Making Waves Foundation

Round
Spring-Summer 2022
Project Location
Richmond, CA
Project Type
Fast track
Project Focus
Marketing & Communications
Organization Type
Children, Youth & Families,
Education

Organization

Founded in 1989, Making Waves Foundation’s mission is to advance educational opportunities for college-bound underserved youth in Contra Costa County. The Foundation established Making Waves Academy, a tuition-free public charter school providing a rigorous education. The Foundation also provides college coaching, need based scholarships, and financial literacy training. The Foundation supports more than 500 current college students and a growing alumni network of more than 500 successful college graduates. Its students and alumni, known as Wave-Makers, are passionate about recycling their success and giving back in their careers (in business, law, education, medicine) and in their communities.

Issue

How can Making Waves develop a clear, unified, and compelling brand?

Situation

The core of its new ten-year strategic plan is to scale the impact of Making Waves, initially through expanded programming for students in Contra Costa and ultimately nationally, by sharing its success with others. Making Waves Academy and Making Waves Foundation are two separate nonprofits. Making Waves Foundation supports Making Waves Academy with real estate, fundraising, and other programs. Making Waves Academy students and graduates receive coaching and scholarships through Making Waves Foundation. The Foundation also offers coaching and scholarships to students across the Bay Area and is currently running a pilot program for students at Pittsburg High School. The Foundation’s signature program is its college success program, known as CAP, which is an acronym for College and Alumni Program. Historically, CAP has been branded (logos, signage, social media accounts, etc.) and there is a strong internal sense of pride around CAP. The program is often referred to outside the context of Making Waves Foundation for example, coaches are often called CAP coaches, students are often called CAP students, and workshops, communication, and activities are branded as CAP. Students and alumni might not fully know about or associate CAP with Making Waves Foundation. However, CAP is not an easy term to search, find online, or share with others in a way that is easily understood.

Project Overview

Making Waves is asking for ACT’s help in updating its current branding strategy and creative with a focus on clarifying its Making Waves Academy, Making Waves Foundation, and CAP brands. This work will serve as the foundation for the launch of Making Waves’ expansion strategy. Specific questions to address include:

  • How to clarify the three brands from a strategy and positioning standpoint?
  • How to clarify the three brands from a visual and creative standpoint?
  • How to manage the brand moving forward to ensure adherence to the updated brand strategy and standards?

The team will assess Making Waves’ current branding and execution as well as its strategic expansion plan to assist in recommending an updated branding strategy that will unify all the current brands with the intention of streamlining messaging, building a strong unified brand, and providing clarity for internal and external audiences.

Other

This is a Fast Track project:

  • Scope: Focused, specific organizational issue
  • Team Size: 2-3 consultants
  • Project Duration: 3 months
  • Estimated Time Contribution: 25-30 hrs total (per consultant)

Read more about the Fast Track Project Consultant role.