Building the new brand

June 21, 2023

By Keith Mahoney, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs

I believe in evolution.

Especially the conscious effort to evolve an organization to meet the challenges of its time. The Boston Foundation, one of the nation’s first community foundations, is embracing the opportunity for change and we are energized to step into a new era of our history. To share that, we are excited to introduce our new brand and visual identity. This outward expression of who we are and what we do reflects Our New Pathway, itself the outcome of recent organizational introspection and exploration.

On the back of the triple pandemic—of COVID-19, economic devastation, and a long overdue racial reckoning-that tested our strength, the Foundation emerged with new leadership, a new strategic vision, and a new commitment to place equity at the center of our work. Today that vision is represented by a new look, a fresh aesthetic to match and celebrate our aspirations and the energy, boldness, and diversity of Greater Boston’s people and neighborhoods.  

Over the last year, the communications team at TBF immersed itself in thought, research, and strategy on communicating this evolution. How to maintain the brand strength built over 108 years as Greater Boston’s community foundation, with an earned reputation as one of the most important, influential, and progressive institutions in a region blessed with so many civic-minded institutions, while conveying our forward momentum and restlessness to address the challenges we face as a community? After careful consideration, we partnered with the Boston-based design firm Proverb to bring a fresh set of eyes and creative sensibility to the expression of the Boston Foundation’s revitalized mission and identity—our brand. 

Muslim woman banner
TBF logo
The TBF arrow logo is designed to create a sense of movement, grounded in the strong text. Our visual style in images like the one above strives for strength, hope, and authenticity.

The result can be seen as of today on, and will continue to grow with our ambitions. Our web team has been working behind the scenes for months to upgrade the code for and the rest of our family of websites to provide a faster, more stable user experience that matches and reflects the new branding. Our marketing and communications team has been refining content to communicate our core strategies and underlying commitments in clear and accessible terms and through vivid imagery.  

A marketing luminary has told me often that people experience a strong brand as an aftertaste—the impression that lingers on the mental palate after the initial exposure. I hope that the refreshed TBF brand brings you a flavor that connects our past as a trusted civic leader and home for impactful philanthropy with our present as a trusted partner, systems-level changemaker, and equity advocate bent on improving lives and strengthening communities.