Do You See Disney in Our Logo?

Someone asked me that at a conference years ago. I was taken aback at first, but then I started thinking about it. I laugh about it now but am also grateful because his legitimate question provided the opportunity to share what our logo actually stood for, as well as the story behind it.

Not surprisingly, the general appearance of our logo is that of a capital W. But it goes far beyond a simple letter. When we worked with the graphic designer during the branding process, we intentionally built our Winkler Group story—and our clients’ story—into the logo.

Our firm specializes in the strategic planning and execution of capital campaigns—a transformative process that begins as a dream. Our clients ask themselves: What if? What if we could build a new facility to serve more students, see more patients, or provide more assistance for those in need? What if we could grow our endowment and direct more funding to our core mission, provide more scholarships, or serve more people? We help turn those dreams into a reality.

The Winkler Group logo follows a similar process. The upper left corner of the logo is a large blue bubble or circle. This big sphere represents dreams—the dreams of our clients, their unrealized impact, and the promise of better things to come. This is the fun part, where anything is possible. This is where excitement builds, and where our clients feel the joy, hope, and anticipation of the future.

As organizations dream, they begin to engage key stakeholders and meet with leadership. The vision begins to take shape. The initial limitless possibilities become more refined; with greater acuity and insight, a sharper focus emerges and the enthusiasm becomes palpable. Each step of refinement is represented by the proceeding circles in the W. Each successive sphere becomes a bit more focused as a holistic vision for the campaign comes together.

You’ll notice on the bottom right of the logo a subtle, but important change starts to take place. Our clients have dreamt big dreams, engaged key supporters in the process, and refined the overall plan for the campaign. A planning study tests our clients’ philanthropic priorities with potential campaign investors. Now is the time to start raising money. The dream begins moving from concept to reality as a nonprofit goes out and raises money. This transition is represented in our logo with the shift from blue to gold.

Interestingly, you’ll notice a gap in the logo as the final circle emerges. This gap represents the enormous effort, time, resources, and effort it requires to raise money. It also represents all the work that takes place behind the scenes to launch and complete a capital campaign, because accomplishing something collectively—something of significance and impact—can’t be done alone.

Finally, after all the months and years of planning and working the goal becomes a reality. The successful completion of the campaign is represented by the gold circle, standing alone and expressing an amazing accomplishment. What once was only a dream—a what if—is now something tangible. Lives are being changed, more people are being positively impacted, and an organization is positioned for growth, stability, and sustainability for years to come.

Yes, the gold in our logo is symbolic of money, but not in the traditional sense. Rather, it represents the investment donors are entrusting to universities, schools, hospitals, nonprofits, ministries, and churches. Regardless of the size of a gift, all philanthropic support is a vote of confidence in an organization. And we—as fundraisers and nonprofit leaders—have an obligation and a privilege to steward these investment so we earn the right to be considered for future investments.

What about our logo’s colors? Why blue and gold? Blue happens to be my favorite color, but more importantly, blue and gold are biblical colors. As a firm, the Winkler Group strives to be known as the best in our profession. As industry thought leaders and practitioners, our goal is to love and serve our clients. We recognize the most tangible expression of this desire is by delivering superior professional service and counsel. More than just bringing exceptional talent to our clients, we desire to emulate humble confidence through biblical servant leadership. We value people over profits while seeking to develop a culture that mirrors our convictions. Like you, we too are trying to be good stewards of the opportunities and resources entrusted to us.

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