YWCA Canada: National Advocacy. Community Action.

April 14, 2020


YWCA Canada is our country’s largest and leading voice for women, girls, Two-Spirit and gender diverse people. With member associations in 32 locations across Canada, they tirelessly work to end violence against women and girls, implement national childcare, achieve economic equality, and end homelessness for women and girls. These local YWCAs invest over $258 million annually to support over 330,000 individuals across the nation.

On the year of YWCA Canada's 150th anniversary, we evolved their brand so that it would encapsulate the impact of their work over many years, set the tone for their future advocacy, and connect people to their work beyond program information and metrics. This included a new tagline, refreshed visual identity and accompanying positioning, messaging and communications assets.

To understand YWCA Canada’s powerful legacy and leadership within the gender equity movement, we conducted an extensive engagement with their leadership team, staff, partners, supporters and service users to define what was unique and differentiating about the organization. We also consulted with Research for Change, using their unique expertise and lens within the movement for gender equity to ensure stakeholder engagement proceeded in an inclusive and appropriate manner and to provide further donor consultations. Along with a celebration of the strides taken over their impressive 150 year history and the generation of change affected both inside and outside the organization, what really came to the forefront was their ability to impact lives both on the ground and at the higher levels of policy work and systems change.

After testing an array of options reflective of this positioning with the original stakeholders, we came to the tagline: ‘National Advocacy. Community Action’. This descriptive and direct tagline communicates and confirms their impact on a community level, and provides a framework to ignite a conversation with supporters and partners about their more holistic approach.

We supported this new positioning and tagline with more in-depth work on the brand strategy, developing messaging recommendations and refreshing the visual identity. We developed new boiler plate, launch collateral, logo and colour standards, codifying all into a comprehensive Brand Guidelines package.

"Having Entro facilitating the consultation process was important for our small team. The Entro team enabled conversations with a range of stakeholders from our CEOs, Executive Directors, frontline staff, our donors and partners thoughtfully and strategically. They had such insight into our work that at some points, we wondered if they weren’t former YWCA staff. We are happy with the final results that are already having an impact on our work as we advocate during these challenging times," says Raine Lilifeldt, YWCA Canada's Director of Member Services & Development.

We feel so fortunate to have learned more about this incredible organization through this process, and to have helped create the brand that will carry them forward with their future work. We also want to take this opportunity to highlight the immense pressures that have been put on YWCA Canada and their member associations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since February 2020, local YWCAs have stepped up with rapid response for Canadians, without any additional resources, and they urgently need support to continue to serve those communities hardest hit. Please click and/or share this link to find out more and donate to YWCA Canada’s emergency and recovery response fund.