Lutheran Services in America is a nationwide, health and human services nonprofit network comprised of over 300 members. With over $21 billion dollars in combined annual revenue the organization is one of the largest charitable organization in the United States. But no one knows that. This rebrand lays the foundation to change that.
2017 was a pivot year for the organization—it was the 20th anniversary of the formal establishment of the network and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation; it was also the year when the organization made several leadership changes including restructuring its Board of Directors. Significant external forces including-decreased support from government programs that support the most vulnerable citizens, rapid disruption in the health care market and decreased support for faith-based groups-necessitated a change now.
To reach the target audience of policy makers, donors, national partners and foundations, the brand needed to project gravitas, energy, a vision for the future and a commitment to caring for the most vulnerable people. Intensive quantitative and qualitative research revealed that the “Lutheran” aspect of the brand’s identity had strong positives and was the common thread that tied the network together. The strategy amplified the Lutheran part of the brand’s identity—changing the organizational name from the abbreviated “LSA” to “Lutheran Services in America.” The national brand was also strongly associated with public policy advocacy and as a vehicle for fundraising and so both of these elements were dialed up in the new brand strategy. The goal was to position the organization as a thoughtful, measured and reasoned voice who could be relied on to deliver results.
After launching the new brand Lutheran Services in America engaged in a sustained public affairs campaign to protect the Medicaid program and the health care benefits of millions of Americans. The new brand persona and campaign garnered national attention from government officials to celebrity advocates as a pivotal voice in health care policy. On the fundraising front the organization secured two new major grants from two new national foundations, increased the number of new donors and experienced an increase in gifts from individuals.