“In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears. Things are not only what they are. They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be.” – Hubert H. Humphrey
This month is one of biggest changes for our organization, starting with changing both our brand and our name! EAL Ltd. will now be known as EALgreen.
To tell you the truth, we think this change is long overdue.
EAL was founded in 1982 with the primary mission of helping college students with limited funds pay for their tuition and other expenses. EAL’s founder, Swede Roskam, was a salesman who noticed that many of his corporate clients had excess inventory and other material they needed to discard. Often this material was still useable and, he reasoned, could be useful to educational institutions struggling to maintain their facilities as cost-efficiently as possible.
Swede created EAL to operate as a non-profit connection between corporations and schools, allowing one to rid itself of unwanted goods and the other to acquire those goods at little or no cost. The money the schools saved on these transactions could then go toward paying the tuition of financially disadvantaged students. Through the years, EAL was able to arrange for more than $18,000,000 in scholarships for over 15,000 students using this innovative business model.
This is quite an accomplishment and one in which we all take pride.
But this accomplishment had another consequence: over the years EAL prevented 200,000 tons of material from becoming waste. In these days when promoting and preserving a greener environment has become a concern of businesses as well as communities nationwide, we felt it was time to fully acknowledge this other half of our value proposition. Now, as EALgreen, we’ve made promoting sustainability and a circular economy part of our name as well as our process.
In addition to adding “green” to our name, we’ve changed what “EAL” stands for.
We wanted a more dynamic statement of how our organization makes a difference in individual lives and to the community. So instead of using the tagline “Education Assistance Limited,” we’re now using “Empowering Access to Higher Education.” We feel this is a much more descriptive definition of what we do on behalf of our EALgreen scholars.
Finally, we’ve created a fresh, modern and attractive logo to represent our new brand. Here’s what it looks like:
Here’s how our rebranding will benefit our donors …
Today’s consumers and employees, particularly millennials, have increased expectations regarding the social consciousness of the companies they buy from and work for. As Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Airlines, observed, “If companies become a force for good, the people working for them will be that much more motivated and their brands will shine that much brighter amongst others.”
And, in these days of online reviews and ratings, a customer’s view of a company can not only effect their own buying decisions, but that of thousands of other people they share their opinion with over the Internet. A recent study shows that 89 percent of consumers would be more likely to make purchases from a company which demonstrates responsible practices with regard to social and environmental concerns than one that doesn’t. Identifying ourselves as EALgreen allows our donors to gain more credit for themselves by helping an organization that clearly supports sustainability.
… and help our college partners
In a recent study by the Princeton Review, 54 percent of 10,000 college applicants surveyed said that knowing “a college’s commitment to environmental issues would very much or somewhat contribute to their decision to apply or attend.” Obviously, concern about the environment and a desire to be associated with organizations that support sustainability is important to them. Now our college partners can demonstrate their commitment to the cause by mentioning EALgreen as a resource for their materials and a source of financial assistance.
Finally, here’s how it will help us.
Under our new brand, EALgreen, we can claim our rightful role as a pioneer in the sustainability movement and reach out to corporate sustainability and marketing teams. As Nick Besbeas, senior marketing executive at Yahoo and LinkedIn, concludes, “Today it’s important to be present, be relevant and add value.” We feel strongly that our new name marks us as an organization that exhibits all three of these qualities for our donors, our college partners, the community and, above all, our EALgreen scholarship recipients.
Thank you for reading. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts.