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Best Maine nonprofit branding and marketing projects

May 27, 2024 | Branding and Rebranding, Case Studies and Our Work, Website Design and Redesign

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At Visible Logic, we love working on Maine nonprofit branding and marketing projects

At Visible Logic, we love working on Maine nonprofit branding and marketing projects because we get the chance to help organizations that are invested in improving our local communities. 

Read on to learn about how we’ve helped Maine nonprofits make Maine – and the world – a better place. 

Branding and marketing challenges for nonprofits 

We approach nonprofit projects the same way we start any new branding and marketing project – by conducting an audit to discover the organization’s unique value proposition, target audiences, their pain points, and what has and hasn’t worked for the organization previously. 

That being said, there are some branding and marketing challenges that are unique to nonprofits.

  • Appealing to multiple, different audiences: Nonprofits often have two or more audiences that they need to appeal to with equal weight. One audience, for example, could be the people that the nonprofit helps or brings together, and the other audience is people and organizations that donate to and fund the nonprofit. 
  • Communicating with accuracy, and simplicity: Some nonprofits work closely with government agencies that require very specific, technical ways of communicating. Other nonprofits need to communicate a very complex problem (like climate change, or health disparities) in a simple, engaging way.  
  • Making the most with a tight budget: Nonprofits rely on donations to keep operating, which means they often don’t have a large branding and marketing budget. Instead of having an ongoing budget, nonprofits will sometimes receive a source of funding for a specific marketing initiative. 

Read on to learn about how we’ve helped Maine nonprofits overcome these challenges so they can leave a bigger impact. 

Supporting brands that invest in Maine communities  

Over the years, we’ve helped Maine nonprofits expand their reach and fulfill their missions. These are just some of the Maine nonprofit branding and marketing projects we love to show off.  

MTI – Maine Technology Institute

MTI Home page
Annual reports
MTI Print ads

MTI is a state-funded nonprofit that gives funding for innovative Maine businesses. When MTI first came to us, they didn’t have the resources to put together a brand that would appeal to their target audiences. 

We developed a cohesive and engaging visual identity that MTI’s team could use to quickly put together marketing materials. We also worked closely with their team to clarify the messaging for their various funding programs. 

Visible Logic has been working with MTI for over 6 years to help them fulfill their mission of supporting Maine’s innovation economy. Since their founding in 1999, MTI has directly invested over $280M in almost 3,000 distinct projects across Maine. 

Maine Marathon 

BEFORE AND AFTER

Maine Marathon social media
Reports
enews

The Gorham Savings Bank Maine Marathon is a nonprofit, volunteer-led organization that organizes the Maine Marathon, half-marathon, and relay race every October in Portland. Maine Marathon has raised $5.2M for local charities since 1997. 

As a volunteer-run organization, Maine Marathon did not have many resources to handle their marketing needs internally. Registration was falling due to competition from other regional races, and they needed to bring their numbers back up. 

Visible Logic stepped in with a comprehensive strategy for increasing their registration numbers. First, we identified that Maine Marathon needed a rebrand. We helped them identify their unique differentiators and then turned that into a visual identity and messaging that we carried from their logo, to the website, and even in designing their race swag. 

We made sure that the website had accurate and accessible information about the race, as well as refining the registration process on RunSignUp. From there, we created a strategy for promotional emails, social media, and a PPC campaign.

Since working with Visible Logic, Maine Marathon has seen an increase in race registration every year (except the 2020 virtual race). Our strategy led to a record 4,116 registrations in 2023. As a result, Maine Marathon is able to donate more money every year to local Maine charities.

Defend Our Health 

BEFORE AND AFTER

Defend before and after
Defend case for support

Defend Our Health is a nonprofit dedicated to protecting environmental public health by enacting policy changes to reduce toxic chemicals in our food, water, and products.

When we first started working with Defend Our Health, they were called The Environmental Health Strategy Center, and their work was mostly known to other insiders, like scientists, policy makers, and other advocates. They wanted to expand their grassroots movement and therefore expand their brand reach to more people. 

We initiated a complete rebrand, including renaming the organization to Defend Our Health – a name, as well as a call to action – designing a new logo, and redesigning their website. 

Defend Our Health now has a compelling brand and website that reflects their mission to be a grassroots movement that enacts real change in environmental public health. 

MERIT

Merit Logo

The Maine Retirement Investment Trust (MERIT) is an organization created by new Maine legislation that created an individual retirement savings obligation for Maine employers with 5 or more employees. 

When MERIT first came to us, they had no name or brand presence, but had to start spreading the word about this new program. 

We created the name MERIT, Maine(ME) Retirement Investment Trust, an informative and easy to remember name. We also created a logo incorporating Maine’s famous pine trees.

As MERIT was just starting to communicate the new retirement savings law, they needed employer and employee flyers that they could hand out at various events.   

As a result of our work with them, MERIT now has a name and logo that they can expand on as they grow. 

Raising Readers

Raising Readers before and after
RR illustrations
RR illustrations
favorite books

Raising Readers is a Maine literacy program that gives free, high quality books to every child in Maine from birth through the age of 5. 

Although Raising Readers had been going strong in Maine for over 20 years, their website and visual identity was due for an update. Visible Logic stepped in to create a new website for them. 

We focused on showcasing Raising Reader’s impact over the years, as well as organizing their content and making it easier for users to search books in the Raising Readers catalog. We also created inclusive illustrations for the website that showed the types of families that access the program across Maine. 

Raising Readers now has a website with a friendly design and easy-to-use back end that showcases their impact on Maine. 

Goodwill Northern New England

Goodwill donations page design

Goodwill of Northern New England is the local branch of the nationwide Goodwill nonprofit organization. Their website needed to reflect the local impact that Goodwill of Northern New England has, with a national brand.

Their previous website was difficult for their team to easily publish communications or edit. As a small team, they needed a quick way to make updates and publish new information to their website. We started our project by auditing their existing website, which led us to the conclusion that we needed to start with a new website.

Our design and development team gave Goodwill of Northern New England the flexibility to make changes and updates on their website, reorganized and simplified their content, and fixed their website navigation.

MainePERS

BEFORE AND AFTER

MainePERS before and after
ESG report
Judicial member handbook
State Member handbook
MainePERS icons

The Maine Public Employees Retirement System (MainePERS) manages retirement plans for many public employees in Maine. While not technically classified as a nonprofit, MainPERS is still a not-for-profit organization that does a lot of good in Maine, which is why we’ve included it in this list. 

As a government-adjacent organization, MainePERS needs to project consistency and stability. They came to us because they wanted to change their logo. Our challenge was to create a modern brand identity that would appeal to their diverse audience of members, as well as their staff. 

We created an updated logo and a visual system that helped members identify information relevant to them. We then overhauled their website, including organizing content, and redesigning the website with the new brand identity.   

MainePERS now has a fresh, modern brand identity that they can apply consistently across all of their communications. 

How we help Maine nonprofits leave a lasting impact

The needs of each nonprofit we’ve worked with has been different. That’s why we start every Maine nonprofit branding and marketing project with understanding what the organization does, and focusing on the projects that will help the organization leave the biggest impact.

Brand identity 

MainePERS logo
Merit Logo
Maine Marathon Logo
Defend Our Health Logo

A compelling brand identity is critical for nonprofits. A brand identity lays the foundation for an organization’s visual identity, and core messaging.

With Defend Our Health, a new brand allowed them to showcase their new focus as a grassroots movement and inspire people to get involved.

Maine Marathon’s new brand featured a fun, compelling visual identity that highlighted the best that Maine has to offer.

As governement-adjacent organizations, MERIT and MainePERS brand identity focused on stability, and gave these organizations a visual identity they could use for future marketing efforts.

Website design

Raising Readers website
Defend website
Goodwill website

For nonprofits, a website isn’t just a quick place to check out what an organization offers. A website acts as a repository of information, and a place for people to get inspired, and engaged.

For Raising Readers, we designed a website that showcased the program and served as a platform for parents and caregivers to search for the right books for their children.

The website build of Goodwill of Northern New England was focused on creating a website that would be easy for people to navigate, and flexible enough for the team to update and add to the website as needed.

Impact Marketing

MTI Impact
MTI economic impact report
Maine Pers ESG
MainePers ESG
MainePERS renewable energy report
green report
Maine Marathon green report

One of the most important ways nonprofits communicate is showcasing their impact on the communities they serve. Impact marketing not only gets people engaged and excited about the nonprofit’s mission, but helps boost donation and fundraising efforts.

The key to impact marketing is to create graphics that are easy to understand, and leave an immediate impact. For Maine Marathon, we chose to create a graph that highlighted their waste diversion program in the shape of a dumpster.

MainePERS reports include a lot of technical information. To simplify, we created graphs with easy color delineation to simplify how this information is presented.

For MTI, we created simple graphics that clearly demonstrated how MTI uses its funds to create an impact in Maine.

The best choice for branding and marketing your Maine nonprofit

At Visible Logic, we believe in being an active part of our local community. That’s why we partner with Maine nonprofits to help them leave the biggest impact they can.

From brand identity, logo design, and website redesign to ongoing services like content marketing and digital ads, we deliver work that will let your nonprofit increase its reach and awareness.

If you’re a Maine nonprofit that’s looking to leave a lasting impact, talk to us. We’d love to help.


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