Communication and Courage
“We needed to let people know that it wasn’t as if that organization no longer exists,” she says. “Our messaging had to be crafted so that our constituents understood that the foundation of what we were is still here. However, it is now more streamlined and focused.”
JEWISHcolorado’s services and operations continued pretty much as they had in the past through the duration of the changeover. (Seserman likens the process to renovating a restaurant. The “smart” thing to do would be to close for three months while the renovations are being completed and the menu revamped. AJF’s revamp, however, happened while the organization kept its doors open and its services up and running.) And aside from some capacity-building funding from longtime major donors, there was no fundraising done specifically around the reimagining project. But communication about the rebranding played a key role in much of the organization’s messaging across all channels as it was happening.
“Throughout the process, we focused on the message of, ‘You spoke; we listened,’” Bergstein says.
The survey at the heart of the reimagining went out to specific focus groups at several times throughout the process. As the organization prepared to unveil the rebrand, it used print ads, email and events to prepare the community for the changes, she explains. Now on the revamped JEWISHcolorado homepage (jewishcolorado.org), a bright “We’ve Reimagined” link both points to a Donate Now button and links to a page that explains all about the rebranding project.
What about results?
While all of this is well and good, what about results and how the reimagining has affected JEWISHcolorado’s fundraising? Given that the name change went into effect on Oct. 1, 2013, it’s a bit too early to know. But the overall feeling at the organization is that it was a move in the right direction.