Close Menu

UCAN’s CEO Emeritus on the State of Non-Profit Brands Today

ucan ceo-emeritus-tom-vanden-berk-non-profit-brands-ae-marketing-group-brand-lab-series-podcast

Tom Vanden Berk UCAN CEO on The Brand Lab Series™ Ep 7


UCAN’s CEO Emeritus Tom Vanden Berk is our special guest today on Episode 007 of the Brand Lab Series™ Podcast. Your host Brian Walker talks with Tom about how unique branding for non-profits requires a high level of focus.


Tom has been with UCAN for 30 years, and in the time he has identified the strength of this non-profit organization. Helping assess the strengths of the organization, Tom asked the question, “Who we were and what did we do?” He found that UCAN had a vision, but wasn’t clear about what everything looked like.


Brian asks Tom, “Does the violence shown in the media, help or hurt your brand?” Tom agrees that everyone can see the gang-related shootings, but they don’t realize that it stems from the trauma chain. If you don’t stop the trauma of young people early on, then you can’t change how the chain develops. UCAN is really trying to help shape these youths early on before the trauma. Tom believes that there needs to be a clear strategy to bring everyone together. By getting the non-profit world, the city, the government, the state and communities united, this is the only way to implement change and intervention for the support of young people.


Tom Vanden Berk believsn that it is important to get some outside expertise to help recognize what the strengths of an organization are and who they are before leaping into the next phase of what you want to be. Understand what your brand is as it exists today. Using stories to demonstrate the organization’s impact is essential in showing UCAN’s brand and mission. There is no way to buy this impact, other than to tell real stories. Check out Fred Long’s UCAN story A Long Journey on the Red Line.   


UCAN is a Chicago-based organization that supports youth recovering from violence and trauma. Brian and Tom discuss how to handle media messaging, how to build a talented and motivated team, and how to maintain a consistent brand.

Tags: Nonprofit, Brand and Marketing

Enjoyed this episode? View all of our episodes now.

SubscribeOur podcasts are available on:

Share This Podcast

More Posts