Empowering nonprofit brands

Thompson & Company was founded by R. Trent Thompson. We’re a strategic brand, design, and communications firm working exclusively with nonprofit organizations. Using research, facts, and data, we blend expertise with innovation to empower nonprofit brands to realize their full potential.

What we do

Overview

Strategic experts and innovators

We’re strategic experts and creative innovators committed to solving complex brand and communication challenges for nonprofit organizations.

Click on the tabs above to learn more about we what we do and how we empower nonprofit brands.

Brand

Define your brand. Simply, clearly, powerfully.

Your nonprofit is no ordinary brand, but is it communicating that way? To thrive, it should tell a vibrant and compelling story. Putting a megaphone on inspiration and action.

In this competitive giving environment, your brand voice needs to be clear, and more importantly, clearly different. This is critical in gaining trust with new supporters and visibility with new audiences. We’ll help you raise your voice above the rest of the voices and create alignment across all touch points of your brand. We’ll help you create it, communicate it, and develop an approach to sustain it.

Infrastructure

Retool your infrastructure for results

A strong and agile infrastructure means being able to quickly and consistently communicate with your internal and external audiences, and leverage new opportunities such as converting potential supporters to loyal donors. We’ll help you build the right infrastructure, including brand assets, internal processes, external partnerships, appropriate technology, marketing automation, digital platforms, marketing and communication tools. The right infrastructure will mitigate the age old challenge of limited time and resources and empower you to do significantly more with less.

Communication

Create deeper connections with your audiences

Your nonprofit has many audiences: program participants, donors, volunteers, staff, corporate sponsors, community partners, media, referring agencies and others. Now lay a generational map over each audience: Millennials, Gen Y, Cuspers, Boomers and Matures. It gets complicated in a hurry.

To maintain relevance with your audiences, it’s important that you create a mission-driven, multichannel (digital and offline) communications plan. We’ll help you identify and understand the generational differences and develop communication strategies and tools that connect on a deeper level with each audience by providing meaningful and relevant content that inspires them to take action.

Multichannel

Go multichannel to reach your many audiences

While it’s true direct mail is alive and well, it can no longer be your only communications channel. As your generational audiences hop from one channel to the next, you need to know which channels they prefer and take your mission directly to them, right where they are. We’ll help you create differentiated digital and offline experiences to engage with your donors, supporters, and those you serve — at the right time, in the right place, and in the right way.

Engagement

Empower your employees and board to bridge the gap

A clearly defined culture is critical to building an engaged and motivated workforce. Your employees can be your best brand ambassadors, as they are often the first point of contact with your organization. We’ll help you educate your employees and board about your brand and develop tools that will empower them to help bridge the gap between donors and your mission.

Story

Your brand story is the secret sauce for attracting new donors

Your employees, donors and board need a narrative that’s easy to align with and easy to share — to advance your mission. We’’ll help create a unique and moving brand story will to clearly convey the type of value you provide to those you serve and inspire others to get involved and take action.

Implementation

Build and sustain your brand

A brand is not a logo or a combination of hip Pantone colors or a cute tagline. It’s the cumulative experiences of one’s interaction with your organization over time. How you deliver on the promise of your brand, communicate it, and then sustain it, is just as important as the process of creating it. That’s the key to a durable and high-performing brand. We’ll help you understand where your brand is now, what’s involved in taking it to the next level and create a path to get you there. We’ll also provide implementation recommendations, including costs, tools, and resources to power your brand, and create differentiated experiences to successfully engage your many audiences.

Design

Bring strategy and innovation to life

Before beginning the design process, we first develop your brand strategy. Knowing why you want to rebrand on the front end can mean the difference between soaring success and devasting failure. We’ll help you identify the problems you need to solve, learn about the opportunities you want to capitalize on, and then create a meaningful and relevant brand identity and set of powerful tools designed to help you successfully leverage and sustain your new brand.

PR/Media

Leverage the power of the media

If you aren’t telling your story continually and strategically, no one will hear it. We’ll help you leverage the power of the media to increase visibility of your mission, position key staff as subject matter experts (SME), and shine a bright light on the amazing work you do.

What’s your challenge? 

  • Identify your brand purpose

  • Engage donors at right time, right place, in the right way

  • Create a brand story that inspires giving

  • Align your leadership and board

  • Identify and leverage donor preferences

  • Raise a lot more money

  • Tear down the infamous wall between brand and philanthropy

  • Increase visibility of your mission

  • Build an infrastructure to do more with less

  • Regain relevance with your audiences

  • Get the media to share a compelling story

  • Scale storytelling online

  • Build donor trust and confidence

  • Build and sustain a powerful and relevant brand

  • Recruit and empower brand ambassadors

  • Launch a monthly giving program

  • Bridge gap between donors and your mission

  • Align your brand and culture

  • Attract the right kind of talent

  • Build a powerful online engagement platform

  • Create the perfect tagline

  • Refresh a stale brand

  • Build an engaged and motivated workforce

  • Acquire new, or retain and upgrade existing donors

  • Increase your number of clients

  • Fast track your annual appeal

Why us?

We’re strategic branders, storytellers, marketers, writers, designers, photographers, data wonks, videographers, social media masters, and public relations mavens. Our principals have been commended for excellence by their peers and served as guest speakers and industry panelists all over the U.S. and Canada. Our approach to each project is always the same: personal, perceptive, collaborative and innovative.

 

Why we do this work?

Each member of our team believes we are truly called to do this work. We’ve been blessed with certain gifts and talents that can help make a significant difference for those in need. We want to help you succeed with your mission — changing the lives of those you serve for the better. For us, there’s no greater return. 

How we do it?

Blood, sweat and tears. We help your nonprofit build brand relevance, but only stronger. We help you develop brand positioning that’s not only better, but laser focused. We help retool your marketing and communications, and brand management infrastructure to better support and sustain your engagement and fundraising initiatives for the long haul.

We believe you must engage the hearts and heads of your generational audiences to move the needle. And, to achieve significant movement, your brand positioning must be clear, simple and human. When we’ve finished with rebranding and retooling your nonprofit, we’ve answered three key questions for each stakeholder with great clarity, “What’s in it for me?“, “Why should I care?”, “How can I help make an impact?”

We can help. But, be warned, the work will be rigorous; the pace arduous. However, the rewards are great; game changing even.

Admittedly, we’re not suited for everyone. If your expectation is to turn the ship around overnight, you should look elsewhere for help. If you’re not willing to commit 100% to the effort, we’re not a good fit for you.

Watch #BADASSforGOOD podcast each week for
breakthrough brand & marketing insights

Our People

We bring to your nonprofit an incredibly talented and amazing team of experts. Not only are we each experienced and successful within our own rights, we are immensely passionate and highly committed to doing great work for great organizations. As a team, we go the distance to make a difference for you.

 

RRP-Collaborators-Trent

R. Trent Thompson, Brand/Marketing Strategist

Trent is President of Thompson & Company (aka Rebrand & Retool or Perish). He’s passionate about helping nonprofits build brand relevance, but only stronger. Helping develop brand positioning that’s not only better, but laser focused. Trent has worked with a diverse clientele ranging from advertising agencies and nonprofits to members of the Fortune 500 (e.g. Habitat for Humanity, DePuy, LexisNexis, United Way, Iams, Stryker, The Children’s Center, Lincoln Financial Group, Team Joseph, Brunswick, Girl Scouts). Trent is recognized for his ability to articulate marketing direction to many levels within an organization to drive consensus and influence cross-functional adoption of marketing and brand initiatives. He’s highly successful in linking marketing strategy and results directly to overall business objectives and financial goals. Trent is also a national speaker and award-winning brand and marketing strategist. When he’s not rebranding nonprofits, building multichannel fundraising or awareness campaigns, and speaking at industry conferences, he’s sharing snackable brand and marketing insights on his podcast “BADASSforGOOD.”

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Tammy Zonker, Master Storyteller/Fundraising Practitioner

Tammy is a world-class fundraising practitioner and consultant. Period. Over the past 15 years, she has helped hundreds nonprofits raise more than $400,000,000. The secret to her success? Other than sheer brilliance, at the core is her amazing gift to craft powerful stories deeply rooted in strong brand positioning. These stories become critical as they guide the creation of compelling mission tours, major gift programs, multichannel annual fund campaigns, and generational audience engagement strategies.

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Amy Sacka, Writer Extraordinaire/Photographer

Amy is a rare talent. Not only is she a gifted writer, Amy is an amazing photographer. She has more than 15 years of delivering award-winning campaigns and powerful, results-proven copy for some of the world’s most recognizable brands. Nike, Coca-Cola, Sprite, Adobe, Getty Images, Lincoln Mercury, Nintendo, Xbox, Adidas, Starbucks, GM, OnStar, Microsoft, KinderCare, Gleaners, and The Children’s Center to name a few. Her captivating photography of life in Detroit (Lost & Found In Detroit) and of subjects from all walks around the world have been recognized by Huffington Post, American Marketing Association, The Detroit News and published by National Geographic Online.

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Emily Hay, Social Media Magician

Social media marketing is much more than extending reach. It’s about building lasting relationships. And providing meaningful and relevant value. With a passion for the cutting edge, and knowledge gained from the battle-tested scars, Emily and her social media team creates seamless multichannel experiences enabling nonprofit brands to connect and engage generational audiences.

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Todd Eigenschink, Web/App Developer Rock Star

Todd has been developing interactive software and websites for almost twenty years. His experience includes mobile website and mobile app development, data integration and very user-friendly content management tools. All of which are critical to sustaining ongoing communications with your generational audiences.

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Kate Fettig Hill, PR/Media Relations Extraordinaire

Kate is one of the hardest working PR/Media Relations professionals in the business. She’s known for bridging the gap between brand and campaign messaging and the media to ensure both resonate powerfully in TV, radio, print, outdoor and online media. Her diverse background and experience includes: fortune 500, advocacy, advertising, and news agencies.

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Jim Coen, Big Data Yoda/Tech Futurist

Jim is a social marketing specialist and data analyst genius. One of the first tenets for building any type of successful marketing or engagement campaign is to know thy audience. There’s no one on earth better at digging deep down into big data and creating the ideal audience profile for the sole purpose of guiding engagement, acquisition and retention strategy.

RRP Collaborators – Trevor

Trevor George, Marketing Automation Mastermind

Trevor and his team are just as much business consultants as they are marketers. Having analyzed 100’s of businesses in numerous industries, Trevor is able to strategize, develop, and deploy marketing automation tactics that help communicate and nurture potential nonprofit partners and donors into supporting the organization. These strategies are communicated at exactly the right time, to exactly the right person, helping optimize and enhance the goals and objectives of each organization.

Ready to empower your nonprofit brand?