Near Southside Annual Report
The three primary fundraising events for Near Southside, Inc. (NSI)—a nearly 1,400- acre nonprofit development district in Fort Worth—were failing to meet growth goals. NSI was on a mission to revitalize the Southside neighborhood through new business development, but these events, along with membership fees, were their primary source of funding. The importance of event attendance could not be overstated. Impressed with J.O.’s ability to craft high-performance brand assets, NSI came to us with one essential request: help us grow our events. That’s just what we did.
First, we examined the problem from two fundamental angles: the message and the messenger, content versus form. We discovered NSI’s key challenge was not necessarily the reach or resonance of their messaging, but rather public interest (or lack thereof) in the messenger. NSI’s existing event branding was tired—several years old and inconsistent—so NSI’s target audience was not responding. At J.O., we immediately set to solving that problem.
We conducted a comprehensive brand audit for each of NSI’s tent-pole events. In each case, we discovered the event’s visual identity (logo and accompanying graphics) was failing to resonate. So, we created bespoke graphic identities tailored to reflect the interests and values of NSI’s target audience. We knew we needed to fix the problem from the inside out…and it worked.
The Southside community—and a broader audience well beyond the district’s borders— responded to the work immediately. From mural reproductions to sold-out hats and t-shirts, the new branding was a hit. In fact, NSI still uses our templates to create imagery for their events each year.
Most importantly, however, since rebranding the events, attendance and net revenue have skyrocketed:
• Attendance at the “Open Streets” event has grown by more than 650%.
• Attendance at the “Friday on the Green” events more than doubled.
• Attendance at the “Arts Goggle” event grew by 900%.
• Net revenue for all NSI events has increased by approximately $87,000.
By addressing the problem at the root, J.O. was able to build a solid brand foundation from which NSI could leverage positive word-of-mouth to vastly exceed their event attendance and revenue goals.