Enhancing Community Engagement Through Web Design and Branding

Redesigning Independent Sector's Site and Unifying Its Branding
Independent Sector


Independent Sector, a coalition of nonprofit organizations, corporate giving programs, and foundations, recognized the need for a brand refresh and website redesign to better serve and engage their community. The organization had two distinct brands - Independent Sector and Upswell - and needed a way to integrate the two seamlessly into a new website while improving their user experience. To accomplish this, Independent Sector selected Social Driver after a competitive agency selection process. Social Driver’s people-centered approach was a perfect match for realigning the organization's branding and revamping its website for their community. The result was a streamlined, user-friendly website that catered to all stakeholders, including tools for donation, subscription, and content search.

Independent Sector was due for a brand refresh and a new website when we hired Social Driver. Their staff was professional, on-time, and clear the whole way through. After 15 years of using the same logo, we were particularly pleased with the work done on our refreshed logo, which was more modern and brought our Independent Sector branding closer to our newer Upswell branding. With that shift, we’ve been able to pull forward our vision of a community of leaders across nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs working as a collective to ensure all people in the U.S. thrive. On our website redesign, Social Driver was instrumental in improving our user experience, content readability, and accessibility. Social Driver has helped us build a solid foundation that we will continue to innovate on for years to come.
Kristina Gawrgy
Chief Communications and Community Building Officer at Independent Sector


Independent Sector is a crucial nonprofit advocacy organization. With that came a complex website that required a modernized brand and design to improve community engagement. The organization sought to implement a people-centered approach to its strategy, which Social Driver was uniquely equipped to provide. Additionally, Independent Sector's two brands, Upswell and Independent Sector, needed to be unified under one cohesive brand, which presented a challenge for the designers.


Social Driver worked closely with Independent Sector to understand the organization's goals and their community's needs. They began by creating user flow diagrams to map out the user journey and empathize with the community's experience. Social Driver then developed a system to handle Independent Sector's extensive library of pages and content, while also ensuring that Salesforce, their community information management tool, and the website were synchronized.

The rebranding process began with Social Driver’s creative intake process, where we asked questions to understand Independent Sector's objectives and target audience. Social Driver developed a new brand by creating a vibrant, energetic, and community-centered aesthetic reminiscent of Upswell. Social Driver went through several logo iterations, drawing inspiration from Upswell's style to create a refined Independent Sector logo.

Once the logo and color palette were finalized, Social Driver created an element collage to apply the brand elements to different website components. This way, Independent Sector was able to envision what their new brand would look like on their new site. The result was a cohesive brand and design that tied the two brands together, displayed all that Independent Sector has to offer, and catered to the community's needs.


The redesigned website successfully represented Independent Sector's mission, its community, and its energy. The new brand and design displayed visual cues that tied the two brands together while improving community engagement. 

Social Driver was flexible with the design and delivery, including: 

  • Providing variations of different components and ways they behave in the website design
  • Strategic support thorough out the design and development process
  • Multiple color combinations
  • Multiple logo iterations
  • Full integration with Salesforce 
  • A refined site architecture

The website featured a vibrant design that focused on the theme of community, with a logo that combined the "I" and "S" in an interesting way. The site's architecture was also restructured to clarify that Upswell Summit is a part of Independent Sector, and a seamless user experience was ensured for the member platform.

The final product was a user-friendly website that catered to all stakeholders and effectively represented Independent Sector's community. The organization now had a cohesive brand and design that provided a clear pathway for the community to engage with their content and take action.

How We helped

Branding & Identity
Web Design & Development
Content and UX Strategy
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