After eight years, raising-up advocates to bring freedom around the globe, serving about twenty organizations, and fundraising close to $80,000, we are rebranding the LBD.Project and getting our non-profit status this May (it’s about time)!
Why? Mostly, we want to become as accessible as we possibly can to the people we are trying to get connected to the issue of human trafficking. Our target audience is ordinary, everyday people who need a way to get invested in the issue of human trafficking. They don’t have to know anything to start except they don’t like it–that they too believe everyone deserves a chance to be free.
The LBD.Project Name
Our name originated out of a dress. When I first started this, it wasn’t a something. I was calling it my action in a Little Black Dress, written as Action: Little Black Dress. The next year we became the Little Black Dress Project, as that was giving people something to join, rather me just saying, “Hi guys! I am doing the action of wearing a little black dress.”
Pretty quickly we realized guys wanted to be involved. There is a great need for men to be involved in the issue of human trafficking and very few next entry-level steps for them to take. But by this point, we already had so many people connected with our name, and to continue establishing and refining our mission and process, we decided to continue going by our acronym, hoping the word “dress” would be eliminated if we took it off all of our marketing material.
Why We Have To Change Our Name
Marketing to Men
However, our origins of “Little Black Dress” has never been something we’ve fully been able to get rid of. Despite our attempts to market to men, it is hard to hook them when people still call us Little Black Dress.
Dressember and More
Another issue is that we have forever been confused with other similar LBD initiatives or other dress-wearing projects. There have been a few over the years–especially one called Dressember. This is something similar–where participants raise funds for a few of the biggest anti-trafficking organizations in the world while wearing a different dresses each day in December.
But although it is similar, it still very different from who we are. Why? We have a different audience (we want to equip men and women), we let people choose how difficult they want it to be with their one black item (a shirt is more challenging than a tie, for example), and mostly, how we partner with anti-trafficking organizations (we don’t give to the wonderful big ones).
One of the most difficult things for small non-profits is fundraising, and there are needs in the anti-trafficking movement that only these smaller orgs can meet. We serve these smaller anti-trafficking organizations by being a fundraiser they can adopt as their own, providing marketing material and encouragement to help them meet their own vision. This can supply these organizations by giving them start-up funds, helping them complete a project or initiative, or meet other needs that are extremely difficult to meet when you only have a handful (or no) paid staff members.
We have a specific niche in the anti-trafficking fight, and have the potential of growing to support countless organizations and lead everyday people into the fight for freedom. But being confused with Dressember and other initiatives has actively prevented people who are target audience from connecting with us.
Another reason we wanted to change our name is because marketing research shows us that the brain shuts down if it takes more than about five-seconds for something to make sense. The LBD.Project never makes sense in five-seconds. We lose most of our target audience before they even go to our website, as they have no way of knowing what we do, why we do it, and what it has to do with them.
Process of Becoming a Nonprofit and Rebranding
Over the last few years we’ve asked for names and researched different options–most which were not what we were going for. However, we really wanted to work on our internal structure anyway to set us up for success before we grew, choosing to wait to commit to a new name when we would become a non-profit.
This past year it has become evident for us to serve our partner organizations well, as well as reduce communication difficulties for the fundraising participants in the LBD.Project, we need to restructure as a non-profit. To the surprise of many, when I do social good consulting, I usually encourage people to not start off with non-profit status, as often it can be a hindrance to growth. Instead, I train people to look for specific triggers before moving their good thing to this level of organization. The LBD.Project has hit these triggers, so we will be processing our status in a few weeks as we rename ourselves. We want to keep as much of our marketing language, style, and colors as similar as possible to make this an easier transition (for the ease on the brain, you know *wink*).
How We Need You
1.) Be a Stakeholder
If you are curious what this means or are interested in being part of the visionary/stakeholder launch team, please invite yourself to come to a virtual meeting where you can learn more about why, how, and what this means. Become an influencer for this non-profit.
2.) Name us!
Name: Tell us if you like Blackout Human Trafficking or Freedom is the New Black (the later will be a tag phrase for the first, if the first is chosen, as we already use this as a tag phrase).
3.) Tell us how to do things better
Fill out the survey–especially if you did the LBD.Project 2019!
We want to hear from you! We hope 2020 will be our best year yet, and the only way that can happen is if we hear YOUR voice. Click here for the link.
As I've begun to form relationships with local anti-trafficking organizations as I lead the LBD.Project on the west coast, I've gathered tog...
Last year one of my besties, and owner of YA book blog Reading Teen (www.ReadingTeen.net), did the Little Black Dress Project with us. If yo...
Today I did something scary. Actually, this is the second time in a couple weeks this has happened. I became that parent. But the reason I'...