‘Uniting’ – A New NFP Name for Advocacy
Thursday, 26th November 2015 at 11:09 am
One of the largest providers of aged care services in New South Wales and the ACT has rebranded in a bid to take on a greater public advocacy role on some of Australia’s most challenging social issues.
UnitingCare NSW.ACT has rebranded to the name “Uniting” and the change is being considered nationally via consultations being carried out through the organisation’s head office, UnitingCare Australia.
The Not for Profit said research had shown that there was very low awareness of the organisation and the great work it does in the areas of aged care and disability, community services and chaplaincy.
“It became apparent to us that our current name wasn’t serving our organisation, and was, in fact, holding us back from serving and speaking out for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged,” Executive Director of Uniting, Peter Worland, told Pro Bono Australia News.
“Unfortunately our research showed us that only one in 100 people can recognise or are aware of or know what UnitingCare does. That was a very salutary lesson that we learnt.
“So we had to find a branding to represent who we are that will cut through, and the word ‘Uniting’ is very strong.The word ‘Care’ now has pejorative overtones to it so we have dropped it.”
Worland said the the rebranding itself took about a year. However the actual decision on the new branding took much longer.
“This organisation has been preparing extensively to redevelop the brand, its purpose, to refine its premise and shorten the number of values it can talk about and then make sure it has a firm foundation in the parent body, the Uniting Church,” he said.
“It took a long time. We consulted with hundreds if not thousands of people over a five year period.”
He said the new name Uniting, along with a distinctive new brand-look, would help communicate the organisation’s work, reach more people and speak-up for the vulnerable and disadvantaged people it stands beside every day.
“Uniting will continue to be a strong voice for disadvantaged people and will be taking a more visible public stance on some of the country’s most challenging social issues,” he said.
Worland said in NSW there was an imperative to move more quickly to rebrand.
“We are part of UnitingCare and with Queensland pay most of the salaries of UnitingCare Australia and we sit on their committee, their board and within the governance structure,” he said.
“But we saw in NSW that with deregulation coming, we had to really start promoting ourselves and we couldn't promote ourselves using our old name and the brand had turned into minestrone soup around NSW and around Australia with very many changes.
“It was old fashioned, it was too wordy and we needed something that would cut through and would stand up against the competition that will come in 2017 with the deregulation of community care for older people and then, what we expect in 2020, will be deregulation of residential aged care.
“We are the largest provider of residential aged care in Australia so if you are the largest provider you need to be out there promoting yourself to make sure that we survive and prosper into the future.
“So we now have this single entity, a single name, and now we have to ensure that all of our services and all of the things that we do have that name well and truly branded on it so that every time a person sees it in registers with that particular service they start to understand that this is that organisation that is not only the largest provider of residential aged care but also advocates for children and for families Aboriginal communities and a whole range of other people who are in need.”
Worland said the organisation had now provided the new branding to all of the Uniting Church social services around Australia.
“They are considering whether they are would like to pick it up or not and there will be a consultation Australia wide run by our Canberra office, UnitingCare Australia, with the support of the UnitingCare Assembly, which is the national body,” he said.
“That consultation will be asking folks around the country ‘do you want to have one national brand?’ and is that new national branding that NSW has gone with, and they have given us permission to go first,” Worland said.
“We also had the most pressing need as the largest provider of aged care, and with that being deregulated it is absolutely essential that we are out there promoting ourselves and at the moment promotion, advertising, pushing ourselves forward. These are anathema – these are words that don't fit with the the old Not for Profit view of doing business and they certainly don't fit with our church. We have to reverse that.
“We need to turn that around with this new branding and this new modern take of who we are will be very important in achieving that goal.
“We have made the offer, we have expended money in NSW, we have got what we think is a very good result and we are now going to put that into place and some places will wait and see how we go and other places are already jumping at the bit to take up on this.
“We won’t be charging them anything. It is a gift from NSW to our colleagues in the other states.”
Worland, however, predicted that a national name change would take a long time.