Thrivent Financial released its new logo Monday, dropping “for Lutherans” as the tradition-bound organization undergoes a seismic shift to open membership to all Christians.
The updated logo also simplifies what was a twisting heart-shaped symbol to more clearly depict a red heart with a cross in it. The new tagline: “Connecting faith & finances for good.”
“Updating our brand to make Christians feel welcome while honoring our past and the Lutheran families we have served for more than a century was something we gave a lot of thought to,” Thrivent’s vice president of membership marketing, Marie Uhrich, said in a news release.
The Minneapolis-based financial services company unveiled its new brand as it released year-end financials showing strong growth. As a not-for-profit membership organization, Thrivent doesn’t report profits per se, but said its total surplus for 2013, an accumulation of internally generated earnings, jumped nearly 13 percent from 2012 to $6.9 billion, which is an all-time high. Revenue rose 2.4 percent to $8.5 billion.
Total assets under management climbed 10 percent to $90.4 billion.
A tax-exempt fraternal benefit society and Fortune 500 company, Thrivent sells insurance, annuities and other financial services to its nearly 2.4 million members.
The organization wrestled for years with expanding its “common bond” membership from only Lutherans to respond to the reality that younger churchgoers are less bound to denominations than earlier generations. Its members voted last spring to open membership to all Christians. The move did not sit well with some of its members, and the new brand highlighted on Thrivent’s Facebook page drew some negative responses Monday.
“I voted against the expansion and would vote against it again,” Nancy Lee Thumm Knecht of New Jersey wrote on Thrivent’s Facebook page. “I felt the move had more to do with raking in more cash than anything else.”
Overall membership dipped slightly in the past year, but the company saw “strong growth” in members actively engaged with Thrivent, a spokeswoman said, meaning they own proprietary products and actively recruit new members.