EP159 – Rebranding Your Nonprofit: A Discussion with Dan Maby

We often start a nonprofit because of a mission. When your nonprofit’s mission pivots, what then? Often times a rebranding is in order. Dan Maby of BigOrangeHeart.org joins Jason and Bridget to talk about how WP&UP.org approached their name change and rebranding.

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Big Orange Heart

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Rebranding and Renaming the Nonprofit

The domain for WP&UP was registered in 2014 but began operating as a charity in the UK in 2018 providing service. They always liked the idea of moving forward and up in life (as opposed to on which can feel dismissive.

“We had always intended for WP& UP to be more. …Given the current global crisis we saw more than a 310% increase in support with 90% less donations.” Dan Maby

Rebranding in 4 Weeks

Dan admitted that this shift and rebrand is 18 months ahead of schedule. Once shelter in place orders began worldwide because of COVID-19, so many people became remote workers — overnight. This new situation became a crisis; it needed to be addressed.

“Millions of people are moving to the remote working model.” Dan Maby

Dan and the Board of Trustees met twice and just knew in their hearts that this pivot’s timing was now. This pivot doesn’t abandon the WordPress Community; rather, it expands it.

“Our heart is very much in the WordPress Community.” Dan Maby

Rebranding and Relaunching

In order to pivot quickly, Dan and the volunteer team looked at several solutions. Donations, obviously were a high priority. But so is SEO, user access, and accessibility. They looked at a Gatsby or GraphQL solutions but that would delay the four week timeline.

Miriam Schwab talked about her product, Strattic, at WordCamp London in 2017. The team quickly decided this is the best solution.

To build an accessibility-first site, the team had to strip out all unnecessary items. The contrast is better. The site is visually and technically lighter. Things like bloated menus were getting in the way. As far as typography goes, less is more.

Rebranding and Donation Software

Before rebranding the creation of a new site (old and new are co-existing for now), Big Orange Heart (BOH for short) was using GiveWP. BOH is now using Strattic (a static site generator for WordPress) with Payhere. Payhere is a front-end wrapper for Stripe which was previously used with GiveWP.

The site is wicked fast and simple on both mobile and desktop. (You can see their current donation form on the new site.

“Give people the right tool and they can do fantastic things.” Dan Maby

The Stronger #Together fundraising campaign and corresponding podcast are an emergency fundraising tool.

Another campaign for peer-to-peer fundraising is #MayYourHeartBeOrange. This is going on throughout several Facebook Groups through the month of May. It is using Donately.

Important Lessons In Rebranding

  • “It’s good enough” is important when rebranding.
  • Focus on accessibility & mobile users.
  • Don’t do it in 4 weeks.
  • Put together a brand guide.
  • Plan how to transition site with 301s.
  • Know your SEO will be affected, temporarily.
  • Ask yourself WHY. (Is this rebrand really necessary?)

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Dan recommends Espanso for a fast text expander. It’s written in RUST.

Jason recommends Teleprompter for Video.

Bridget recommends the app ShadowNet.

Weekly Watercooler Discussions about WordPress and it’s community.

7 responses to “EP159 – Rebranding Your Nonprofit: A Discussion with Dan Maby”

  1. Today on the @WPwatercooler, @jasontucker & @YouTooCanBeGuru will chat live with @danmaby from 5pm BST about the pivot from WP&UP to #BigOrangeHeart ???? and the #rebranding process


  2. I had the pleasure of chatting with @jasontucker and @YouTooCanBeGuru on the @WPwatercooler podcast last week. We chatted about the @aBigOrangeHeart pivot and what went into the rebrand wpwatercooler.com/wpblab/ep159-r…










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