Youth Unlimited works towards the whole life transformation of vulnerable young people.
While I was working with them, they were reaching nearly 1500 youth through 65 unique grassroots initiatives spread out across the city.
Strategic and Creative Leadership
As Youth Unlimited grew in size and scope over the previous decade, the need for central communications support increased. With over 65 diverse initiatves, 70 staff, and 400 volunteers spread out across the city, my role was largely strategic in nature. An early part of my role was to envision a brand refresh that included a way of gathering this largely decentralized organization under a common language and story to better share with donors.
This involved creating a combination of digital and print resources to help communicate Youth Unlimited’s impact as well as offering support to our frontline staff in helping them root their work in the organization’s vision.
A big part of my job was giving some strategic oversight to our larger fundraising events in terms of key messaging and creative elements. We ran two of these events every year — a golf tournament in the Spring and a banquet in the Fall. It was a lot of fun collaborating around these events and coming up with a compelling theme/idea for each one as a way of inviting others to partner with our work.
Branding A Strategic Plan
I had the joy of participating in a discernment process to envision the next four years for Youth Unlimited (2019-2023). The whole thing was a testament to the character of the Executive Director, Scott Moore.
The process took about 6 months and at the end of it there were four clear directions that Youth Unlimited has discerned as their focus for the next 4 years.
My responsibility was then to come up with a compelling brand for communicating it to stakeholders.
Repurposing Our Direct Mail Rhythm
Signs of The Times
Formerly The YU Times, I gave this publication a bit of a rebrand to match what we had done with the whole organization. The purpose of this one is to capture stories from the frontlines in order to help move larger org-wide messaging forward. We used to send this out twice a year, but I moved it to once a year.
Rumour has it that the title was inspired by my favourite Prince album.
This was also a previous publication that we gave a facelift and a bit more strategic focus to. This one draws from some of our in-house ‘specialists’ to take a deeper dive into a particular trend or challenge that youth are experience today.
A really fun one to publish, this came out of a way of giving our summer communications intern a hands on project that they could run with themselves. The intern would visit our many summer programs, take photos, gather stories, and then co-produce this print piece. It becomes a great portfolio piece for them and a way of highlighting our summer interns.
It had been on my wishlist to create an Impact Report for Youth Unlimited. Repurposing our print rhythm gave me the space to do it. What had previously been filled with a second YU Times, I converted to a high level impact report - gathering stories and impact stats from across our programs to share with our supporters. I’m really proud of the work we were able to do with this one.