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ACBO Brochures

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American Council of the Blind of Ohio Brochures

Brochures for American Council of the Blind of Ohio

ACBO needed us to rewrite and redesign a brochure that they pass out to anyone interested in the organization. When we took a closer look we realized that beyond creating a new brochure that coordinated with their new brand, they needed the writing to be more accessible and targeted. While the information was valuable, it was written with no breaks or headings.

Also, the brochure failed to acknowledge the two different audiences: the potential member and the potential donor. In response, I wrote two different versions that specifically addressed each. The major difference is the panel with the call to action. For the donor, this panel explains how each dollar amount helps the organization provide their services. For the member, this panel has a very clear calendar of events that lists the activities for each month for an easier way to show how to get involved.

The placement of the information was also huge. We discussed the order people read brochures and placed the information in these corresponding spots. First off, it was important to explain that the organization is connected to the larger, national organization. Next, the reader needed to know exactly why the organization exists, on a general level, and who it helps. After they had a solid understanding of this, it moved onto another panel that explained in more detail how they help. It was only after all of this information that is was appropriate to ask for a contribution (for the version targeting donors) or to suggest a membership (for the version targeting those who need their services).

ACBO is thrilled with their new brochures and can’t wait to see if the new design and writing helps bring in more members and donations. Stay tuned for us to get the numbers and find out the results.


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ACBO Brandmark Unveiled

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As promised, we are unveiling the new new brandmark for ACBO that our Creative Director, Jeremy Loyd, created.

We’ll have the expert––Jeremy, himself––explain all the thought that went into the brandmark:

“The new ACBO identity system is designed to be versatile, and communicate ACBO’s bright outlook for their visually-impaired clients. Comprised of multiple brandmark versions that integrate brightly-colored, graphic illustrations, the flexible system allows for the creation of custom marks for different audiences, events, and fundraisers while still maintaining a recognizable brand presence.

Each brandmark version created will retain the same eye-like shape with the left side containing the organization’s initials. The right side of the mark contains a custom illustration that pertains to the use of the logo. For launch of the new identity, a corporate logo version was created, as well as versions specific to community awareness and corporate donor audiences.”

ACBO also has a new tagline. Our Brand Strategist, Jän Ostendorf, came up with the slogan “A Brighter Outlook” to better reflect the optimism ACBO brings to members’ lives.


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Kickoff for American Council of the Blind of Ohio

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Lots has been in the works for the FYDO 2011 recipient, American Council of the Blind of Ohio. Our Creative Director, Jeremy Loyd has created a gorgeous new brandmark for ACBO, which we will unveil next week, so be sure to check back.

As the writer, I have been busy the past few months reading and reviewing the content on ACBO’s website, brochures, and even the notes I have collected from a few of our meetings. There are a few audiences that they have been struggling to connect with, so we have been discussing some of the ways we can tweak the messaging to make this happen. Overall, we are developing plans to help them achieve the new business goals they have sketched out for themselves.

Also stay tuned for some posts about the content audit we are completing on ACBO’s website and the reconfiguration of their brochures.


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Breakthrough Charter Schools

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Breakthrough Charter School’s vision statement really got to us:

“Our vision is to grow from serving 1,100 students to 7,000 students across 20 urban campuses by 2020, preparing 100% of our students to graduate from college and become engaged, responsible citizens.”

At their current state, it seems they are well on their way. According to Cleveland.com, Breakthrough Charter Schools received $2 million for expansion in December. Now they will be able to open four additional facilities, two of which they are opening next year.

In addition, their answer to why they love working there is also very powerful:

“We love working here because we have the opportunity to impact the lives of more than 1,000 inner-city kids, and the future of our city. In Cleveland, more than 38,000 children attend failing schools. Every day at our schools, our students dispel the notion that urban students can’t excel.”

By donating, you can help Breakthrough Charter Schools continue to open new schools and keep improving the lives of Cleveland youth.


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Cleveland City Dance Company

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Sometimes nonprofits that aren’t performing super-humanitarian services (like housing, feeding, or counseling people in need) can get overlooked. This way of thinking parallels how music classes are sometimes viewed as nonessential in the school systems. However, we think nonprofits in the arts realm can really make a community a more enjoyable place to live, and can also make a huge impact in the school systems where they share their art.

For this reason, Cleveland City Dance Company really caught our eye. We especially admired their drive to start the organization where there wasn’t already an existing dance company:

“We feel we are unique to the Greater Cleveland area because we are serving an area that has been without a ballet company for 10 years. We are trying to fill that void in the Cleveland arts scene and we know it is important to do it right the first time.”

This year, their performance will be on June 11th and 12th. So if you’re in the Cleveland area, be sure to see their show!


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Energize Clinton County

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To understand why Energize Clinton County was created, you first need to know about the adversities of the city––Wilmington, Ohio––where the nonprofit was established.

Founders Mark Rembert and Taylor Stuckert explained, “Since 2008, our community has lost more than 8,500 jobs and faced a severe economic crisis. Energize Clinton County grew out of a citizen movement to broaden participation in economic development, and regain control of our local economy.”

We admired how many different problems Energize Clinton County is tackling:

  • obtaining stimulus funding for renewable energy projects for the city of Wilmington
  • helping businesses save money on bills by completing free energy audits
  • promoting local businesses with a “Buy Local First” campaign
  • working to promote a stronger focus on the small town

But they’ve run into a sort of catch-22 for funding:

“As our community continues to suffer the highest unemployment rate in the state, our long-term financial sustainability must include donors from outside the community. Unfortunately, many of these potential donors are disconnected from places like Wilmington.”

You don’t have to be a resident of Clinton County to help. If you believe in the cause, please donate so Energize Clinton County can strengthen their efforts in Wilmington and spread their ideas to other struggling communities. We agree that there are many cities in Ohio that could benefit from this approach and we wish them success in expanding the program.


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Youth Advocate Services

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Youth Advocate Service’s motto,“Promoting Positive Futures” well encapsulates what they do for children and families. Above all, they seek to keep families together. Through their foster care, emergency shelter care, and respite care, the end goal is to reunite the child with his or her family of origin and support the family so they can stay intact.

Specifically, Youth Advocate Services helps youth find homes. When appropriate, they work with the youth and with the family to see how they can help reunite the two. They also provide family counseling to prevent the youth from leaving the home in the first place.

In addition, Youth Advocate Services also provides the Help Me Grow program, which are services for children from birth to three years and their mothers, to make sure the mothers and children are staying on track and to connect with any services they may need. YAS also provides outpatient mental health services for children and families.

Youth Advocate Services (YAS) has been around for 33 years. This makes them the oldest therapeutic foster care program in the state of Ohio. YAS attributes their success to a willingness to adapt to the client’s needs, rather than trying to have the client match up with their services.


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The Legal Aid Society of Columbus

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Using their own words, The Legal Aid Society of Columbus (LASC) is a “non-profit 501(c)(3) regional law firm that seeks to improve the lives of and empower low income residents and senior citizens of Columbus and our Central Ohio service area by providing high quality legal representation to meet our clients’ civil legal needs.”

In addition to the core services mentioned above, The Legal Aid Society of Columbus is starting a project known as the Volunteer Resource Center. This new Volunteer Resource Center will double the capacity for lawyers to defend those in need. Forty volunteer, private-sector lawyers will be available for legal aid. These will be retired lawyers or young lawyers who will be mentored.

The Volunteer Resource Center will be focusing on housing matters, since there are over 1,500 calls a year that go unanswered. (An example of a case they would cover would be legal aid for a tenant facing an unfair eviction.) Beyond actual legal services, they explained that lawyers can help people have the courage to go in and see if their legal rights are being met.

The Legal Aid Society said they struggle with the negative connotations that come along with the word “lawyer.” They want to make sure people know that these lawyers are spending their own time, without any compensation; that they are real people providing their services to those that don’t have the finances to afford legal assistance.

Need help? On their website, there’s an application process to see if you apply for their services. Begin on their LASC Access to Justice Interview page.

Want to help? You don’t need a law license to help make a difference. Legal Aid is always in need of committed people to assist with court filing, special projects, or other clerical matters. If you’re interested, email them at volunteerresourcecenter@columbuslegalaid.org.


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The Fraternal Order of Police Foundation

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You might have seen the special license plates and wondered what exactly The Fraternal Order of Police Foundation (FOP) does. Let’s start with their own words, with their mission statement:

“To promote and support educational and athletic opportunities for law enforcement officers, community activities to improve working environments, and provide support to distressed officers and families due to death or disability in the line of duty.”

This support is given in many different ways. They pay for their officers to participate in community events like Race for the Cure, Pelotonia, and Polar Bear Plunge. In a recent case, they have been providing food and helped with Christmas for the family of an officer that was shot and has been in the hospital since multiple surgeries.

We all need to recognize the risks our officers make every day to protect our lives and make our community a safer place to live. We can never replace a life but we can help to provide continuing financial support to the family.

Want to know how you can contribute? The Foundation will be hosting its 1st Annual Officer’s Gala on Saturday, March 12 at the Hilton Columbus at Easton. The proceeds will benefit local fallen officers. Contact Stephanie at 614-882-4683 to reserve tickets or to make a donation. Can’t make it? You can also support the FOP Foundation by visiting www.fop9.org/foundation.html.


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FYDO 2011 Recipient: American Council of the Blind of Ohio

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After much deliberation in deciding the FYDO 2011 recipient, we have selected the American Council of the Blind of Ohio (ACBO). They help people who are blind or who are experiencing vision loss connect with the services they need. They also educate the general public about blindness and the abilities of employees, citizens, and neighbors who are blind. ACBO is a statewide organization, with nine local chapters serving several counties, but they plan to extend their services to include rural areas.

ACBO is a strong advocate in these areas:

  • jobs, as some employers don’t understand all the capabilities of people who are blind
  • living arrangements, as some apartments don’t allow dogs
  • web/TV, as websites and television programs should have descriptions
  • transportation

Specifically, the ACBO holds a convention every year with workshops and seminars on employment and holds a seminar for families with blind children. They give three endowed scholarships per year: one each to an OSU and a UT student to teach visually impaired (V.I.)/blind students and one to a WSU student who is blind or V.I. They also hold three recreational events per year with a focus on “getting people out of their house, off their chairs, and into nature,” according to Executive Director Mary Hiland.

Obviously, they are a very busy nonprofit that helps in any way they can. We also admired their honesty in regard to their needs. They explained:

“We are a unique organization in that our leadership, as well as our membership are blind or visually impaired. 15 out of 16 board members are legally blind. They are not prominent professionals in influential positions. They are ordinary folks, with ordinary jobs, with little or no expertise in marketing and fundraising.”

Most important, we have identified some specific ways we can help the American Council of the Blind of Ohio. Stay posted to find out how exactly we plan on kicking off with ACBO. We are very excited to begin our partnership with the American Council of the Blind of Ohio!