets New Name and Logo to Improve Recognition The Union Square Greenmarket – the largest and most successful open-air farmers market in the country – is a New York City icon, but few people are aware that this and all greenmarkets in the city are programs of the 40-year-old Council on the Environment…
Resources | Big Duck

Think of this as your own communications resource library. As much as we may want to, we can’t work with every nonprofit out there. But even those we don’t work with directly can benefit from some of Big Duck’s free (or inexpensive) nonprofit communications resources.
What Does Your Business Card Say About You?

Hopefully you already have a business card, but if you don’t you should definitely create one. Business cards are something that we take for granted when we shouldn’t. The look, feel, and message on a card help people determine how they view you and more importantly, if they will even remember you.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

In the News Here are some of today’s top stories and happenings at IAVA. Prefer to receive real-time updates about major stories and legislation that IAVA is tracking? Follow us on Twitter @IAVAPressRoom or subscribe at
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Ideas for Socially Responsible Businesses

Click here to see our most recent eNewsletter Taking Exception to Exceptionalismby Eric Friedenwald-Fishman Jul 26, 2011 We Should Expect Good Giving To Be Hardby Holden KarnofskyJul 25, 2011 Surdna CEO on Philanthropic Isolationby Aaron HurstJul 22, 2011 Debra Dunn – Stakeholders in Corporate Social ResponsibilityJul 08, 2011 Robert Proctor – Global Health Speaker SeriesJun 29, 2011 Bill Drayton – Promoting Social Entrepreneurship Among YouthJun 27, 2011 Nonprofit Management Institute 2011 …


The Challenge
Our client, School Food FOCUS*, recently asked us to re-design this marketing piece. The reason for the re-design? They felt it was not adequately communicating the scope of what they do and who they do it for. Plus it’s just kind of homely. (By the way, I’ve eliminated non-essential text and graphics from the page to avoid visual distraction).

It’s a challenge to visualize data clearly, effectively and attractively. Comprehension is critical (We find the amazing graphic work at GOOD magazine is always an inspiration).

But first, we need to know what this organization does. What’s their mission? School Food FOCUS works with the largest school districts nationwide to advocate for school meals that are more healthful, regionally sourced, and sustainably produced. “FOCUS aims to transform food systems to support students’ academic achievement and lifelong health, while directly benefiting farmers, regional economies, and the environment.”

In studying the old graphic carefully (above), we could see that FOCUS is reaching a lot of kids in the country’s big city districts. But that was only part of the story this organization needed to tell. The new design also needed to visually represent the following core concepts:

  • FOCUS works with many of the nation’s public school districts, including the largest ones
  • A lot of these districts offer a high percentage of free and reduced lunches to needy kids
  • The nation’s largest districts convey the strongest market pull
  • This buying power affects how school lunches at public schools are procured
  • FOCUS is successfully helping the most students in the nation’s neediest schools eat better

The Creative Process
Round 1

In this initial solution, we dispensed with the clip art schoolhouses and decided to break up the main messages using several graphics:

  • USA map showing locations of participating districts
  • Highlight the total number of students reached by School Food FOCUS in large point type
  • Emphasize the high percentage of free and reduced meal eligibility rates within School Food FOCUS’s partner districts

Plus we took a stab at drafting copy for a main headline and sub-headlines, enabling the reader to put the data visualizations into context.

(Note: for this round and subsequent rounds, data and text does not represent final numbers and copy.)

Round 2

However, the “donut” graphics, 32 in all, proved overwhelming to digest, so we removed those. And there was a big ol’ typo in the title. Also in this round:

  • On the map, we highlighted not only all the participating districts with a red dot, but also emphasized which of these were very large, with over 100,000 students, using a red dot within a circle
  • Made further changes to the second part to try to convey more effectively that School Food FOCUS helps those children most in need of healthy lunches
  • Added a photo

Round 3

In this round, we responded to the following client feedback:

  • They liked the addition of a photo, but requested one where the child is not eating a banana, which is not sustainably sourced (oops!)
  • In the graphic comparing the Free and Reduced percentages of FOCUS districts vs. the national average, the little people figures weren’t working too well, because they wanted to see something that showed more clearly that the two percentages are being compared to one another. So we developed this version using a lunch tray, where the data is together in one graphic.


This project is a work in progress. As designers, we take pride in our creations that offer visual appeal. But is it functional? How successful have we been so far in communicating our client’s core messages? Has your organization produced a compelling infographic you’d like to share?

For more about infographics, with several great examples, see Smashing Magazine’s post on Data Visualization and InfoGraphics).

(*”FOCUS”: Transforming Food Options for Children in Urban Schools)


July 2011
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