Designing for hope: How Super Studio impacts Churches United for the Homeless

According to the US Interagency Council on Homelessness, an estimated 7,243 people experienced homelessness in Minnesota in 2018. It’s no secret that this adversity affects real people – and organizations like Churches United for the Homeless (CUFH) are fighting to end it.

Last year, our sister company Super Studio designed a piece to help fundraise for CUFH, a well-deserving organization that provides shelter and support to those who fall into homelessness.

Churches United for the Homeless is located in Moorhead, Minnesota, and embraces “Housing First” principles that strive to move residents from the shelter to stable housing as quickly as possible. Open daily, their community center offers free hot meals, a community bread shelf and access to a shelter nurse for those in need. In 2018, CUFH’s emergency center served 348 people (99 children) and combined with the Moorhead Food Pantry, the organizations fed over 20,000 people.

The great news is that CUFH continues to serve more and more people every year. But, with growth comes a need for more resources – and that’s where Super Studio director Dawn Koranda and her team came in to create a capital campaign that would inspire an audience of new donors.

“Dawn and her team knocked it out of the park,” CUFH chief development officer Babs Coler said. “They continue to create appeals, update our branding and develop beautiful pieces that tell the story of the people we serve.”

Developing the artwork

To meet the objectives of the campaign, CUFH needed a polished “lookbook” that would spark the interest of donors.

“At first, we came up with two concepts to choose from – one that focused on humanizing the people who stay at the shelter, and one that focused more on empowering the donor. We liked both concepts, but we were really passionate about the first, so we were thrilled when the client agreed,” Super Studio graphic designer Amanda Feldman said.

The design centers on a first-person statement, “I AM MORE THAN MY HOMELESSNESS,” printed on a flap partially obstructing a large, black-and-white photo of a face staring into the camera. When the flap is opened, the rest of the photo and “I AM” statements are revealed: “I am a college graduate.” “I am a mother.” “I am indestructible.” The first-person language and frank, up-close photography are designed to make you feel that the subject is talking directly to you.

“When paging through the book, the reader is confronted by the humanity of each and every person,” Super Studio traffic manager Clare Lynch said.

The book’s images feature people of all ages, genders, races, and backgrounds, reminding us of the reality that anyone can fall into homelessness.

 

In addition to the emotional appeal, Super Studio collaborated with CUFH to develop content and infographics that tell the story of the organization’s incredible work. Potential donors read about the specific challenges and opportunities facing CUFH, as well as statistics that show the organization’s proven track record, and feel inspired to contribute.

Ultimately, this campaign impacts the larger picture; attracting new donors means more opportunity for CUFH to lift people out of homelessness.

“The real goal has been achieved: People are moving out of the shelter into safe, affordable housing. Thank you, Super Studio!” Coler said.

 

This capital campaign booklet has received the following awards:

Giving Hearts Day 2019 award for Excellence in Graphic Design
AAF ND Gold ADDY award
AAF ND Judge’s Choice
AAF D8 Silver ADDY award

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