Client since: 2012

Bottom line: A world-class storytelling plan and the pieces to make it possible have led to an engaged donor base, six-figure fundraising campaigns, and 20% budget growth.

The John Jay Institute takes 20-somethings who are dedicated to public service—through politics, education, the arts, and more—and gives them the education, the training, and the professional network to jumpstart their efforts.

When the Institute brought us on, they had a strong brand and programs, but not the resources to tell their story effectively. As a result, donations had stagnated for several consecutive years.

Initially, we designed a communications strategy that took into account their fundraising and recruitment goals and audiences. We then helped them build a strategic communications infrastructure—over 20 volunteer writers, editors, photographers, and graphic and web designers collaborating to tell JJI's story through top-quality regular emails, blog posts, social media, and print materials. (One of our best sources of new clients the year we started working with them was people who’d emailed them asking how their stuff got so good!)

With that groundwork in place, we’ve gradually added on more rooms to the house—event marketing networks, an alumni giving program that doubled the number of participating alumni in the first month alone, a monthly donor program that raised 10% of the organization’s entire budget in its first campaign (over $100,000). In 2015, we started work on a comprehensive rebrand to modernize the organization’s image to reach a new audience and better communicate its core identity; and strategically placed support communities in key cities. The organization’s budget has grown 20% in the last two years and its brightest days are ahead.

More on the Institute:

From president Alan Crippen:

"Brian Brown at Narrator is a strategic thinker and an exceptionally gifted communicator with an "uncommon" sense for navigating the complicated social media waters of niche marketing with brilliant agility and results oriented effectiveness. I recommend him highly."