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Brand Messaging

Brooke, the founder and Executive Director of Resilience Advocacy Project (RAP) approached Catchafire as the organization entered its 5th year. With a plan to expand from NYC nationally, she needed help telling RAP’s story in a way that connected people on a deeper level.

The Challenge

When Brooke first came to Catchafire, even people close to the organization did not have a great understanding of her organization’s work. Brooke could effectively communicate why RAP existed with lawyers but had difficulty connecting the dots for anyone else.


  • Refine, revamp and clarify RAP’s brand messaging to help tell the stories of possibility and transformation the teens they work with embody.
  • Convey the organization’s mission, values, and personality in a way that connects non-lawyers.
  • Secure 100 new donors for RAP’s 5th year anniversary.

The match

  • RAP posts a Brand Messaging Project.
  • William Chu, a seasoned Catchafire Branding Pro Bono Professional, applies in hope that he can make a mark on an organization dedicated to youth empowerment.
  • Brooke & Will accept the match.

“To be able to work with a professional who does that for a living was mind blowing to me! There are professionals that help you with your taxes and filing your corporate papers but I’d never heard of a place that could connect me with someone to help me think about messaging and communication, as a lawyer that is not my skill set.”
— Brooke

The solution

  • Will conducts preliminary research and notes a few initial recommendations.
  • During the first meeting, Will shares the work he has done on other Catchafire Branding projects with Brooke, explaining his recommendations.
  • Brooke explains in more detail what RAP is looking for and the duo agrees upon a project deliverable--a holistic Brand Positioning document.
  • Will analyzes existing material, identifies target audiences,conducts competitive research and then compiles a document with all major branding details (Brand Positioning statement, elevator pitch, taglines, etc.)
  • Will and Brooke each edit and make additions to the document to ensure that it reflects all necessary components.
  • Will delivers the brand positioning deliverable in the form of a powerpoint; he believes it is easier to digest than in a written document.
  • After presenting this deliverable, he and Brooke decide to continue working together on a side project to create content for an annual report and RAP’s website.

The Result

RAP’s mission was clarified to: Develop the ability of young people to lead the fight to end poverty in the world.

The branding materials produced have enabled Brooke to better relate to donors at fundraisers, improved her grant-writing abilities, and ensured RAP’s Board could easily articulate their great work.

“When I talk about our growth and our movement from stage one to stage two as an institution [Will] is such a core part of that because I’m good at what I do and [he] is really good at what he does, and together we managed to make our impact so much bigger.”

The impact

RAP’s messaging is now more targeted, the new mission statement reflects a clear vision and the organization surpassed the 100 new donor goal and gained a valuable lifetime resource in Will.

“Every single person that we have worked with has become an ongoing friend and partner of the organization. As a nonprofit, building your cadre of experts is really hard to do. It’s hard to find time, know who those experts are or even what they do.”
— Brooke

“I used to do a lot of other volunteer work like Habitat for Humanity. It felt really good, but I wasn’t sure what my impact was. I’m more of a rational person, I need to figure out what the metrics are or how to quantify my impact on the world. Being able to apply my professional skills had more concrete benefits. I knew exactly how I would help someone else.”
- Will

Will’s 50-hour project resulted in $8K saved for Resilience Advocacy Project.

The Organization
Resilience Advocacy Project trains teens from disadvantaged communities to use the law to become anti-poverty peer advocates, empowering youth to take a leadership role in advocating change in their communities. By partnering with other advocacy organizations, RAP conducts youth-led grassroots advocacy efforts to change youth laws, policies, and agency practice.
The Volunteer
Will Chu is a branding and experience consultant with 6 + years of experience in marketing research and consulting with specific emphasis in user experience, enterprise-wide customer experience, branding, social media, and emerging technologies. His work has helped Fortune 100 companies in a variety of industries build business strategies and initiatives around these topics. He is equally as passionate about using his skills to influence positive social change in sustainability, health and wellness, and poverty alleviation.