Submitted by Labulter on Mon, 10/26/2020 - 20:43

Dear Friends,

Across the nation, Americans are asking what they can do to make an impact and create a better future. National service is part of that answer. Now more than ever, it is critical that the American public knows how they can get involved and serve their communities and the nation. To do this, we need to start by making more Americans aware of their opportunities to serve.

We are continuing to make progress on our branding project and today we are ready to share some updates with you. As you may know, we kicked off this initiative with in-depth research by a third-party last year; the results showed that we have a great story to tell but need to do a better job at how we tell it. Based on these findings, we engaged a branding firm, Brandpie, to help us develop the tools we need to better communicate national service opportunities.

To all of you who have participated in the research and weighed in so far, thank you. We have heard from thousands of grantees, sponsors, members, volunteers, alumni, and staff. The branding firm included this information, along with in-depth interviews with stakeholders, a peer audit, and additional research into their branding recommendations.

After considering feedback from stakeholders and staff, and weighing the recommendations from the branding firm, we intend to use two brands – AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors – to talk about our programs collectively and to move forward with AmeriCorps as the name for our agency.

With this decision in mind, it is important to note that our programs, their names, and their funding streams aren’t changing. Rather, we are focusing and unifying our efforts to elevate awareness of the opportunities for all Americans. We will use these two brands to promote all of our programs, including Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions, RSVP, AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA, and AmeriCorps NCCC.

By moving in this direction, we will be able to focus resources on promoting fewer brands to support all of our programs and build on AmeriCorps’ brand equity. This decision was also informed by the following:

  • As you saw in the research, AmeriCorps is by far the best known of our brands. It would take years and considerable investment to build comparable recognition for a new name.
  • When we promote our programs in different ways using different names, we end up spending more resources without creating a clear picture. This approach will concentrate our limited resources and focus on what national service programs have in common, so that more people will understand what service opportunities exist.

Over the coming months, CNCS will continue work to bring this direction to life, with a brand launch taking place later this summer. At the launch, we will:

  • Start to employ the new brand names, logos, messaging, and other brand elements.
  • Share new brand guidelines and requirements for co-branding.

While we are sharing this decision with you today, we are not asking you to make any changes now. Currently, we envision a three-year period to allow organizations to transition their co-branding to new AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors brand identities. Additional FAQs linked below provide more information about our implementation plans.

FAQs

There is still more work to be done, but sharing this path forward with you now allows us to continue engaging you in the next stages. We want to be sure we carry out the brand architecture in a way that supports both our mission and your organization’s needs. Please share your insights with us at transform@cns.gov.

It is our hope that our branding will reflect the power of our programs as we strive to make service a cornerstone of our national culture and an indispensable part of the American experience.

I look forward to continuing this conversation with you and hearing your input.

Warmest regards,

 

Barbara Stewart
Chief Executive Officer
Corporation for National and Community Service