Don’t take our word for it.
Here’s what our clients have to say.

The Substance team calmly, creatively and professionally guided us through our rebrand process, which wasn’t easy for us after 52 years as Lakeview Pantry. The change was necessary, though, because we’ve grown to become more than a pantry and we serve the entire city of Chicago. We love our new name Nourishing Hope and our new brand’s vibrant visual identity. It reflects what we’ve always done and what we aspire to do on a larger scale throughout the city.

Kellie O'Connell, Chief Executive Officer, Nourishing Hope

Substance was an ideal strategic partner in our rebranding process. Since this was a new experience for our long-standing organization, it was very helpful to have them lead us every step of the way. We are thrilled with the new brand and can’t imagine a better outcome for our organization.

Barb Thayer, Executive Director, Candor Health Education

We knew that a new name and brand were necessary, but the prospect of rebranding an organization with a 45 year name and heritage was somewhat daunting. Substance carefully navigated us through each phase of the process, developing clear, actionable research and strategy, culminating in a new name and brand that was transformative. They listened carefully at every juncture, and delivered a brand that allows for us to move our mission forward.

Ken Grunke, Executive Director, Pathlights

Substance knocked it out of the park. They transformed Donors Forum into a vibrant, mission-driven brand. The response from our members has been overwhelmingly positive, and the increased level of engagement and recognition reflects this.

Kathleen Murphy Toms, Former Communication Director, Forefront

As a 70-year-old organization, we needed our rebranding to reflect our mission in a more modern and compelling way. Substance delivered for us on every level. They were able to distill our mission into a succinct message and visual identity that is forward-thinking and doesn’t lose sight of our brand legacy. Their work is impeccable and innovative, and they were a delight to work with.

Valentina Texera Parissi, President and CEO, Great Books Foundation

AFC has had the pleasure to work with Substance on multiple projects. Substance has always ensured an organized, collaborative, creative and supportive process, enhancing our visibility and outreach efforts to our community!

Edward Wagner, Chief Officer of External Relations, AIDS Foundation of Chicago

We were thrilled with the work Substance delivered for us. By engaging our staff, board, and communications team, they ensured it was a truly collaborative effort. As a result, we have seen increased engagement and fundraising.

Johnathon E. Briggs, FORMER Chief Officer of External Relations, AIDS Foundation of Chicago

Substance has the strategic ability to conceptualize a brand’s identity while capturing the unique and important details that set an organization apart. The CMF brand is an integral part of communicating our impact. Substance listened to our needs, guided our process and ultimately helped us communicate our mission and vision in a way that was clear, thoughtful, and resonant.

Beth Murin, Communications Director, Community Memorial Foundation

Our mission is not an easy one to bring to life. The Registry Report is critical to communicating the importance of our work. However, Substance is able to take complex areas of research and data and make them not just accessible but compelling. Their work delivers results and has been crucial to both our fundraising and awareness.

Scott Staszak, Chief Operating Officer, Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
We rebranded at a time when we felt like we’d outgrown our name. It was important for us that we have a name that better represented the energy and passion of our debaters, while capturing the unique spirit of the city we are a part of.
Willa Voss , Chicago Debates’ Development and Communications Manager
Substance was insightful and strategic in their thinking. But just as important, they were empathetic to how sensitive our area of work is. They were able to handle the nuances of inputs from board, staff, and our executive team to ensure our brand was positioned for long term success.
Erin Walton, Executive Directory, Resilience

Substance developed a new brand that captured the mission of St. Matthias parish and school. This helped us put meaning and a story into our identity. Having never been through a branding process, we didn’t know what to expect. They were thoughtful and insightful in their approach, and the results exceeded all expectations.

Carmen White, Former Admissions Director, St. Matthias School

Our new name and brand express our forward-thinking culture, our values of embracing complexity and flexibility on our new path. Substance gave a name, vision, and voice to our brand, one that helps us deliver our full potential for clients. The results and response have been overwhelmingly positive.

Jos Opdeweegh, Former CEO, Neovia Logistics

Thresholds needed to move beyond the typical non-profit branding model. Substance delivered, creating a brand that positioned our behavioral health services as a necessary adjunct to healthcare. It’s a forward-thinking message, both memorable and compelling, without losing sight of the communities we serve.

Mark Ishaug, Chief Executive Director, Thresholds

As we were preparing to relaunch the ASUG brand, we were looking for a collaborative partner that could work with us to bring our brand strategy to life. Substance fit the bill. Not only did they work under extremely tight timelines, they managed to deliver work that exceeded our expectations.

Sarah Ahmad, Creative Director, ASUG

Our work is so diverse it’s hard to capture in a single word. Substance did just that with the Arrowleaf name. The arrowleaf plant is both resilient and beautiful, thriving in all types of conditions, much like the people we serve. Our new logo is versatile, dynamic, and positions us for future growth as our services evolve. We are thrilled with the work and where the new brand can take us.

Sherrie Crabb, Executive Director CEO, Arrowleaf

We are a small non-profit. But from the work, dedication and final results that the Substance team delivered, you would never know it. Throughout the whole process we felt like we were the most important client they had.

Dallas Tomlin, Executive Director, Connections to Care

Having never worked with a branding agency before, I didn’t know what to expect. Substance made it easy, creating a powerful name and brand that stands out amongst our competition. They listened to our feedback and delivered above and beyond at every opportunity.

Jim Cowhey, Chief Executive Director, Endurance