CROSSROADS PRISON MINISTRIES
In 1987, a car salesman named Tom de Vries took his passion and concern for prisoners and started a Bible study mail correspondence program with the help of family members and church friends. That organization, Crossroad Bible Institute (CBI), grew dramatically over the years to include 12 Bible study programs with locations in 19 countries. In 2015, Lisa Blystra took over as executive director and began working on initiatives to help CBI more effectively serve the culture that had changed over 30 years.
Crossroad Bible Institute had grown steadily for almost 30 years, but student retention was dropping and they were struggling to recruit people to volunteer, especially younger volunteers.
A STRATEGIC SOLUTION
Navigate led Crossroad through a process of discovery to really dig into the organization’s purpose and mission. We met with staff, current inmates, former inmates, chaplains and volunteers. Through that process, we discovered that Crossroad’s name and logo were actually turning some potential students away. The word “Bible,” as well as the visual of the cross in their logo, had a negative connotation for some who have had bad experiences with church in their lives. And “Institute” was viewed as a negative term and didn’t really describe the full extent of the ministry. It implied something academic, which left some lesser-educated students feeling excluded from the program. As a result of those discoveries, we worked closely with Crossroad to alter their overarching brand narrative, structure, and creative assets.
NAME AND LOGO
One of the first things we worked on with the Crossroad team was changing the name of the organization to Crossroads Prison Ministries. This name is more descriptive of who they are and what they do. We then designed new, more subtle visual branding elements that would subsequently fit the organization’s mission and remove the old brand’s negative religious and academic associations. Throughout this process, the Crossroads team worked on updating their curriculum content to be more relevant for today’s culture.
Beyond branding, Navigate created a user-friendly website that focuses on what Crossroads now does better. For example, we simplified the sign-up process for volunteers, and as a result Crossroads received over 100 new volunteer applications within one month of launching the website! We also created a recruitment video to help spread the word on social media, in churches and at events.
Beyond branding, Navigate created a user-friendly website that focuses on what Crossroads now does better. For example, we simplified the sign up process for volunteers, and as a result Crossroads received over 100 new volunteer applications within one month of launching the web site! We also created a recruitment video to help spread the word on social media, in churches and at events.
One of Crossroads’ main goals for this project was to get more Mentors for their students. Within the first month of launching the new brand and website, they had more than 100 new Mentors sign up!
We are so thrilled to have worked with this amazing organization. Please check out their website to learn more about them!
“The process that Navigate took us through had such a profound impact on our ministry that it’s hard to even place a value on it. We learned a lot about ourselves in the process, struggled through challenges with them, and the end result was a brand, vision, and supporting marketing assets that we are very pleased with.”
– Lisa Blystra, Executive Director for CPM