How the organization formerly known as the Robert Crown Center for Health Education rebranded to become Candor Health Education to better represent the scope and impact of their work and mission.
The Robert Crown Center for Health Education had been a staple in Illinois schools for decades, providing sex, health education and prevention programs to more than 6 million students.
But in 2019, the Center was at a crossroads and faced a few challenges:
- Their long-term funder and partner, the Crown Family Philanthropies, had changed their strategic priorities and was no longer funding the organization.
- The name “Robert Crown Center for Health Education” no longer articulated the scope and impact of the work they did.
- In 2017, they closed their traditional educational center and were now sending their team of experts directly to classrooms.
However, given their long-standing reputation in the community, they were apprehensive about changing their name and brand from one that was well recognized in the community. They approached Prosper to assess the potential impact of a rebrand and eventually help the center update its name and visual identity.
Since aligning all stakeholders is particularly critical when it comes to a rebrand, we relied on our Shared Power Strategy™ philosophy to get inputs from various stakeholders throughout our work with the Robert Crown Center for Health Education.
We began by forming two central committees: the primary planning committee and a stakeholder committee. The primary planning committee included the nonprofit’s leadership team, while the stakeholder committee included staff, board members, students, educators, school administrators and funders, each of whom brought their perspectives and lived experiences to our work.
We hosted several listening sessions to engage the stakeholder committee regarding their perceptions of the current brand and their vision for its future. During these sessions, we explored each group’s openness to a rebrand. We engaged them again for feedback on the new name and visual identity.
In addition to the inputs from these committees, we conducted a stakeholder survey to reach board members, students, educators, school administrators and funders who were not part of the stakeholder committee.
Supported by stakeholder insights gathered through our People phase, in our Strategy phase we conducted an organization assessment and an ecosystem assessment to further understand the potential impacts of a rebrand.
In the organization assessment, we reviewed key organizational collateral (website, marketing materials, strategic plans, etc.), assessed media coverage, and conducted third-party research to inform our understanding of the brand’s current status in the community. The ecosystem assessment explored the rebrands of several similarly aligned organizations, including two sex ed organizations and a family-named foundation.
This research and our work with stakeholders led us to a few key insights, which informed the rest of our work together. We learned:
- People were even more confused about the organization’s work and their relationship with the Crown Family Philanthropies than their leadership suspected.
- People were receptive to the organization changing its name.
- Other organizations that had gone through similar rebrands had seen a lift in fundraising following the transition, and the rewards of rebranding appeared to outweigh the risks.
Following this research, and with input from the nonprofit’s stakeholder groups, it was determined changing the Center’s name and visual identity was a necessary step forward.
We started by developing a list of more than 100 names, organized by thematic category. After holding a meeting with the primary planning committee and the stakeholder committee to review the long list, it was clear that stakeholders were most drawn to more evocative names that still alluded to their work in health education.
Based on this feedback, the primary planning committee and board chose the name Candor Health Education and the tagline, “Empowering young people to make educated decisions.” The new name articulates how Candor does its work: through open, honest conversations with young people that then equips them with the information they need to make informed decisions about their health.
Once the new name was approved by the board, we moved on to developing key messages and a new visual identity for the organization.
Robert Crown Center for Health Education was now ready to become Candor Health Education.
The next part of the strategy included developing a brand rollout plan that detailed how to announce the new brand to the organization’s most important stakeholders. The plan included a budget for the rebrand rollout and tactical calendar, so the team could stay focused and organized.
In the Progress phase, we worked with Candor Health Education to develop objectives and key results to evaluate the impact of the rebrand over the next few years. Given their goals, this focused on school retention and growth, donor retention and growth and community awareness.
In Candor’s case, we supported their PR efforts to announce the new name to media. This resulted in local coverage in Chicago suburban publications, where the organization’s work is focused.
Candor Health Education announced its new brand virtually with a launch party for its VIP stakeholders in August 2020, and to the rest of its stakeholders the following day. They received an overwhelmingly positive response. Everyone is very excited about the potential for growth the new brand identity presents, and many donors and other stakeholders shared that they feel the new brand far better represents the organization’s work and mission.
We loved working with Prosper Strategies. They were efficient, understanding and great at communicating the process.
– Barb Thayer, Executive Director, Candor Health Education