Frequently Asked Questions

Questions About HeartSpark's Process

What’s the difference between branding and logo design?

Branding is a comprehensive and strategic process focused on shaping and managing your brand’s overall identity. It involves elements such as brand strategy, messaging, visual identity, and the overall experience delivered to your community. The goal of branding is to establish a consistent and memorable identity that resonates with your supporters, builds trust, and fosters a meaningful connection.

Logo design, on the other hand, is just one part of branding dedicated to creating a unique visual symbol or mark. It is a graphical representation that serves as a recognizable identifier, typically incorporating symbols, typography, or a combination of both. While a logo is a vital component for brand recognition, it is just one element within the broader scope of branding, which encompasses a holistic approach to shaping the identity and perception of a brand.

Here’s a helpful article where we break down the different pieces of your brand, including how your logo fits in!

Building a nonprofit brand may seem excessive, but if your organization is working to solve a big problem in a unique way – it matters. Communicating your uniqueness clearly and consistently is critical for getting attention, connecting with supporters, and raising funds for your cause.

People give because they care about tackling a big problem they care about, but they give to YOUR nonprofit because they believe in your solution. Together, a high-performing brand and website can multiply your impact:

  • Demonstrates your shared values
  • Guides visitors through your mission and programs
  • Accessible for all users on any device
  • Integrates with your donation platform
  • Fast and easy to update

People are checking out your nonprofit online first. A great brand with a functional website is the best way to capture their attention and prove your credibility.

We have deep expertise in the specialized needs of nonprofit organizations and foundations. A “full service” agency doesn’t.

  • Full service agencies don’t have a focus. For them, nonprofits can follow the same strategy as businesses. And if an agency is offering to work for free, you can be sure your work is being handled by an intern or left as an afterthought.
  • Our branding agency is 100% focused on nonprofits. Lauren and her team are experts in building brands, writing messaging, and optimizing websites that will increase the connection to your supporters. And when donors feel deeply connected to your mission, they’re more likely to give.

Nonprofits are complex and require many unique solutions. “Full service” agencies often suggest strategies that just don’t work for nonprofit organizations. They’re using for-profit marketing techniques and a one-size-fits-all approach.

It’s not surprising. Branding for nonprofits is hard to get right. But a branding studio like HeartSpark knows what it takes.

Absolutely, because every individual should have access—it’s the ethical choice.

We strive to build each brand and website to meet 508 compliance and WCAG guidelines. This involves using web-friendly fonts at readable sizes, employing color palettes with strong contrast, ensuring efficient navigation, and maintaining a clear, simple page structure.

At HeartSpark, creating accessible experiences is not just a commitment; it’s personal. Lauren’s own experience with a chronic condition underscores our dedication to caring for all your visitors, including those with visual and mobility impairments.

The best brand and website projects are collaborative. But we get it – this isn’t the only (or most important) thing you’re working on. It depends on a few factors, but typically the time required from you is 2-5 hours/week. More time is needed if:

  • You want to finish the project sooner
  • You’re fielding input from a small advisory team
  • You plan to write all of your own content

Content and approval. If either of those words triggers anxiety, we will adapt the process to try and lighten your load.

Absolutely! If you’ve just given your logo a fresh new look, it’s the ideal moment to craft a delightful brand identity to match. We’ll ensure you have all the versions of your logo you could possibly need—editable files, EPS, SVG, PDF, PNG, JPG. Beyond just your logo, we’ll spruce up every aspect of your brand, making sure everything feels polished and wonderfully consistent. Let’s make your brand shine!

Unfortunately we don’t currently offer services for campaign design, direct appeal, or ongoing design support. However, if you have a specific project in mind, Lauren would love to connect you with one of our favorite design partners. Feel free to ask for a personalized referral to meet your needs – we’re here to help!

Questions About Pricing

Do you offer payment plans?

Absolutely. Our agreement will include a payment plan that feels comfortable for your budget and works with your payment processing system. The majority of our clients pay between $2,000-5,000 per month while they’re working with us.

At HeartSpark, we believe in being as transparent about pricing as possible. Your estimate includes the entire project cost, including any subcontractor costs, software we use to create and manage the project, as well as taxes. You’ll have one flat rate with a clear payment schedule. 

That being said, here are a few additional costs that are outside of our scope of work, but may be necessary to complete your project. We’ll talk through these costs before any costs are incurred, but it’s important to be aware of them for general website setup and maintenance: 

  • Focus Groups
  • Photography & Videography
  • Website Platform Subscription
  • Domain and SSL Certificate (Webflow and WordPress)
  • Online Donation Tools
  • WordPress Page Builder
  • Translation Software
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Getting board buy-in and approval for a brand and website redesign is essential – and can actually get your team excited about the process. Start by clearly outlining the necessity, linking it your organizational goals and review success stories from comparable nonprofits. Present a comprehensive plan, detailing the budget, resource allocation, and a roadmap for implementation. Involve key stakeholders early on, address potential risks, and emphasize the positive impact on donors, volunteers, and the community. Illustrate a well-considered approach that aligns with the organization’s strategic objectives.

We get it, things change or a new need may popup. If there’s an unexpected change to the project, Lauren will let you know of the need for a change order. She’ll then provide an estimate, email you a link to the detailed tasks and costs, then request your approval before any costs are incurred. After the change order is approved, we’ll split up payments over the subsequent invoices. 

There are hard costs to owning a website, such as domain registration, SSL certificate, and CMS subscription costs. We’ll make sure your website is running smoothly 2-4 weeks after launch (depending on your package), but we do not have any ongoing maintenance or support costs.

Branding and website design are often made to feel intimidating, and they shouldn’t be. We seize every opportunity to teach clients, so you’ll feel confident using your new brand and updating your website. Lauren’s goal is that you never feel dependent on your agency to make updates or locked out of your website, so we’ll train you and your team how to update and maintain the website over time. 

Of course Lauren is happy to answer any questions you have and can connect you with other vendors who offer maintenance plans. 

HeartSpark Design is 100% dedicated to serving nonprofits, so the pricing we share is the best rate we can give. However, you can save on budget by opting for reducing the amount of design options or number of revisions. 

We’re a small remote team that only takes on a handful of clients at a time, running very nimble on purpose. 

Of course! Check out our recent nonprofit branding and design work here.

HeartSpark stakes our claims with confidence and conviction, sharing research and case studies to back it all up. Having designed for major for-profit brands and many nonprofits, Lauren knows how to create brands that will work for years to come, and can explain in detail what great design entails—always with the goal to teach, never to judge.