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Say It Like You Mean It

Making an Impact—buildOn

// MAKING AN IMPACT: a regular feature about businesses that make a positive impact in the world while engaging customers with good design and clear copy. //

Jim Ziolkowski’s non-profit buildON “is not a charity, it’s a movement.” This statement speaks volumes and is prominently displayed on buildOn’s About page. This simple statement invites the reader to not just send a check, but to become a part of something larger than any one individual. It’s inclusive and intriguing.

Their clever tagline, “We build hope. We buildOn.” also speaks to the essence of their mission:

“Our mission is to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education. We empower urban youth to transform their neighborhoods through intensive community service and to change the world by building schools in some of the economically poorest countries in the world.”

buildOn pairs impactful messaging with clear and organized with subcategories that keep the reader interested and engaged.

And to please the eye, the navigation bar changes upon scrolling. Top of page:

buildON impact

As you scroll, the background fades to white:

buildOn design

BuildOn’s statistics are made fun with design. When you click on “U.S. Impact” the following stats are highlighted:

buildOn statistics

And when you click on “International Impact” new stats appear:

buildOn statistics

Take Action

buildOn’s Build a School page encourages us to “mobilize friends & family” to raise money to build a school. They ask me to simply fill out my contact information to “Contact Trip Guide,” which makes me feel adventurous. On their Build a Community page, you can type in your fund raising goal to learn how many children will miss fewer days of school, how many hours of service will be contributed to the community, and how many dollars will be saved by the community.

Constructive Feedback

As we saw in a previous blog, lowercase treatment of buildOn’s name is somewhat. When other publications write about buildOn, they will not likely begin sentences with a lowercase ‘b’. ‘As a result, their branding will not be consistent. The big question—does it matter? Factors such as these should be considered when you’re in the early stages of creating your brand.

What’s Your Story?

People won’t remember your name, but they’ll remember your story. buildOn’s Founder Story, a page of its own, invites readers into Ziolkowski’s experiences with poverty in third-world countries. His own brush with death and subsequent realization that his survival was privileged—that natives in his situation would not have had the means to pay for the care they need to live—appeals to our emotions and plants the seeds of buildOn’s story.

Where did it all begin? What did you tell yourself about why this work is important? Your story will appeal to the needs and desires of your true customers. Consider it carefully.

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