Guiding Eyes: Reinvigorating a nonprofit for the future
Guiding Eyes for the Blind
Nonprofits live and breathe on the generosity of their donor bases—but getting new donors engaged proves challenging, especially when brand awareness runs low.
Guiding Eyes for the Blind is an organization dedicated to creating and supporting life-changing connections between people and dogs. While it is widely acknowledged as a worldwide leader in the standards of breeding and guide dog training, Guiding Eyes was concerned that wider audiences did not fully understand the role that the organization had to play in offering fuller, freer lives to people who are blind or visually impaired. It was crucial to connect the organization’s purpose to new audiences to broaden its awareness among potential students and to expand its traditional donor pool so that more dogs can be paired with students in need.
While the work Guiding Eyes does is founded on decades of scientific research and vigorous training, the key to its success and impact relies on the art of matching the right guide dog with the right person. A new value proposition allowed Guiding Eyes to express this balance of its expertise and the effect that it has on the lives of guide dog recipients. The Guiding Eyes logo was given a modern update to reflect the special connection that takes place between a student and his/her specially selected dog, bringing the value proposition to life. Another consideration in the logo’s development is Its simplicity, making it easier to recognize for those who are visually impaired.
To reinforce Guiding Eyes’s leadership role in the world of guide dogs and increase awareness, a new focus was brought to Wrangler, the Guiding Eyes dog who became the NBC Today Show’s Puppy with a purpose. InterbrandHealth partnered with Guiding Eyes to optimize Wrangler’s visibility in service of the visually impaired community. In November 2015, Guiding Eyes and NBC celebrated Wrangler’s first birthday with a party in Rockefeller Plaza and the launch of the Wrangler Scholarship to fundraise his training education. It was a hit, both in person and on social media, with everyone from Matt Lauer to Chrissy Teigen wishing Wrangler many happy returns and future success. The Scholarship cemented the connection between Wrangler and Guiding Eyes, and the event brought attention to the wider work that the organization does.