Merging the past and present to unify a diverse community

Combined Jewish Philanthropies

The Challenge

A generational and political divide

A generational and political divide

As the largest non-profit in Massachusetts, Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) is both a major entrepreneurial charity and an essential convener for the Jewish community in the state. When they commissioned us to develop a new visual identity and core messaging in the summer of 2021, they had recently gone through a change in leadership and a strategic realignment process to address a fundamental challenge: how to stay relevant in a changing demographic landscape and a Jewish culture growing increasingly fragmented along generational and political lines. With an aging donor base and younger Jewish population growing less interested in a “big tent” organization, CJP needed an authentic and compelling platform to better frame their story and unify their audiences under a common banner.

Services Provided:

  • Strategy
  • Messaging
  • Creative and design
  • Branding

The Solution

A shared story and a common purpose

Working closely with the CJP leadership team, we developed a new position statement for CJP that linked the past with the present and made their philanthropy essential to community building: A purposeful life, powered by our Jewish community. CJP became the nexus where individual acts become collective action, where doing good strengthens Jewish culture, and where everyone can join the mission to make the world a better place. We translated the position into new core messaging, a voice and tone guide, and a new visual language that honors their heritage while engaging younger audiences and looking squarely to the future. The brand identity in particular was designed with an iterative process that was highly collaborative and helped build consensus among stakeholders. The fresh typography and photographic art direction brought energy and unexpectedness that related to younger audiences and strengthened their place in some of the most important conversations of our day.

At the center of the new visual identity is the dot: a stylized tittle speaks to the eternal flame that is at the core of the Jewish faith and culture. It also references wholeness and a feeling of togetherness that fits CJP’s commitment to their community. Attention to detail was crucial to the brand, with each element telling a meaningful story. To ensure the integrity of the new brand, we developed comprehensive language and visual guides that went beyond rules and proscriptions, providing the communication team with the tools they needed to bring the identity fully to life across a wide range of digital and physical media.

The Results

A leap into the future

The brand launched in February to an enthusiastic response from staff and stakeholders. CJP’s marketing teams are using the new positioning and language to develop internal and external communications, while the visual identity has been incorporated into redesigns of both their website and email newsletters. 

This brand will allow CJP to remain relevant for emerging generations, while not abandoning the tradition, history, and people that helped this organization have the level of influence and impact that they do today.