Shocking truth: Nonprofit changes name in a smart way

Here’s an incredibly refreshing and unusual story: A nonprofit organization re-brands, and they don’t screw it up!

I’m flabbergasted.

Here’s the story in Civil Society: St Dunstan’s rebrands to Blind Veterans UK.

St Dunstan’s, a century-old UK charity that helps veterans who’ve suffered sight-loss, changed its name to Blind Veterans UK.

Blindveteranslogo

You can probably see what their problem was. “St Dunstans” sounds more like a church than what they are. The legacy logo (see below) didn’t help. Without massive mindshare, which they didn’t have, they were saddled with a puzzling, abstract name that gave no hint of what they were about.

Most branding experts would have attacked this problem by creating a name that was even more abstract than St Dunstan’s. Something about light or hope or empowerment or transformation. Vague, aspirational concepts.

Blind Veterans UK went literal.

You can actually discern what they do. And where they are. And the logo uses the flag to evoke national pride — something that can’t go wrong with veterans’ charities.

The whole thing is clear and obvious. It’s as if they actually want donors to support them!

Most of the time, a re-brand becomes a disastrous exercise in abstraction, navel-gazing, and leaving donors as far behind as possible. World Emergency Relief becomes Emerge Poverty Free; Cascade Land Conservancy becomes Forterra.

Oldlogo

That’s why this is newsworthy.

It’s a man-bites-dog story.

So a tip of the hat to Blind Veterans UK and their branding consultants. It’s wonderful to see something go right in this department. You can learn more about the rebranding here.

Thanks to alert reader Edward Tait for the tip.


Comments

4 responses to “Shocking truth: Nonprofit changes name in a smart way”

  1. Here’s hoping other nonprofits that need a facelift will read this and learn important points!

  2. Here’s hoping other nonprofits that need a facelift will read this and learn important points!

  3. Jenni Bacon, Spencer du Bois Avatar
    Jenni Bacon, Spencer du Bois

    Thanks for this Jeff, we’re the branding consultants of this piece at Spencer du Bois, and we’d just add that it’s a pleasure to work with the very talented and focussed team at Blind Veterans UK. Great to hear you like the work! The charity does such a fantastic job of supporting its members.

  4. Jenni Bacon, Spencer du Bois Avatar
    Jenni Bacon, Spencer du Bois

    Thanks for this Jeff, we’re the branding consultants of this piece at Spencer du Bois, and we’d just add that it’s a pleasure to work with the very talented and focussed team at Blind Veterans UK. Great to hear you like the work! The charity does such a fantastic job of supporting its members.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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