Making the invisible visible

Name changes can be hard on organizations. When the Crippled Children’s Society became AbilityFirst the nonprofit went from one of the most-recognized charities in Los Angeles to an organization that no one had ever heard of. The transition was rocky — and brand awareness was plunging. One of the board members suggested their communications director talk to us. 

What we did

When we audited their materials, we found tremendous inconsistency in the way their new brand had been implemented. Nothing matched. And there was no method in place to ensure that the AbilityFirst brand was used the same way by all their many Centers, or even by the corporate communications people themselves. 

Our first task was to develop a style guide. Our second was to apply those principles to a set of exciting new communications materials including the website, annual report, capabilities brochure, support materials for their Centers, signage, advertising and ultimately the launch of AbilityFirst magazine. 

Results

AbilityFirst’s name recognition has been growing. The internal public relations staff has worked hard to build awareness, and the consistent and eye-catching marketing tools have helped them reinforce their brand at every turn. People see their vans and delivery trucks all over Southern California, and associate the new name with the centers themselves.

And those, in turn, are beacons for the stellar work the organization does for kids and adults with developmental disabilities. From Down syndrome to cerebral palsy to the rapidly-growing population of children with autism, AbilityFirst provides education, housing, vocational training and other forms of support without which many families would be devastated.

We loved partnering with AbilityFirst, and watching our work help them grow as more families benefit from their dedication and expertise.

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