The Brooklyn Heights Synagogue provides its diverse membership with religious services as well as social programs such as a preschool, adult learning classes, and homeless shelter. To meet the demands of a growing congregation that had doubled its membership, the synagogue was exploring a renovation of their current space when the building next door was put up for sale. The synagogue secured funding to take advantage of the opportunity to purchase the building. They were now in the position of having to raise $3.5 million to pay down the mortgage.
A capital campaign was launched to fund the expansion of its facilities and programs. Red Rooster Group was brought in to develop a message that would resonate with members, a visual identity for the campaign, and materials to communicate it.
We began with an assessment of the donor history of the congregation’s annual appeals and a capital campaign conducted more than a decade ago to get a sense of the amounts and levels that people had given. We reviewed the synagogue’s materials including their videos, conducted interviews with members to understand their affinity for the congregation. We met with Brooklyn Heights Synagogues’ campaign committee to discuss the expansion project and what it meant for the congregation’s future.
Once we had a working knowledge of what made the synagogue tick and what drew members in, we developed a series of possible themes to communicate why the capital campaign is needed to meet the growing needs of the synagogue. Through discussions with the committee members, three themes — Possibilities, Community, and Growth — emerged as best representing the essence of the campaign.
There are unlimited possibilities for what we can become as a congregation in the future.
The congregation is a welcoming community of people who feel connected and care for each other.
Our congregation is expanding beyond our physical capacity.
Our congregation is based on engagement and participation rather than membership.
Our congregation offers a wide array of programs that encourage interaction among people.
We see beyond the needs of our congregation, practicing tikkun olam through various initiatives.
We thrive on diversity and meet people where they are regardless of religious beliefs.
Using the identified themes as a source of inspiration, we explored nine different slogans and taglines for the campaign that embodied a theme central to Brooklyn Heights Synagogue’s culture and identity. Ultimately, the theme Growing Together: Getting closer with more space,” as selected as the theme. The slogan connects the physical expansion of BHS facilities to communal growth, communicating the idea that the new building will allow for more people to connect with each other.
We wanted to create designs with elements representing community, diversity, and opportunity, and chose a blue and green color story symbolizes new life, prosperity and growth.
In Logo 1, we used a hand-drawn type face and varied the sizes and positioning of the letters to reflect the energy from a diverse, active and growing membership coming together.
Logo 2 was created in response to the client request for a more streamlined look. The circular motif in these designs represent the diversity of its members and connectivity that brings them together: the circles are of varying size and color, yet they huddle together in one group.
The final version of the logo is clear and sleek, but retains the theme of diversity. The typeface mirrors the existing BHS logo shown below, but with the letters overlapping to suggest the members coming together around the common cause of the congregation.
As the next step in the marketing process, we developed a brochure to inform members about the building campaign. The brochure’s gate-fold style in itself represents openness, reflecting the main message, “Expanding Our Possibilities” that appears in the center.
With the two messages below, “Bursting with Activity” and “A New Building to Grow In,” the reader quickly learns what the campaign is for, and why it is needed. The first two panels summarize the reason for the campaign and how the plan for expansion came about. The inner four panels provide a more detailed summary of the campaign, citing their specific needs, the benefits of increased space, and how these areas will be used.
Familiar names and faces to the synagogue community appear throughout the brochure. Photos depict members engaged in activities, and testimonial quotes lend insight into individuals’ relationship with the organization and why more space is needed for the synagogue.
A handful of these were displayed around the synagogue, announcing the capital campaign and plans for expansion.
This poster tracks the progress of the campaign with a fill-in thermometer graphic – informing viewers of the total amount raised toward the overall goal of $3.5 million
We proposed a number of different themes for the names of each donor level that relate to the capital campaign. The Building Metaphor categories were selected for use.
The Seven Fruit of Israel
The notecard features the “Growing Together” logo and tagline, with a blank interior. These can be used as personalized thank-you notes from BHS to its donors, or for written solicitations to specific members.
We designed the letterhead for the kick-off letter announcing the campaign and compiled a list of frequently asked questions about the campaign and the expansion project. We connected these documents to the rest of the campaign materials through the “Growing Together” logo.