On June 1, 2011 the nonprofit I co-founded and have served with for the past 6 years–ME³–got a face lift. We revamped our look, launched a new website (which the organization had been in dire need of, thanks to my own NON-uber l33t web skills). Oh yeah, and we also changed our name to Activate Good.
On June 1, when our new name, brand, look, and website went live, the board of directors breathed a sigh of relief. Like any overhaul involving decision-making in a group of people, the rebranding experience had its trying moments (do we like this shade of orange or that for the new logo?). But really, in the end, after all was said and done, it felt invigorating as opposed to draining.
The reason is because in the course of our make-over, we each got the chance to “re-found” the organization in a sense. I was the only one on the board who’d been around since the beginning. I brought with me all the history, anecdotes, trials, successes and failures of our journey and evolution. But the other board members had varying terms of involvement with the organization. While we hadn’t thought of the goal of rebranding as, necessarily, coming together as a board to grow unified in our vision, that was a wonderful effect. Here’s why:
- Rebranding forced us to revisit the basic foundations of our organization, from our organization ‘personality’ to our mission statement. If a newer board member hadn’t already had an “a ha!” moment about what we did before, it happened during this process. In coming together to meticulously re-craft our mission and vision statements, we all became honorary founders.
- Rebranding helped us come to consensus on who we were as an organization and how we wanted the general public to see and know us. We changed our name because many people could not understand or connect with the name “ME³”. In choosing our new name, we were able to pinpoint the ‘personality traits’ of our organization and translate that personality into a title that we felt maintained our past energy while having the potential to feel more accessible to those who didn’t know us.
- We each played a part. No one board member or volunteer can take credit for the results of our rebranding. Each of us contributed something–some idea, opinion, or insight. In having equal investment in the rebranding process, all deepened their investment to the organization overall.
- While we were at it, we delved into an honest investigation of our programs and other aspect of our operations as well. Analysis, change, and willingness to perfect systems is not just important, but vital for any organization. Nobody is perfect or has the miracle cure, or knows how to save the world automatically. In revisiting our brand and image and name, we also remodeled how our key program would work. Our volunteer program will experience its overhaul in August 2011, when we’ll introduce what we feel is an exciting and innovative approach to inspiring and facilitating more volunteerism in our local area. Being open to change helped us explore other areas of our work that could improve.
I know for me personally, the rebranding was like a fun, girly make-over. Now that it’s over, I feel re-energized to represent the cause that is so important to me, and I can see that my fellow board members and volunteers feel the same.