Affordable Homeownership Nonprofit Strategy Development & Operations
LEVEL Equity Buildings thrives to create better buyers, better homes, better communities, and better opportunities. As a 501c3 nonprofit, LEVEL provides a holistic, system-innovating program model to develop homeowners, housing stock, and communities at a complementary pace.
Trailhead: Where We Started
LEVEL has a vision of providing “homes for all.” Beginning as a concept organization with lofty goals and broad opportunity for impact, LEVEL aims to disrupt existing structures and systems to establish ecosystems where homeowners are able to achieve sustainable homeownership. As a startup organization, not only did LEVEL need help in uncovering and developing a brand and identity, but it also needed support in conceptualizing its messages, processes, and structures. This new identity needed to resonate with LEVEL’s philanthropic and private investors, while resonating with BIPOC, disabled, and veteran populations.
Trek: Steps We’ve Taken
Beginning with a human-centered design approach to understand the LEVEL ecosystem and to map the direction of the organization, TrailBlaze helped LEVEL organize itself and its message to align with audience needs. Following ideation about the structure and programming delivery for the organization, TrailBlaze conducted follow-up ecosystem mapping and audience empathy exercises to further connect LEVEL to its audiences.
Through a human centered design process and brand mapping analysis, we were able to help LEVEL identify who they are so we could help them craft an organization that aligned with the current housing situation. TrailBlaze helped them conceptualize how to write their narrative and how to position themselves to the communities they are a part of. Because they wanted to change the way affordable housing is structured, the TrailBlaze process brought LEVEL to a narrative that helped them fill the affordable housing gap within society not only by renovating and flipping houses, but also by providing education to potential homeowners with the hope of securing them a place to live and own themselves.
After creating a representative and sustainable brand for LEVEL, TrailBlaze helped them launch their brand even farther. Even though LEVEL now had an identity that they could share with their communities, they wanted continuous aid in developing the needed materials to spread their mission. TrailBlaze continued to work with LEVEL to strategize how to pitch their organization to potential investors and legislators and created the necessary collateral materials in order to bring in the needed funds to expand upon LEVEL’s mission. These strategy sessions launched LEVEL from a concept to a reality with donors readily asking how they can help develop LEVEL’s mission because LEVEL was becoming a leader within their industry.
Summit: Vision Realized
The help TrailBlaze provides through continued marketing support gives LEVEL legitimacy within their communities, which helps them be welcomed into neighborhoods across Pittsburgh to not only renovate homes and fight against blight, but also educate potential homeowners to be ready for the responsibility of buying and owning a home.
LEVEL’s mission doesn’t stop once they’ve flipped a home. LEVEL works hand in hand with their community to provide new homeowners with the knowledge they need to be a responsible homeowner and contributor to their community. They then allow these community members to own the homes they are living in rather than allowing them to pay rent to live there. This combats the current housing market by providing affordable housing to community members to buy rather than forcing them to continue paying rent. The equity they build through working with LEVEL Communities helps manage the housing market and make it more LEVEL!
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TrailBlaze believes actions and opportunities that create equity are critical to developing a society without division. Vibrant communities develop more efficiently and sustainably when division is acknowledged and reduced. We offer this perspective in every project we do.