What is the role of architecture in civil society, and how has the field’s involvement in humanitarian work changed the profession?
NYS Entity Status
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MARCH 15, 2013
NYS DOS ID#
NYS Entity Type
DOMESTIC PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
2013 - ABERTHAW ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNS, D.P.C.
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If there is any indication of the cultural import and effect of the “millennials” – a term I dislike for reasons I will explain later – look no further than America’s malls. The Baby Boomer hubris and NIMBYism that sent malls into further and further orbits from city centers has come home to roost and it promises to change the face of retail in a big way. First,… Read More
- Smart web design for older donors is smart web design, period
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One of the most important things to keep in mind in fundraising is the age of donors. Which, for almost everyone, is older than you! The National Institute on Aging has a great tip sheet called Making Your Website Senior Friendly (PDF). It'll help you get digital right for older users: copy, design, and information architecture. Here are a couple of examples: Be direct. Instead of, Restaurants that offer senior discounts may be a good choice for older adults who like to eat out. say, If you like to eat out, go to restaurants that offer senior discounts. Use action...
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Organizations that implement microservices often adopt the architectural style alongside complementary technologies, including the seven in this slideshow.
Don’t make it harder to get the attention you deserve
Thursday Nov 3, 2016
Even organizations with a well-developed and up-to-date brand sometimes overlook one essential element of a strong communications strategy: brand architecture.
Brand architecture is the name we give to the complicated network of roles and relationships between your organization’s programs, initiatives, events, publications, spaces—all the things that you do, own, and are known for. You might refer to them as “brands” or “sub-brands.” Perhaps you don’t think of them as distinct entities with identities of their own. But your audiences often do.
Most nonprofits have grown their brand architecture in an ad hoc way—a clever event name here, an interesting icon there, a legacy group maintained from a merger. It may all seem like small stuff, but eventually it adds up to a big problem: a brand that lacks a coherent, purposeful narrative and fails to make a powerful and focused impression.
Evidence of brand architecture problems pops up in the conversations you have with your team every day.
“Should we put our logo on our Walk t-shirts?”
When you have clear and purposefully maintained brand architecture, questions like this won’t be up for debate. If your event is closely branded with the overall organization, the logo will be thoughtfully incorporated into the visual standards you’ve established. If the event has a completely separate brand designed to reach a completely separate audience, the main organization logo won’t be appropriate—and everyone will be clear about that ahead of time.
Either way, clear brand architecture saves you time, spares you headaches, AND ensures that the choices you’re making on the ground reflect a smart strategy. Win-win-win.
“We need a separate website for this program.”
Setting up lots of unique websites is usually a sign that your team has a tendency to think and communicate in siloes. When you maintain separate sites for each program or event, you give each one a distinct identity—and discourage people from seeing your work as many parts making up a coherent whole. You’ll have to work even harder to help them see the other great work you do and feel inspired support your organization overall.
[Side note: this issue could also be a sign that it’s time to redo your website.]
“Our gala is coming up in a few months: time to start thinking about a logo.”
Sound the alarm! If your team is in the habit of making logos and coming up with names for lots of events or programs or initiatives, odds are good that you’re creating unnecessary confusion and weakening your overall brand impression.
That’s not to say that you can’t have special treatments for certain programs or a distinct look and feel for your big event—but it’s important to be strategic about it. Well-developed brand architecture strategy usually includes clear criteria for when it’s appropriate to stretch your brand and how far (e.g., a customized name or theme might be okay—but not a separate logo).
When you allow key programs to take on lives (and messages and audiences) of their own without thoughtfully connecting them to your organization’s overall brand, you’re missing an opportunity—and you’re making it all too easy to stay lost in the shuffle of great causes. Strategic brands with clear hierarchy, a consistent look, and a unified message have a leg up in a messy and inconsistent world.
Any of these challenges sound familiar? If so, it might be time to step back and consider whether you have a problem with your brand architecture (it happens to the best of us—check out this helpful piece by fellow Duck Ally Dommu on some of the causes of brand architecture issues).
On November 11, Sarah Durham, Big Duck's CEO, and Debi Goldberg, The Union for Reform Judaism's Director of Communications, will be speaking about brand architecture and sharing an in depth case study with tips. Details are online here, or just let us know if you can't make it and we'll share the resources.
- Tenement Museum in New York Names Its New President
By JOSHUA BARONE - Wednesday Jun 14, 2017
Kevin Jennings, a former nonprofit leader and Obama official, plans to expand the museum’s reach through virtual and augmented reality.
Does your organization have Laundry List Syndrome?
Tuesday Oct 25, 2016
We’re not doctors here at Big Duck, but that doesn’t mean we’re not diagnosticians. A big part of how we help nonprofits is by tapping their knees and asking them to say “Ahhh” so we can determine exactly what it is that’s ailing them.
Once you know what you’re looking for, the symptoms are easy to spot. Organizations suffering from LLS often find themselves only able to talk about their organization in terms of the programs they run; unable to tell the larger story that weaves their work together. And once they mention one program, they end up listing them all. That means potential supporters are left with a nice long list of names—and little sense of why or what the organization as a whole does.
Larger organizations with lots of programs and a weak organizational brand.
Luckily, LLS is quite curable. We’ve found that the best treatment combines a rigorous brandraising process with a course of brand architecture. When staff has a story to tell about the organization as a whole, they won’t need to resort to listing every program and every initiative. And when they do need to discuss what goes on at the program level, having clean brand architecture will give them the tools they need to ladder those programs up to their organizational messaging.