- We've won a grant! And we can’t wait to start working with the international nonprofit Points of Light. http://t.co/xIJicO7xnu 05:21:02 PM May 16, 2013 from HootSuite ReplyRetweetFavorite
- Thanks to Points of Light, EPIC will have access to world-class curriculum and workshops on scaling up. http://t.co/LmwaxdyBVo 09:20:51 PM May 15, 2013 from HootSuite ReplyRetweetFavorite
- Hold on tight! EPIC is gaining even more momentum with the Points of Light peer-based Civic Accelerator program. http://t.co/LmwaxdyBVo 03:41:25 PM May 15, 2013 from HootSuite ReplyRetweetFavorite
- We’re swingin’ into high gear! EPIC is pumped to kick off the 12-week Civic Accelerator program with Points of Light. http://t.co/LmwaxdyBVo 04:21:48 PM May 14, 2013 from HootSuite ReplyRetweetFavorite
- Did you hear? EPIC's a grant winner from Points of Light, an org w/a mission to help us mobilize! WOOT. http://t.co/LmwaxdyBVo 03:09:16 PM May 13, 2013 from HootSuite ReplyRetweetFavorite
Posted on April 13, 2012 @ 1:03 pm by ehuizenga
By Erin Huizenga, Founder/Executive Director, EPIC
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Jonah Lehrer argues that everyone has the capacity to be the next Milton Glaser or Yo-Yo Ma. He says, “big breakthroughs often depend on the naive daring of outsiders. For prompting creativity, few things are as important as time devoted to cross-pollination with fields outside our areas of expertise.” This inspired me to ask our most recent EPIC clients what they learned from the EPIC rally experience and how these learnings have shaped their organizations for the better.
I spoke with Loren Linder, Development Director at the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, and Erin McPartlin, Executive Director of the Cabrini Green Tutoring Program, which our most recent EPIC team renamed “Tutoring Chicago.”
EH: Has your rally experience helped you share knowledge about what “can be” for your organization?
LL: At the outset of the rally, various members of the Alliance sat with EPIC team members to discuss details of our programmatic work to make schools and communities safe and respectful places. In relaying these details to the team, they were able to take the Alliance’s established logo and branding and cull out a deepened and refreshed perspective on our work. It captures the journey that is taken by youth who are both impacted by and leading the LGBTQ safe schools movement. More specifically, the Alliance logo depicted as an arrow has opened the door to exploring additional and expanded ways to talk about the directions and journeys people take with the Alliance.
EM: This creative collaboration has been exactly what our organization needed, and at the right time. For many years, and more so recently, the issue of branding (rebranding, actually) was the “elephant in the room” topic. It elicited emotions and opinions not necessarily conducive to effective board meetings that stimulate change. Therefore, the process has been very important here—not only to communicate with the rally team, but also to allow the team to best understand our branding problem, get to know our organization and follow up with highly credible recommendations. Because the highly qualified team took such care with the process, I can confidently share their conclusions, perceptions and suggestions with our board and staff, allowing us as an organization to positively collaborate on the next face of our brand.
EH: Has being in on these conversations and working with the team empowered you to tell your story better or get people more excited about the future of your mission?
LL: The key deliverables for the rally will assuredly make a significant impact in continuing to tell the Alliance’s story. They will also be extremely useful in introducing the work of the organization. Of note, we are thrilled with the informational video that the rally team created, which will serve as an introduction to the work of the Alliance. There is nothing better than video to capture the emotion and impact that has been made by and in the lives of the young people, with whom the Alliance has been working in the safe schools movement over the past few years.
EM: Simply telling the team our story at length, being witness to their due diligence and creative process and getting involved in the final products—it has been a very healthy and somewhat cathartic process. Having been at the helm of the organization for nearly 11 years, these stories can get detailed and muddy as we are trying to show all the great things we do. Working with EPIC (and subsequently developing our next three-year strategic plan) has provided that necessary simplicity and clarity.
EH: Are there any anecdotes about your EPIC experience you’d like to share?
LL: I have continually shared with colleagues in the nonprofit sector and the Alliance Communications Committee how excited we are to be receiving the services from this EPIC rally. As a younger, growing nonprofit, the professionalism, service and expertise offered by the members of the EPIC team far exceed any expectations I had coming into the rally. We are confident we will walk away from this experience with marketing tools and materials that will serve us well in establishing the Alliance as the go-to resource for safe schools work.
EM: During our first meeting, I had an initial sense of the great power and collaborative potential with this group. I applied for this project a year ago, following a frustrating meeting about the topic of rebranding. When EPIC approached me in the Fall, I explained how we (the board) were getting closer to where I thought we needed to be in order to make the most of EPIC’s potential.
I so appreciated that EPIC heard me, understood and offered to take us on as a winter client instead. This allowed me to work with the board, getting their specific feedback and open our organization to the idea and process of rebranding. Having this group in our back pocket with a date on the calendar really helped propel the preparations. Sitting with the EPIC group on the first night, I was extremely confident that the work was worth it, and we were in a great position to move forward.