Non-profit organization applications for AAF NEPA’s annual Cropped competition are still available! The “Cropped” competition unites the region’s best and brightest creative professional and student talent on four teams, all of whom will vie for the opportunity to rebrand or work on a major creative project for an area non-profit organization. The competition is a take-off on the Food Network’s hit show, “Chopped,” and the last team standing wins.

Last year’s winner was Luzerne County Head Start, who sought out the Cropped competition to help educate the general public about what their organization does and how it helps the community at large. We recently sat down with Luzerne County Head Start’s community advocate, Lindsey Fredericks, to get her take on how Cropped helped the organization and why other non-profits should apply to the competition.

Why did you decide to apply for Cropped?

We decided to apply for Cropped because we wanted the community to better understand what our program does for our area’s most vulnerable children and their families. Head Start is a national program that began in 1965 and is well-known as an early childhood education program for low income families. Luzerne County Head Start has many qualities that make it stand out. We were looking for a way to highlight those qualities and to re-introduce ourselves to the community.

The application process is brief and if your organization is selected, the competition is a friendly and engaging way to meet new people and learn about the creative talent that exists in our area.

— Lindsey Fredericks

What were you hoping to get out of participating?

We were hoping to get an updated logo, a new motto and some campaign ideas from the competition. We were successful in achieving all three. We introduced our new logo and tagline during the summer of 2019,  both were created by the winning team from last year’s “Cropped” competition.  Additionally, we continued to work with the team as one of their clients.  They spent some time with us learning about our organization and what we do for children and their families.  After many hours of work, they helped us to launch a new website in July of 2019: www.lcheadstart.org.

How important is it to build your brand?

It is important for us to build our brand so people in the community can better understand who we are and how our services affect those in need. We could not operate without the support we receive from our community partners. Building our local brand and expanding upon the national Head Start mission has helped us to show others how we make an impact locally. It has also enabled us to connect with new partners that support our mission and help children and their families get the support and resources they need to be happy, healthy and successful.

What advice would you give to an organization that is considering applying to be a part of this year’s Cropped competition?

I would encourage any organization that is looking for a brand or image update to apply. The application process is brief and if your organization is selected, the competition is a friendly and engaging way to meet new people and learn about the creative talent that exists in our area. The competing teams come up with great ideas; ones that even as an expert at your own organization, you might not have previously thought of.  It’s a great way to get a fresh design perspective of your non-profit agency and also to meet new friends.