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(Photo courtesy of VISIBLE)
Published: 06 June 2017

A new Portland-based nonprofit called VISIBLE is offering free websites, logos and other creative services to organizations fighting for social, environmental and civil rights causes across the country. 

The goal? To support and amplify voices of vulnerable communities by providing tools that help grassroots and nonprofit organizations reach more people and advance their missions.

VISIBLE coordinates a volunteer network of more than 300 designers, writers, web developers, photographs, filmmakers and illustrators in 30 states and eight countries who have committed to completing at least one pro bono project each year for the next four years. The network includes both individuals and full-service creative agencies, and serves as a matchmaker to connect volunteers who have skills to offer with organizations in need.   

Launched on Inauguration Day, VISIBLE was founded by three women from the Portland design agency The Beauty Shop — Jen Thomas, Liz Neilson, and Julie Lesseg.

“We woke up the day after Donald Trump was elected president and realized it’s time to use our talents to better support our communities, especially the most vulnerable among us,” said Jen Thomas, co-founder of VISIBLE and creative director of The Beauty Shop. “We’re creating a system so that small grassroots organizations supporting women’s rights, immigrant rights, civil rights, LGBTQ rights have access to the same quality creative work as some of the most well-known companies in the world.”

VISIBLE’s portfolio includes a new website with enhanced cyber security for an organization that provides online resources for Yemeni-Americans, a marketing campaign for a nonprofit helping women in Iowa access legal abortions out of state, a new logo for a refugee assistance organization in Montana, and a re-branding and website for a nonprofit serving Oklahoma City’s LGBTQ community.

“Everyone has their own superpowers — their unique ways of contributing to society. For us, it’s design,” said Thomas. “We’re not lawyers or social workers or politicians, but we can still make a difference—we already are.”

Volunteers with skills to offer and organizations with project needs can sign up on VISIBLE’s website: https://visibleresistance.org


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