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The Fresh Air Fund - Intro to Hosting Manual

The Fresh Air Fund


A modern manual for an
older nonprofit

The Mission
Recruiting volunteer host families and retaining them are essential efforts for The Fresh Air Fund’s success in providing free, outdoor summer experiences through their Friendly Towns program. That’s why having a comprehensive document to facilitate outreach efforts and to support veteran hosts is very important. My mission was to create a manual that slightly updated the organization’s identity and compile all of the information about the Friendly Towns program in 1 document.

The Outcome
I designed a 6 panel manual that serves as a introduction for prospective host families and as a supporting resource for continuing host families.

The Impact
With the new manual, Friendly Towns information is compiled in one document that is accessible to the public online, outreach is easier for Friendly Towns advocates who only need to give one document to their audience, and volunteer host families now have a comprehensive manual to consult if an issue arises.

Breaking it Down:

The Fresh Air Fund has provides free summer adventures through their Friendly Towns program where volunteer hosts open their homes to NYC children from low income communities. Recently, there has been a decline in host enrollment because outreaching is usually done through word of mouth and there wasn’t a comprehensive, compiled manual that explained the program details. Information was scattered across several one page documents. The Fresh Air Fund saw this as an opportunity to assemble all the information about Friendly Towns in a manual to facilitate outreach to more hosts and increase enrollment.


Fresh Air 2.0

The Fresh Air Fund underwent a brand refresh where an agency updated our branding and identity. Since the nonprofit has been around since 1877, drastic changes can cause problems with our audience identifying us. The agency modernized our identity by slighting updating the colors, logos, and fonts. This project was the first to use these new parameters. As the sole designer, I had to balance the agency’s new guidelines and keep some traces of The Fresh Air Fund’s old identity in this layout.

Testing, Testing, 1,2,3.
Today’s brochure looks a lot different from the initial brochure that I created. At first, I recommended a typical 3 panel brochure that was size 8.5 x 11. The cover design featured one strong image that was cropped in a circle with complementing circles in the organization’s new colors. While this design and layout was well received, it was put aside because the copy was much larger than we thought since it was all of the information we had on the program


Solidifying the layout
After having an across department conversation, we decided on a 6 panel 11 x 25.5 brochure since this document would have every significant piece of information for Friendly Towns. I set up the brochure using The Fibonnaci Sequence to be my grid. As mentioned, the brochure needed to use the new parameters and have some traces of The Fresh Air Fund’s old identity. To accomplish this, I relied on The Fund’s enormous photo database to provide the summer feel that the Fresh Air Fund is all about.


Cut here, cut there, and perfect.

While the photo database served as my foundation (well besides the grid), there also came some problems with the photos. Since we serve a diverse community, photos must represent that diversity as best as we can which means there were some changes in photos. Additionally, since there was so much copy, there were a lot of revisions in order to help the design and to communicate more succinctly to our audience members.


Modern look, but still the timeless Fresh Air feel
With the new brochure, all of the most important Friendly Towns information is compiled in an accessible document online to the public, veteran host families and prospective host families have a manual to consult, and The Fresh Air Fund has new material that shows they can keep with the times by producing manuals that have a fresh feeling, but still play homage to their established identity as a nonprofit providing free summer programs to NYC kids.


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