Transforming a Group Dedicated to Serving People with Disabilities
The history of support for people with disabilities and mental health has not always been bright. Institutionalizing them has been part of our nation’s history, but with change and time came an interest in supporting people within their own communities. This is where CRi came in. The organization has worked very successfully, yet quietly, for the past 40 years to creatively meet the needs of youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health needs to help them live an independent life in their own communities. CRi provides people in the Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland region with personalized wrap-around service such as medical care, daily support programs and access to homes they’ve purchased which are embedded in the community. The leadership knew that they weren’t getting the recognition and funding they needed to continue to do their work and came to Burness with a request to build a new brand to engage their audiences in a new way and increase fundraising.
Burness began with research on the work CRi does, the reach they had in their area and how others viewed them. We interviewed local government leaders, families who have benefited from the organization, and multiple support services experts who work with them. We uncovered the success stories of individuals and their families who believe CRi has changed their lives. From this we began to shape a full re-brand - a new voice, new messages, and new stories which led to the development of a new name, new logo and website. We created a stepped plan to roll out the new look and feel internally and to their constituents.
Burness attended the unveiling of the new brand with CRi staff and individuals and the families they serve, and it was revealed with a great excitement and joy. It was well received in the community and while it is too early to tell, we hope to see results for CRi in the form of increased funding and support. Burness staff continue to support the organization with funds and volunteer time.