In the early 2000s (yes, back when the first iPods were released and Facebook was a new hot item on the internet!) local efforts were developed to focus on city and county cooperation, data collection, leadership development, and education enhancement. Led by participants across the county, it was determined that community leaders needed to come together to coordinate economic vitality efforts. By 2016, the group (which was later branded as Leadership Forum) met and organized Forward Wayne County. The mission and vision align with the simplicity of the name: move Wayne County forward!
The Leadership Forum is focused on making positive improvements in 3 distinct areas:
Our People – focused on improving educational preparedness and opportunity for residents, starting at birth, as well as getting county residents prepared to enter the workforce with high-quality skills. In addition to workforce development, Our People is focused on developing more opportunity for prosperity, health, and wellness for local residents.
Our Community – this pillar is focused on developing our neighborhoods by emphasizing the local resources that already exist, such as historic homes and opportunity for neighborhood growth, and building out what is needed. Growth will not stop at the neighborhoods, though. Forward Wayne County is also focusing on providing additional opportunities for growth in environment, arts, and culture via engagement in local and state level policy change.
Supporting the work in these areas, Forward Wayne County provides backbone support to the county via a Collective Impact framework. Leaders within the initiative quickly established the importance of developing a shared community identity. The Leadership Forum also hopes to increase recognition to local groups who want to decrease silos and establish shared metrics.
More than Just a Logo: Why Our Brand is Designed with Intention
The Forward Wayne County logo serves as a beacon of visibility and further explanation of the initiative’s focus. The arrows indicate forward progression. The colors evoke emotions connected to prosperity, motivation, and energy. The text is tilted forward. And there is a clear foundation of a bold Wayne County at the bottom.
In the non-profit sector, visibility is one component of a brand. Think about your favorite organization. What do you see when you see their logo? My guess is, you not only see the colors, words, and shapes associated with the logo, you also “see” what the organization stands for and you feel certain emotions about that organization.
When supporters and donors picture the non-profit in their mind, the brand should embody the “what” and the “why” of the organization. As someone looks at our logo or sees it on a sponsorship advertisement, we want them to feel excited and motivated about how our community is moving forward. We want them to feel passion and excitement for the leaders in our community. We want adults to feel a sense of pride and prosperity for our children.
Stay connected with Forward Wayne County on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn! Take a few minutes and share with us your thoughts on the Forward Wayne County logo! Also, be sure to use the hashtag #forwardINwayne when sharing how you are forwarding our community every day!