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Rebranding: More than fonts and colors 

By C. Renee Westmoreland
July 13, 2021

In this reprint from our 2020 annual report, Renée Westmoreland, Candid’s managing director of design and marketing, reveals all that goes into creating a brand for a new organization. 

Since GuideStar and Foundation Center joined forces in February 2019, we’ve talked about and worked toward becoming “one Candid.” How does that play out in real life? A lot of it is combining systems for managing staff, accounting, and computer networks; reorganizing our internal departments to work effectively toward a single vision; and establishing goals to achieve our mission to “get you the information you need to do good.” If done well, it will improve how we serve you, but most of that work goes on behind the scenes.  

In a world that functions increasingly online—more so than ever during the coronavirus pandemic—the place where most of you interact with us is on the web and on your phones.  

Our websites, of which there are many, are the most public expression of Candid.  

It is on these websites that you find the information you need to achieve your own ambitious missions. Part of becoming “one Candid” is aligning our web properties with our new brand, recognizable by its distinctive fonts and bold, spare color palette.  

Yes, changing fonts and colors is a part of the exercise, but it’s not all there is to it. Aligning the look and feel of our web properties allows our customers to immediately identify the content and data as published by Candid, a source known to be trustworthy. And in the process of updating the branding of our websites, as we did for GuideStar and Philanthropy News Digest (PND) in 2020, we take the opportunity to make them more user-friendly to ensure they serve our constituents’ needs effectively.  

Foundations and individuals alike use GuideStar to ensure they are awarding a grant or making a donation to a trustworthy organization. The detailed profiles, backed by a Seal of Transparency, are critical tools for deciding whether to offer financial support. Fundraisers, whose job it is to keep their fingers on the pulse of philanthropy to find new funding for their work, rely on PND to keep apprised of breaking news. PND delivers daily news about significant funding initiatives, grant opportunities, and the perspectives of seasoned professionals in the field.  

Both GuideStar and PND are essential to the sector’s ability to make good decisions. They have been serving trusted information to the nonprofit sector for more than 25 years. Each could stand on its own brand equity and continue to succeed, but it is not insignificant that they are services of Candid. They are built on the foundation of the most comprehensive data on nonprofits, foundations, and grants in the world. And they are elements in a network of information, Candid, that is greater than the sum of its parts. 

Tags: Branding; Social sector