Open  Support

Open Support has been a voice for the vulnerable and the voiceless in our society for the past 30 years.

Established in 1990 by the Sisters of Charity as part of the community outreach program of the then-new St Vincent’s Clinic, it was known as Sisters of Charity Outreach up until its rebrand as Open Support in March 2018.

Today, it operates highly in-demand domestic violence and social isolation services, as well as vital health care access assistance for regional residents coming to Sydney for medical treatment.

While it is operated by a small, core staff, it has relied throughout its history on the help and assistance of hundreds of committed and essential volunteers to maintain many of its services. 

GoodWords first began working with the not-for-profit organisation in early 2017, when we were commissioned to do a complete audit of the organisation’s communication functions and prepare a three-year Communications Plan.

This involved interviewing dozens of current and past staff and stakeholders, supporters, donors, board and committee members as well as corporate and other supporters. It was a candid conversation about where the organisation had been – mostly operating in silos – where it was, and where it was going.

The eventual three-year Communications Plan included key messaging for both the organisation and its multiple-location, community-based services, as well as projected major milestones and recommendations for bringing the communications, and hence the entire organisation, together.

Since then, GoodWords has continued to work with Open Support as a consultancy, delivering on many major projects for both its fundraising and communication functions.

Liaising with the General Manager and Board and Committee Members, this has included:

  • Participating in the organisations re-naming process
  • Managing and implementing the organisations internal and external rebrand communications, as well as the production and schedule for its entire suite of rebranded materials in March 2018.
  • Providing communications advice and managing complex engagement projects through media releases and campaigns to enhance and increase awareness of the organisation and its services
  • Managing, writing, designing and producing numerous, regular donor appeal campaigns to create and maintain a culture of regular gifting
  • Creating both the strategy, and a full suite of materials – including brochures, campaign letters, supporters’ club branding and response mechanisms – for the introduction and continuance of Open Supports’ inaugural Gifts in Wills program, now it in first year
  • Creating a wide variety of promotional, media information, public information, and advertising materials for many of the organisation’s services, as well as designing new corporate brochures, folders, special envelopes and stationery
  • Creating and managing public and media volunteer recruitment campaigns
  • Naming and producing (writing and designing) multiple issues of the organisation’s newsletter, The Supporter
  • Creating and producing the organisation’s new Volunteer With Us brochure and volunteer newsletter masthead 
  • Producing a plethora of letters and emails to supporters, stakeholders, volunteers and staff on various announcements or organisational developments.

“GoodWords has worked with Open Support on a number of projects, both large and small, which have added value and enabled Open Support to achieve our goals.

“GoodWords initially undertook a review of the organisation’s communications and helped consolidate and deliver key messaging for the organisation and our services; where, in the past, it was disjointed. 

“They have since developed and delivered end-to-end campaigns, from direct marketing, to donor appeals, newsletters and more. They have facilitated media relations and campaigns which achieved national traction; and developed and managed sensitive internal stakeholder communications, which were integral to the success of the organisation’s rebranding to Open Support in 2018. They have also been integral to the development and implementation of a successful Gifts in Wills program.

“GoodWords’ design and communication expertise, and ‘can-do’ attitude, has been invaluable to our organisation.” 

Gary Sillett
General Manager
Open Support

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