Peace River Wildlife Center and Prospect Riding Center's new logos

When Business Planning Became a Catalyst to Rebrand Two Nonprofit Organizations

Posted on July 02, 2018 by Michael Oxman
When nonprofits participate in Margin & Mission Ignition -- The Patterson Foundation’s intensive earned-income initiative designed to help NPO’s build their entrepreneurial capacity, revenue, and mission impact -- they embark on a rigorous journey to develop and implement a business plan to launch or grow a social venture.

However, like most journeys, participants in Margin & Mission Ignition experience twists and turns along the way…forks in the road…and surprises that just can’t be anticipated.

This rang particularly true for Peace River Wildlife Center (PRWC) and Prospect Riding Center (PRC), two organizations that have been actively engaged in Margin & Mission Ignition for nearly a year.

While their stories share a common theme, they differ in the paths that took them there. Each of their experiences is summarized below:

Peace River Wildlife Center
When the team from PRWC set out to develop a business plan for their new online gift shop www.prwcstore.org, they saw it as an opportunity to leverage the success of their existing brick and mortar store that generated significant revenue annually from the sale of mission-friendly merchandise.

As the core group of leadership, board, and staff immersed themselves in business plan development for the new e-store, they quickly realized that issues such as creating a name, developing the brand identity, designing a website, plus marketing and promoting it, required the team to look beyond the venture itself and consider the organization as a whole.

PRWCIn particular, PRWC had been operating for many years with a brand identity that had become outdated and too narrowly focused for the organization as its mission had evolved over the years. While leadership and board had acknowledged the need to rebrand the organization on several occasions, it seemed there were always other priorities that required more immediate attention.

So, while the business plan for the new e-store was nearing completion, the decision was made to launch a rebranding initiative for Peace River Wildlife Center, and the team enlisted the help of Rough & Ready Media to give the organization a fresh new look that would contemporize the brand, align it more closely to PRWC’s mission, and allow for the theme to extend to the new e-store.

Fast forward to May 14, 2018, the new PRWC brand and e-store officially launched to the public with much fanfare and rave reviews…not to mention a vast array of PRWC branded merchandise offerings for the online store, including t-shirts, hats, mugs, magnets, and many other unique items sporting the new logo. Visit www.prwcstore.org to shop, buy, and support.

Prospect Riding Center
Though small in size and stature, Prospect Riding Center is a mighty nonprofit whose leadership, board, and staff are driven to succeed. Their participation in Margin & Mission Ignition was two years in the making, so when they initiated development of their business plan a year ago, they were ready.

Armed with perseverance, tenacity, and a can-do attitude, the PRC team rolled up their sleeves, asked questions, and wrote a detailed business plan to introduce Recreational Horseback Riding services to the general public to support and grow their existing mission-focused Therapeutic Horseback Riding for kids with developmental disabilities.

Like every organization that participates in Margin & Mission Ignition, the PRC team carefully considered the key business plan components -- target audience, industry analysis, competition, value proposition, pricing, promotion, marketing, and communications -- not to mention three years of financial projections.

And then came the curveball…
prospect riding logo
As the leadership, board, and staff were developing their plan and seeking input from stakeholders to inform the process, they were surprised to hear unsolicited comments related to the organization’s branding (pictured right). Words such as “outdated,” “old-fashioned,” and “needs updating” were used to describe it.

Never having considered the need for rebranding, this new information came as a bit of a shock to the PRC team. The logo was an original that dated back to the founding of the organization, and wasn’t perceived to be deficient or in need of change.

As they processed this feedback and thought about the opportunity to modernize PRC’s brand to coincide with the launch of the organization’s Recreational Horseback Riding services, it made good sense to take action…and the decision was made to proceed.

Like Peace River Wildlife Center, Prospect Riding Center turned to Rough & Ready Media to reinvent their logo, color palette, and tagline. In May 2018, PRC launched their brand with a whole new look and feel that now adorns their bold and graphic website, social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), larger-than-life signage, colorful collateral materials, and print and electronic advertising.

Visit www.prospectridingcenter.com to learn more about Prospect Riding Center and schedule a horseback ride with or without instruction for individuals, groups, company team building, birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, and other happy occasions.

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