Brand & Creative Process Q&A with Keri Goff at DoSomething.org

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Craig Van Korlaar (TopNonprofits): DoSomething is special. It is one of the youngest organizations in terms of age and audience in the Top 100 Nonprofits List, yet it ranks all the way up at #5.

With me today is Keri Goff, the Creative Director and Producer at DoSomething.org.

Preview of the Topics Covered

Q: Keri, how would you describe the DoSomething brand in 1 or 2 sentences?

Keri Goff (DoSomething.org): At DoSomething.org, we pride ourselves on our 3 brand tenets. Those are relevant, inspiring, and never just ‘meh,’ and we base all of our content and brand decisions around them.

Q: For those who aren’t familiar, can you describe the roles and responsibilities of a Creative Director and how you interact with the rest of the DoSomething team?

I see the role of Creative Director at DoSomething uniquely special. Since we have such a small, yet mighty Creative Team, I am constantly working directly with my team to produce the best content we can. At a high level, my role consists of approving all design, photo, and video for the DoSomething brand. My day-to-day can vary. Some days I’m on sponsor calls, some days I’m on video shoots, and other times I’m designing assets and uploading Instagram Stories. It all varies! Which I love.

Q: The term “Brand” can be a bit confusing for some. How do you define the word “brand” and why is brand stewardship critical to a nonprofit’s mission?

Keri (DoSomething.org): Brand is your entire ethos and how you make an individual feel or affiliate. Brand is a constant, yet ever-changing perception of who you are and what your product is. No matter if an individual is in your office, on your social platforms, receiving a text or email from you – it has one consistent voice, one consistent look, and one consistent feeling.

Q: What advice would you give to a new nonprofit startup that is looking to establish a brand from scratch?

Keri (DoSomething.org): My advice would be to do your research and identify your unique value add to the space.

Q: What is the process DoSomething uses to handle creative requests? 

Keri (DoSomething.org): For creative requests, we prefer to use Trello as our project management system. The first column on our Creative Board is titled “Request Templates.” We have created 4 different types of request templates for the org including business cards, photos, design assets, and video. In these templates, we guide staff members in how to request assets from the team. We ask pointed questions such as;

  1. Who is the audience
  2. What is the tone
  3. Is there copy?
  4. Is this for a sponsor
  5. What are the specs, etc

With that information approved by the team, we move the request to the “Inbox” column of the Trello Board. When we start working on the project, we move it to the appropriate column broken down by teams: Biz Dev, Campaigns, Agency, Org. We do this so we can see how the work is dispersed at any given time. This also helps us to prioritize certain things due at the same time. We love using Trello because it’s super collaborative and also holds everyone accountable to deadlines.

Q: Do you guys have an internal branding guide that you use? If so, how does this help you and the broader organization with consistency?

Keri (DoSomething.org): We do. Here is a quick preview.

7. Do you have any favorite resources (books, blogs, etc) you would recommend to a nonprofit leader looking to understand branding and design basics?

Keri (DoSomething.org): Sure.

About author

Craig Van Korlaar

Craig specializes in strategy, systems, and metrics. He enjoys cross-pollinating ideas from the nonprofit, government, and business sectors (all of which he's worked in). In addition to heading up topnonprofits.com, his passions include technology, books, social causes, and the global church.

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