Cause Strategy Partners

Full Brand Update for a Global Board Service Organization

Cosmis CSP Case Study Hero

The Challenge

Cause Strategy Partners was founded in 2015 to provide an onramp for talented professionals who want to connect to community leadership opportunities at the center of their passions. They connect a diverse network of talented professionals to nonprofit board service opportunities.

Having grown from a local New York company to a national and global one, their team of dedicated “Causies” was looking for a brand refresh, visual identity that matched their scale, and messaging that reflects their position in the marketplace. As they put it, “[our] …previous brand felt like it didn't convey the professionalism, integrity, and energy of our work. We also struggled with how to communicate our work to three very different, but interdependent stakeholder groups — corporate social responsibility teams, board service candidates, and nonprofit leaders — as well as the brand hierarchy of our programs and services. It was a bit of a heavy jumble, which made securing new partners even harder!

The Outcome

The new brand expression feels as energetic as the people behind the organization. It evokes action, and positivity, and showcases their value and services with a light touch approach to copy.

It uses positive imagery and rich colors to create a mood that unifies the site and exemplifies the experience of working with the organization for executives, corporations, and nonprofits alike. Most importantly, it looks and feels like the organization it is today, creating a digital presence that matches the uplifting experience of working with this passionate team.


  • Strategic Brand Building
  • Content & Campaign Consulting
  • Digital Infrastructure

Focus Areas

  • Foundations & Philanthropy
  • Social Equity & Justice

Understanding the Marketspace

We started our work with Cause Strategy Partners by researching the marketplace in three categories:

  • Skills-based Volunteering Service Providers

  • Board Matching Programs

  • Other National-Scope Players

Our takeaways from that work led us to understand the differentiators that make the organization unique.

  • National (US) and international reach

  • They work in multiple industries

  • A hand-curated board matching process

  • Benefits driven

  • Long-term partners with corporations and nonprofits

Cosmic CSP Case Study Analysis

A Symbolic Icon

The Cause Strategy logo icon leverages a continuous line that forms a spark around a cause ribbon — symbolic of supporting different causes — the main theme of the organization. The ribbon curls around itself and shifts in color, giving it a 3D effect. The three colors represent their main audiences.

Cosmic CSP Case Study CSP Logo

A System of Services

BoardLead is the centerpiece of their board placement services. It is so strongly associated with the organization that it deserves its own brand. We were happy to oblige with an icon and wordmark that are inspired by the primary brand while feeling distinct. In it, two ‘V’ formations come together to symbolize board matching and effective partnerships.

Cosmic CSP Case Study Board Lead Logo

Highlighting Services

With a similar name to their flagship BoardLead service, the BoardLearn needed distinctive branding as well. This icon is comprised of similar ribbon shapes found in the main logo and the BoardLearn logo. Three ‘V’ formations come together in an interlaced pyramid shape to symbolize shared knowledge and building upon solid foundations.

Cosmic CSP Case Study Board Learn Logo

Forward-Focused Digital Assets

Launching a new site, logo lockup, and visual design system is just the beginning of a new chapter for Cause Strategy Partners. To help them with their next steps, we collaborated to design a handful of digital assets for content marketing, awareness, and presentations.

Cosmic CSP Case Study Digital Assets
Cosmis CSP Case Study Newsletters

These assets carry through the branding & ribbon motif combined with photography, showcase stats so that they stand out, and highlight headings in different colors to accentuate sections of their presentations.

Cosmic CSP Case Study Social

An Advanced Style Guide

The Cause Strategy Partners visual brand system has a number of unique elements. In addition to our standard information on fonts, logo use, colors, etc., our brand style guide includes details on how to incorporate the ribbon effect in photos and how to overlay text and gradients in social media graphics.

Cosmic CSP Case Study Brand Guide2

An Outward Facing Brand Story

The Cause Strategy Partners team is a humble group that focuses on the BoardLeaders, nonprofits, and companies they serve. As a result, the brand story we developed with them is much more about their value to their clients than it is about themselves.

An Inspiring Tone

To get a good sense of the tone and personality of the organization, look no further than the Careers page of their site. How they present themselves to potential employees really highlights their professional, personable, and inspirational voice.

Cosmic CSP Case Study Tone

Hitting Key Messaging Points

One of the critical communications elements of the website is a concise description of their services. Nailing those offerings gives potential clients a clear understanding of the benefits of working with Cause Strategy Partners.

Cosmic CSP Case Study Services

An Opportunity for Alignment

We often find that the rebrand and messaging process necessitates an update to an organization’s Mission and Vision statements. This was the case with Cause Strategy Partners. They never varied from their mission, but this process gave us a golden opportunity to align the mission and vision language with the rest of the site.

Cosmic CS Case Study Messaging

Design & Copywriting in Concert

The BoardLead page on the website is a great example of design and branded copywriting working in harmony. We’re able to lay out Cause Strategy Partners’ positioning and their value proposition in two easy to digest sections.

Cosmic CSP Case Study Copywriting

Expressing the Benefits

We conducted nearly a dozen interviews with the people Cause Strategy Partners serves at nonprofits and corporations. This led us to a very clear value statement, “We connect a diverse network of talented professionals to nonprofit board service opportunities.” that informed the design and messaging work.

Cosmic CSP Case Study Homepage

Pathways for Each Audience

Our target audience interviews and messaging discussions clarified 4 distinct audiences.

  • Nonprofits

  • Corporate Partners

  • Board Candidates

  • Foundation Partners

The target audience analysis gave us a strong foundation for the information architecture of the site. From the Homepage, each audience has a pathway to discover how they can benefit from working with Cause Strategy Partners.

Cosmic CSP Case Study Audiences

Strategic Website Development

The development work on the site extends well beyond typical page creation and page transitions. The impact map on the About page allows for the exploration of three different information types. Site visitors can toggle on and off each information level, see testimonials, link to case studies and more.

Expandable sections and sideways scrolling carousels helps visitors avoid an endless scroll on each page. They can go deeper if they want or take in information at a high level if they prefer.

Fun animations such as the ribbons moving across the page keep it visually interesting, while lead generation elements such as a contact form that helps the Cause Strategy Partners team prepare for initial calls with prospects. Together these features provide a professional yet lighthearted brand experience.

An Expansive Rollout Campaign

The new visual brand system and messaging are part of a larger strategic growth initiative. When it came time to roll them out, we worked with the Cause Strategy Partners team on a campaign that includes a letter from the Founder & CEO that invites their extensive list of clients and partners to a landing page that lays out their vision for expansion.

Cosmic CSP Case Study Brand Rollout

Further Brand Extension: UX Design for the BoardLead Platform

As an addition to the brand extension work, we worked with the Cause Strategy Partners team to redesign the main existing application flows for the new BoardLead platform. This included branded design elements to help streamline the user experience — elements such as a user dashboard, reporting and analytics, candidate overview and stats, and email logs. This helps Cause Strategy Partners maintain a sense of where a candidate is in the process in an organized and visually comprehensive way.

Cosmic CSP Case Study Board Lead UX

Scope of Work

  • Strategic Brand Building

    • Visual & Messaging Landscape Analysis
    • Interviews & Focus Groups
    • Brand Identity & Design Systems
    • Brand Messaging
  • Content & Campaign Consulting

    • Brand Extension, Collateral, & Materials
  • Digital Infrastructure

    • Modern Bespoke Website Design & Development
    • Digital Blueprints
    • Branded Website Content & Copywriting
  • Other

    Related Work

    Book a Strategy Call

    Are you ready to lead a modern social impact organization? Let’s explore our fit for working together.