Education for All Children: Why Patrina Marino Designs

Communitas Awards Individual: Patrina Marino with Davidoff Associates
Title: “ChangeALife Uganda: Annual Review 2013”
Location: New York, New York
Category: 1.5 Individual Participation

Patrina MorinoThe skills of marketing and communication professionals are needed across the world for a plethora of reasons. Patrina Marino, principal at New York-based design consulting firm Davidoff Associates, has chosen to donate her skills and expertise for the last seven years to ChangeALife Uganda (CALU). The nonprofit aims to change the lives of Ugandan children and their families through education, health care and income-generating programs.

CALU runs a lean operation, allocating less than 10% of its budget for administration and fundraising, which can present challenges in the creation of visual storytelling tools such as an annual report.

To learn about why Marino chooses to support ChangeALife Uganda and how she overcomes the challenges, we spent a few minutes with the graphic designer.

How did you hear about CALU and what inspired you to support the nonprofit?

In 2009, a friend invited me to a gathering in support of a nonprofit, ChangeALife Uganda. I met the two founders, Jean Semler and Dave Thelen, and the director, Father Lawrence Kimbowa, who spoke passionately about this educational organization. He told his personal story of childhood sponsorship and how he wanted to continue the gift of education to African children. Immediately upon watching the slide presentation, I decided to donate my design and communication expertise to help CALU establish a visual identity and expand its reach.

CALU-2013-Annual-Review

You’ve been involved for many years. What keeps you there?

The importance of education for all children, regardless of birthplace or economics, is something in which I firmly believe. The dedication, cooperation, energy and teamwork that our board and volunteers demonstrate keep me coming back for more!

You’ve created the annual review for the last three years. What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in making the latest annual report and how did you overcome them?

In 2013 we did not have a donation for printing services as we did last year, so I chose a format that can be inkjet-printed locally by our staff as needed. Secondly, since there is no budget for photography, collateral must be built around supplied photos from the field.

Creation of theme and design is driven by this limited photography, which drives the scope of the message; visuals play a big part in the telling of our story.

How have the reports you’ve created helped CALU?

The annual reports give CALU the opportunity to tell stories of the children and their families, which are so instrumental in delivering our message of the “gift of education.”

Also, these reports allow CALU to outline donations and expenditures, showcasing that most of the monies go directly to Uganda. In order to expand the donor base, retain existing sponsors, acquire new partners (both U.S. and international), as well as secure grants, we are obligated to provide financial transparency.

Anything else you want us know?

Quality visual communications is a powerful tool in reaching audiences. When I am able to employ my design, communication, and marketing expertise in support of nonprofit causes, I am gratified to make the contribution and excited by the possibilities ahead.

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