Thinkso has always been community minded, with our leadership and staff volunteering for a wide range of charitable and activist causes over the years. In 2012, we wanted to take a more concentrated and intentional approach to giving back. So we decided to focus our talents and resources on doing what we do best — branding — for one worthy charity a year, for free. Give a Brand! was born.
Give a Brand! is our annual pro bono program that awards a small, underfunded nonprofit a complete brand makeover — a new brand identity, messaging strategy, website (written, designed, programmed), and a suite of marketing materials. The goal is to empower nonprofits to raise awareness and attract new funding that would otherwise be out of reach.
“Participating in Give a Brand! and working with Thinkso was a dream come true. We got so much more than we ever imagined: an entire new concept of who we are and how to tell our story. It has inspired us and will propel us forward in the journey to achieve our mission.” Kate Lee, Executive Director, New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking
Unlike our everyday client work, Give a Brand! is an exercise in what we call “extreme branding.” Every Thinkso writer, designer, strategist, and project manager focuses on the Give a Brand! project for an intense and compressed period. This culminates in a high-energy, all-hands-on-deck “brand raising.” It takes place in one week, which starts with a presentation of possible design directions and concludes with a presentation of the completed work and a celebratory dinner (because we care about fun almost as much as giving back).
Leveraging Thinkso’s annual promotional budget and our sponsors’ generous donations of goods and services like printing, photography, and web programming, we’re able to not only write and design new materials for the selected organization, but also deliver them ready for use. Take a look at some of the work we’ve done for past Give a Brand! recipients.
Give a Brand! 2023: Here’s How It Works
1. Call for Entries
Interested nonprofit organizations have until March 17, 2023 to apply. After evaluating applications, Thinkso selects a group of finalists.
2. Finalist Pitches
During May, each of the finalists makes a presentation to our selection committee. The Thinkso team votes on who will be this year’s recipient.
3. Recipient Announced
On May 30, 2023, Thinkso announces the organization that will receive the free rebrand.
4. Accelerated Discovery and Ideation
During June and July, Thinkso does a deep dive into the recipient’s organization and then develops initial concepts, messages, and themes that will lay the foundation for the new brand. Our goal is to go into Brand Raising Week with a strong creative brief, a structured content document, website wireframes, and a few overarching design directions in hand.
5. Brand Raising Week
On Monday, August 7, 2023, Thinkso presents the initial design and editorial directions, and the recipient selects one as the start of their new brand. Then on Thursday, August 10, we devote an entire day to fully developing the new branding and marketing communications. Visit our LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram pages to see live updates of the work in progress.