case studies

Foundations + nonprofits

Sometimes an issue or objective is so big it needs an organization dedicated to achieving audacious objectives over the long term. We help you develop a strategy and tactics for sustained success and can then support the implementation to ensure a smooth launch and continued positive outcomes.

From (re)branding to thought partnership to starting completely fresh, we love to get into the details while maintaining an eye on the big picture.

Case Study / 01

Refreshing An Org and Resetting the Policy Conversation

Policy and advocacy work can be a challenge because the general public is often unaware of the issue, and policymakers don’t always have the information they need to make the best decision. This was the case when we began our work for the Metro District Education Coalition (MDEC). We recommended developing a new messaging approach and new org brand to better engage the public and policymakers in what metro districts provide and why MDEC should be the go-to resource to better understand the issues surrounding metro districts.

We began by helping design focus groups to better understand how people think about metro districts, and came up with a blueprint for how MDEC could improve their messaging and their advocacy platform to achieve better results. We developed a new brand and website that better reflected how well run metro districts can be effective tools for providing affordable neighborhoods with nearby benefits that people truly appreciate such as parks, tree-lined streets and bikeways.

Case Study / 02

Making Systemic Change From the Outside, IN

Making an impact on a decades-old problem in the public education system to improve equity is daunting to say the least, but we always love a seemingly impossible mission! After surveying the landscape of the education ecosystem in Denver, we identified a gap and an opportunity to make sustained progress in ensuring that every student has the opportunity to define and achieve their own success. 

A new idea and a new organization was born to engage young graduates of Denver Public Schools, the largest and most diverse district in the state, to leverage their personal experience, knowledge, and insights to lead the effort to better define and achieve success for themselves and future alumni of DPS. This new organization, Ednium: The Alumni Collective has already made an impact by officially changing graduation requirements for DPS to better reflect what students truly find relevant to their life after graduation. For example, a new required course in financial literacy will now make it easier for grads to do their taxes, and make personal financial decisions considering debt, budgeting, and interest rates. 

In 2020, during the height of the pandemic, we developed, launched, and facilitated a leadership curriculum specific to DPS alumni of color 30 years of age and under. This leadership program has evolved and is in its fourth year. Today, we continue to support Ednium as they make additional progress with DPS and begin expanding their influence to make the city as a whole a more inclusive, equitable, and economically-sustainable community.


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