CASE STUDY

Resilience Education

Harnessing brand experience to help formerly incarcerated people

Challenge

Resilience Education is a nonprofit organization that aims to stop incarceration cycles by improving employment outcomes and re-entry success through high-quality business education. Since 2011, the organization has graduated 500+ individuals from five correctional facilities across New York and Virginia, with early data revealing that 93% of program graduates stay out of prison for at least three years.  

The nonprofit aspired to expand its program nationwide and build a new digital platform to support formerly incarcerated people on their reentry journeys. To achieve these long-term aspirations, the organization enlisted Prophet to help it develop an overarching brand strategy that codified a new vision for the organization and rethink the brand positioning, expression and onboarding experience for its new digital platform.  

Solutions

Over the course of several pro-bono projects, Prophet developed a holistic understanding of Resilience Education’s current state and aspirational trajectory. Prophet first interviewed Resilience Education employees, program students and graduates. The insights from these interviews were used to identify opportunities to craft a brand positioning framework highlighting the nonprofit’s purpose and vision.  

After establishing the overarching brand structure and strategy, the team shifted its focus to optimizing the organization’s digital platform experience. Prophet’s team hosted a hackathon with the nonprofit to understand how it acquires and onboards mentors and mentees for its programming. The insights gathered helped the team define an optimized user journey for both audiences in their digital platform. Finally, in collaboration with verbal and design teams, Prophet crafted a refreshed brand positioning for the digital platform accompanied by refocused messaging, voice, and a reconceptualized visual identity. 

Results

The new organization-wide brand structure defined how the nonprofit’s digital and post-release initiatives work in relation to the in-facility programming. In addition, the ideation of the optimized user experience and journey for both mentors and mentees not only influenced the organization’s digital platform but was also the basis for the organization’s mentorship program development.   

Follow-up interviews of formerly incarcerated users revealed how empowering their one-on-one mentorship relationships have been for their reentry journeys. Resilience Education is continuously refining the program to maximize participants’ benefits and will be launching its third pilot in early 2023.    

With a robust new positioning framework, design concept and verbal identity guiding the digital platform, Resilience Education has the brand structure and strategy to support its nationwide growth goals and better serve its formerly incarcerated users’ needs. 

Through Prophet’s pro-bono program, Propheteers lend their expertise to a select group of nonprofits, helping them achieve remarkable results. If you or a nonprofit you know is interested in working with us, reach out today.  

Client Testimonial

“We couldn’t do what we’re trying to accomplish – bringing the highest quality business education and professional support to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students – without Prophet’s dedication and insights!”

Tierney Fairchild
Executive Director and Cofounder

CASE STUDY

GAINS

Inspiring the next generation of girls with a new messaging strategy

Challenge

Though more women than ever are graduating with degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, men make up most of the workforce. This is because many young girls do not pursue a career in STEM, they have more barriers to getting there, they’re traditionally offered less encouragement and they have fewer female role models.

Girls Advancing in STEM (GAINS) Initiative is a nonprofit on a mission to break down barriers by empowering high school girls to envision, prepare for and pursue academic and professional futures in STEM. GAINS’ clubs and conferences tackle this head-on by helping students discover STEM topics and professions, connect with other like-minded girls and learn from industry professionals. To further its mission and expand its impact, GAINS needed a compelling messaging strategy that would resonate with a wide audience to grow its membership and clubs around the country.

Solutions

Drawing insights from a series of qualitative interviews with students and volunteers, we collaborated with the GAINS leadership team to define a new brand strategy framework for the organization. Prophet’s consultants added substantive detail to the framework—developing the context statement, brand promise and overarching theme, which formed the foundation of the work. 

Once these elements were in place, our team of strategists and verbal branding experts built out robust messaging guidelines to reinforce the core components of this newly defined strategy. We created three supporting messaging themes to spotlight the community, learning opportunities and networking benefits of GAINS. Through a rigorous creative process, we codified messaging guidelines to help bring the new strategy to life. The guidelines included sample words and phrases for each theme, guidance on when to leverage each theme and how to flex them by audience (current and prospective students, teachers and volunteers) and tips on how to ensure a consistent tone of voice across all copy.  

Results

The GAINS team has used this messaging across its website, social media channels and marketing materials to target current and prospective students, teachers and volunteers – helping the organization consistently grow its following. In addition, Prophet’s work has helped the organization communicate its mission when applying for grants and seeking partnerships with schools and employers.  

Testimonial

“The whole Prophet team listened really well to everything, caught a lot of the nuance and was able to reflect it back as they structured our messaging materials. Having this all laid out has truly helped me refine the message and maintain consistency in our communications.”

Antoinette Decker
Director, Creator

CASE STUDY

Change Please

Designing an experience strategy to help a nonprofit enable its global expansion

Challenge

Change Please is a coffee company that supports individuals that are homeless by hiring and training them to become baristas. The charity provides the living wage, housing and therapy and devotes 100% of the profits to ending homelessness.​ 

The brand is already well-established in the U.K., with close to 60 coffee stores and plans on expanding into multiple markets as the number of trained and employed baristas continues to grow. Amid plans for global expansion, the charity was intent on finding the best path to uncommon growth at a pivotal moment. 

It needed help creating design assets that would drive the brand forward and an experience strategy that is unique and consistent. 

Solutions

Prophet and Change Please used co-creation workshops to brainstorm and collaborate on ways the charity could bring its unique heritage to life, using fun and informal visual story representations. 

We focused on new approaches for core journey phases for digital and offline touchpoints. This included a unique unboxing experience to help customers learn about the mission at home. We also created an iconographic narrative of the brand story using a tangible and engaging journey map to use in its cafes. 

Our holistic playbook includes 40 concepts to improve the overall brand and experience. We focused primarily on three core areas: design updates and advice, social media guidance and experience ideation.  

Results

Change Please is testing these new experiences in stores and across digital touchpoints. It is rolling out the design assets in cafes across the U.K., as well as incorporating Prophet’s concepts into global growth efforts. Most importantly, people are learning more about this ambitious organization wherever they drink their coffee.  

Through Prophet’s pro-bono program, pro-bono program Propheteers lend their expertise to a select group of nonprofits, helping them achieve remarkable results. If you or a nonprofit you know is interested in working with us, reach out today.

CASE STUDY

ReachOut

Creating a new messaging strategy and design aesthetic to help a nonprofit achieve its mission

Challenge

ReachOut is a charity that connects young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with volunteer mentors. Through one-on-one support sessions, these young individuals are provided the opportunity to improve academic skills and expand their aspirations. It also benefits mentors by raising awareness of social inequities. ReachOut struggled with low brand awareness, which hindered funding efforts and mentor recruiting. Messaging and communication strategies weren’t sharp enough and the charity lacked a comprehensive roadmap for reaching mentors, donors and corporate partners.   

Solutions

Prophet worked with ReachOut to dig deeper into all three audience groups, identifying core issues and developing specific goals. On weekly coaching calls, we tracked progress and worked closely with ReachOut’s devoted team to co-create messaging that better articulates what the charity stands for. We also ensured that the values were clearly communicated in messages tailored to each audience.  

Overall, we completed 59 projects and helped ReachOut create inspirational design assets that brought key brand values to life in a tangible, more human way. These assets focus on multiple engagement touchpoints including Instagram, donor and mentor recruitment communications and in-person recruitment events. 

Results

ReachOut’s new design tools and applications are already increasing the charity’s impact on social media channels. As the number of mentors continues to grow, the group has already provided close to 17,000 hours of valuable one-to-one interventions and 35 workplace visits to boost corporate involvement. And with an additional 71 career talks, the organization is finding new ways to reach the people it can benefit most.  

ReachOut’s inspirational messages are contagious, and Prophet is thrilled to say that we’re continuing our work with this motivating organization. We are using our new relationship as a corporate partner to further Prophet’s broader goals of greater diversity and inclusion. In partnering with ReachOut, we hope to hire more individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds in our own internship program, connecting with those who wouldn’t otherwise have access or awareness of the professional services industry. We are also hosting work experience visits, inviting ReachOut participants to learn about a day in the life of a consultant. 

ReachOut isn’t just changing the lives of young people. It’s also benefitting the mentors including us, Prophet employees as we strive to make a lasting difference in these individuals’ lives.

Through Prophet’s pro-bono program, pro-bono program Propheteers lend their expertise to a select group of nonprofits, helping them achieve remarkable results. If you or a nonprofit you know is interested in working with us, reach out today.

CASE STUDY

TRAFFIC

Illuminating Vietnam’s complex wildlife trade chain to drive sustainability.

Challenge

TRAFFIC is a leading global non-governmental organization that focuses on trade in wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

With growing concerns of potential disease transmission from wild animals to humans in trade, TRAFFIC wanted to map the key nodes and understand potential disease transmission risks across the complexities of wildlife trade chains in Vietnam. After analyzing the trade chain structure, TRAFFIC determined the actors and processes that would help it identify potential interventions. These included social and behavioral change strategies to increase the safety and sustainability of wildlife product supply and consumption in the country.

Solution

Prophet helped TRAFFIC define and analyze the wildlife trade chain in Vietnam.

Based on qualitative expert interviews and secondary research, we defined and visualized a clear and simple wildlife trade chain that illustrates the key nodes, actors and activities across the entire trade from sourcing to consumption of wild animal species in Vietnam (including pangolins, bats, rats, macaques and civets).

Next, we evaluated the potential risks of direct disease transmission to humans. This helped us to prioritize key nodes that require targeted intervention to mitigate risks at various human-animal interfaces.

Leveraging qualitative expert interviews and best practice research, we further assessed and prioritized potential intervention opportunities. We identified quick wins or longer-term investments that have a significant impact on safe and sustainable wildlife product supply and consumption in Vietnam. These included greater efforts to monitor and inform market sellers, improving enforcement of laws and penalties on wildlife trade and transportation, and enhancing education and outreach efforts targeting young people in both urban and rural areas.

Results

The wildlife trade chain analysis is now an instrumental communication tool that enables TRAFFIC to better engage key local and national government, inter-governmental and non-profit organization stakeholders on how to develop and target mitigation strategies for potential disease risks across Vietnam’s wildlife trade chain.

This work also serves as an important springboard for stronger inter-agency collaboration efforts on public health, animal/wildlife health and behavioral change. TRAFFIC is well-positioned to drive further refinement of the joint research with Prophet, guiding practical actions to strengthen the safety and sustainability of wild animal trade in Vietnam and adapting any successes to other national contexts in the broader Asia-Pacific region and globally.

“Working with Prophet has enabled TRAFFIC to visualize our wildlife trade work in Vietnam in a new way,” says James Campton, Project Leader, Wildlife TRAPS of TRAFFIC. “This rapid-research and analysis approach to expert elicitation can help us work more strategically to identify priorities for action and likelihood of impact. The concise summaries and clear infographics created by Prophet give us a model to better share our findings and develop mutual understanding with a range of partners across government, international agencies, private sector and civil society.”

“Prophet’s rapid-research and analysis approach to expert elicitation can help us work more strategically to identify priorities for action and likelihood of impact.”

James Compton
Project Leader, Wildlife TRAPS

Through Prophet’s pro-bono program, pro-bono program Propheteers lend their expertise to a select group of nonprofits, helping them achieve remarkable results. If you or a nonprofit you know is interested in working with us, reach out today.

CASE STUDY

Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano

Enhancing Digital Communications in the Fight To End Hunger

Challenge

Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano’s mission is “Leading the fight to end hunger, in partnership with our community and in service of our neighbors in need.”  To do so, they distribute food directly to low-income people at community sites and make food available for other nonprofit organizations serving the ill, needy and infants. This team distributed 40 million pounds of food between March 2020 and February 2021.

Food Bank asked us to help with its newsletter communication. The original printed newsletter was titled “Bread Connection” and dated back to the early 90s. Though minor layout changes were made through the years, the digital newsletter had an outdated layout with too much text and no audience focus. Additionally, articles were comprised of a too wide range of content including event updates, program statistics and stories about the brand’s service.

Solutions

Prophet helped Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano define a targeted messaging approach, a topic framework and target audience for the print newsletter. After desk research and gathering employee feedback, the new title “At the Table” was selected. It reflects the coming together of families to share stories and inviting the donor to have “a place at the table” while staying connected to what’s happening.

The design of the printed newsletter was modernized to resemble a magazine’s balance between photos and white space. The digital newsletter audience was defined with help of a persona– Amy, a mom who wanted a hopeful, actionable, engaging email that could be applied to her life hassle-free. The digital issue was rebranded as “Refresh” and was given a design rework and new functionality (mobile responsiveness).

Results

Today, Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano sends its newsletters to donors who have given any gift within last three years as well as volunteers who have served hours within last two years. With a clearer focus, the Food Bank team found it easier to create purposeful, written content an impactful newsletter when developing each newsletter.

It saw an increase of about $3,000 in donations directly related to the printed newsletter in the first year, trackable from paper remit envelopes in each edition.

Its digital newsletter saw 82% of their active list, which currently has 22,395 subscribers, open at least one newsletter in the past year.

“Prophet’s rework of our newsletters was a gamechanger in our offline and online communication with donors and volunteers.”

Rachel Braver
Community Marketing Manager

Impact

3k

uplift in dollars donated via print newsletter

82%

open rate for email newsletter in past year

CASE STUDY

The Wharton Center

Defining brand purpose for a performing arts center

Challenge

The Wharton Center at Michigan State University (MSU) is an important asset to the Lansing community. While its well-known for providing entertainment, its purpose is elevated by its support for the performing arts in the local community. The organization brings a unique spirit to Lansing but has recently struggled to demonstrate value to its constituents. While embarking on new programs poised to improve engagement and relevance within MSU, The Wharton Center found that its brand lacked focus – it needed to redefine its role at MSU and within the greater community.

Solutions

The Wharton Center looked to Prophet to help define its purpose and better position it within the extended local community. The Prophet team found that the brand’s purpose and promise were rooted in its core beliefs and reason for existing: to inspire the mind and move the soul by sharing stories, celebrating differences and creating a community through performance and education.

To demonstrate its newly discovered and defined purpose through its visual assets and media, Prophet created a new visual identity for the brand and an implementation plan. The brand evolution focused on the concept of putting “Art at the Center” – it reflects both the variety and dimensionality of the performing arts by using a dynamic logotype. Prophet also introduced representational shapes to add a unique flavor to the graphic system. These shapes represent that performing arts are always alive, moving and evolving through music, dance and variety.

Results

The revitalized brand purpose and visual identity helped The Wharton Center define and express its role within the MSU community. Each year, the Center impacts the lives of more than 30,000 young people, to help them find courage, foster boldness and embrace diverse perspectives. The organization is committed to shaping the world through performing arts and arts education; and sharing stories of its community–of dreams, heartbreaks, struggles and triumphs– and heritage for future generations.

This work received a gold award for key art and a bronze award for print collateral at the 2019 International Design Awards.

CASE STUDY

Equality California

Helping a civil rights organization evolve

Challenge

Equality California had achieved major state policy victories but faced a fraught national political climate and persistent disparities in health and well-being. The organization needed to reframe its ongoing mission for California’s LGBTQ community, and beyond.

Solutions

Prophet helped Equality California think through fundamental questions about its purpose and brand story, helping the organization think about the strategic considerations behind ambitions such as broadening beyond California or doubling down on intersectional advocacy.

Leveraging input from a rigorous qualitative and quantitative research process, Prophet developed a 5-year plan to transform the brand. This strategy laid the groundwork for the new Equality California brand to come to life physically and digitally, through new brand identity, tagline, messaging and mission statement.

Results

Equality California’s refreshed strategy, brand identity and brand assets launched to great celebration. Its new direction set the organization on a path to become an even more inclusive, disruptive and enduring agent of change for years to come.

Impact

40%

increase in monthly Twitter impressions

27k

new members since the rebrand

CASE STUDY

The Water Trust

Building a brand strategy and visual identity for a unique nonprofit organization

Challenge

The Water Trust is a nonprofit organization that teams with communities in the developing world to create sustainable, effective water hygiene and sanitation systems. Their operating model educates East African communities about proper sanitation practices and empowers them by providing access to freshwater. The Water Trust envisions a world where access to water, sanitation and basic hygiene knowledge is universal. But what makes their organization unique is how they pursue their mission. We wanted to help The Water Trust build a brand strategy that mirrored not just what they provide but how they provide it, and more importantly what it means for the people they help, their staff on the ground, partner organizations and donors.

Solutions

Prophet volunteered its services and expertise to help The Water Trust clarify its distinctive brand positioning and attributes, which emphasize transparency, empowerment and delivering measurable, lasting results. The accompanying visual system was chosen to reinforce this spirit; putting water at the center while implying that it is shared, reinforcing the collaborative nature of the organization. The visual identity we developed is a clean, strong wordmark featuring a blue droplet symbol at the center, underscoring the central role that water plays in the organization’s mission. The visual system and renewed brand positioning will support the organization as it explores new technologies and geographies in the future.

Results

The launch of their new website combined with the renewed visual system will enable The Water Trust to provide better education and drive awareness about the need for clean water and sanitation in East Africa.

“As a small and growing nonprofit, first impressions matter a lot. The Water Trust brand strategy and visual system has been instrumental in getting us conversations with granting organizations we typically wouldn’t.”

Chris Prottas
Executive Director, The Water Trust

caret-downcloseexternal-iconfacebook-logohamburgerinstagramlinkedinpauseplaytwitterwechat-qrcodesina-weibowechatxing