Street Soccer Canada, a nonprofit that runs soccer programs for those who are homeless, has struggled to find donors and corporate sponsors. Over the last decade, its reliance on government funding has meant it could imminently lose the funds it needs to operate. Additionally, the organization not only exists within a charity sector competing for scarce resources, but it must also overcome the stigma surrounding the population it supports.
To reframe the conversation to the positive influence that funding partners can have, our branding strategy for Street Soccer Canada revolves around its ability to “kickstart change.” Central to the rebrand are stories and portraits of individuals moving forward towards their goals, putting faces and voices to the usually anonymous issue of homelessness. Vibrant patterns are overlaid onto the portraits—reminiscent of international “club” jerseys, they speak to the strength that community brings to those who are marginalized.
To collect the personal histories, we interviewed and photographed participants and volunteers, integrating them onto the redesigned website, sponsorship materials, social media, and perks for a recent crowdfunding campaign. This included details about the organization’s more recent social enterprise laundry business that brings valuable work experience to those who need it the most.
Today, the rebrand is worn proudly by players and volunteers. And while Street Soccer Canada still courts corporate support, an Indiegogo campaign promoted on social media raised nearly half the amount needed to send a team to the 2015 Homeless World Cup in Amsterdam. Raising funds for this annual trip is one of the organization’s greatest expenses and is especially important—since a spot on the roster is earned through a display of commitment to practicing, it represents extra motivation to stay involved.
And during that campaign, Street Soccer Canada received coverage from prominent national media—including CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), Toronto Star, and Metro Canada. Inspired by the new brand, coverage focused on the stories of individuals using exercise and new friendships to kickstart change in their lives.
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