In the past 23 years, Chicago Cares has sparked a volunteer movement. We’ve engaged more than 500,000 people in action, have supported more than 10,000 nonprofit organizations and have made an indelible impact on our city. Recently, with both our history and future in mind, we’ve undertaken some branding work with the goal of refreshing and re-energizing our positioning.

Over the last year, we’ve conducted strategy sessions, focus groups and many surveys. We’ve talked to countless stakeholders, from our volunteers to our corporate and community partners to our board.

And, at the end of the day, our key insight has been that Chicago Cares makes connections that transform. We connect our volunteers to people they never would have met, to neighborhoods they never would have visited and to causes they never would have intimately understood. All of this is key. But what’s more important is the result: we connect volunteers to their leadership potential and passions. We connect communities and people to a platform that actively works to set the stage for sustained, long-term change.

This theme is illustrated in our new logo. The knot in the middle connects “Chicago” to “Cares,” and represents all of the different connections we make possible. The white lines drawn in the four symbols give this knot a sense of movement and action while also referencing the concept of hands-on—elements that are integral to our brand.

Our new logo represents the connections we're able to spark between people, communities and causes.
Our new logo represents the connections we’re able to spark between people, communities and causes.

This is just the logo; the new brand will come to life in many forms over the course of the next year. And it’s no coincidence that we’re launching our new look and feel today, the same day we’re hosting our annual Cheers to Our Volunteers celebration. Our ability to make change happen starts with our volunteers. At the end of the day, you make transformation—for our city, its communities and its people—possible. You are our brand.

What do you think of our new logo? Tell us @ChicagoCares using #MyChi.

Meg Washburn is Vice President of Partner Engagement for Chicago Cares.