YEPSEN & PIKULSKI Case Studies
Issues Management, Government Relations, Communications | Southbound
The Saratoga Classic Horse Show to benefit Skidmore College started at the NYRA’s Saratoga Racecourse but when the college’s lease with the NYRA expired, a donor gifted a beautiful piece of property to the college and the show was reborn. Beginning in 2019, the Saratoga Classic came under the management of a company called Southbound Saratoga (http://www.southboundshows.
Media Strategy, Business Development | gyvlink.com
During the spike and the prolonged suffering of the COVID 19 pandemic, communities, nonprofit organizations and schools were struggling to obtain much-needed items to serve their constituents. Devvan Stokes, the founder and CEO of gyvlink.com, a web-based service that makes it easy to match up needs of nonprofits with donors, could not gain the traction he needed to get Gyvlink operating at this time of great need. He turned to Yepsen and Pikulski for business development, marketing and media support. Yepsen and Pikulski successfully used a set of strategic PR campaign to establish pilot programs to connect corporate donors directly to the communities in need. For instance, the Boys and Girls club of the Capital Area (BGCCA) that worked with GyvLink and Yepsen and Pikulski brought learning kits for pre-K students, ensuring that they could continue their learning and flourish during the pandemic. It was a win-win-win, for the donor, for Gyvlink and for the children BGCCA serves.
To read more about GyvLink’s collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club of the Capital Area, visit https://gyvlink.com/bgcca
Mission-Based Marketing/ Fundraising | AIM Services
December 7, 2021
NAME: AIM Services, Inc.
ABOUT: Formed in 1979, AIM Services, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing residential and community-based services to people with disabilities, including those with traumatic brain injuries.
AIM provides services in Saratoga, Warren, and Washington County in New York. AIM’s Self Direction program provides services in additional areas; Capital District, Long Island, Taconic, Hudson, and Sunmount regions.
AIM is approved to provide services through New York State Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and the New York State Department of Health (DOH).
AIM’s mission is dedicated to supporting the “power of potential” in people with disabilities. Through community-based services, advocacy, and education, dedicated professionals focus on supporting people in achieving their personal goals, while promoting self-confidence and independence.
CHALLENGE: AIM’s mission and methodology are unique in how they approach each client’s plan through that person’s personal goals and potential. These personalized services (computers, job-training, home industries, modernization of group homes, trips, gardens, etc.) are rarely covered by government funding so successful regular fundraising became necessary.
Fundraising is marketing, and, in a nutshell, AIM’s unique approach and successes were unknown by most of the community and more people were aware of their competition. Additionally, their board of directors and staff were not in the habit of fundraising so there was a culture that needed to be developed.
PLAN Of ACTION: Yepsen & Pikulski went to work immediately to raise AIM’S profile, establish effective fundraising policies and procedures and best practices, create a marketing and fundraising strategy, calendar and plan, including introducing the organization to new potential donors. We also created a public relations campaign to support their new fundraising plan through traditional media and social media. We found that with every meeting and interview we had at AIM we found poignant and relatable stories that had not yet been told.
The Yepsen & Pikulski team is known for their resourcefulness and ability to take advantage of all available and sometimes overlooked tools. For AIM, we made the most of the 30-year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2020 which allowed AIM to be the regional voice for the landmark. This remarkable milestone and unique opportunity was going largely unnoticed by the community. Therefore, we launched a campaign and specific activities to mark and celebrate the watershed legislation and to tell the world about AIM Services’ unique approach to serving people with disabilities.
Yepsen & Pikulski centered the celebration around a safe, socially-distanced but large ceremony with wide media coverage, many guest speakers and dignitaries who were thrilled to be associated with such an important cause and historic legislation. We live-streamed the event to help build AIM’s social media presence. Additionally, Yepsen & Pikulski secured the governor, mayor, county and state representatives who presented proclamations to AIM Services at the event in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the ADA, making the event a huge success amidst the pandemic’s obstacles.
At the same time, the Yepsen & Pikulski team successfully reimagined a fundraiser, not to miss a beat even during the pandemic, to increase their donations through matching gifts, corporate sponsorships and with much needed annual funds. We developed a plan, even during the height of COVID, for AIM to become the regional face of a national celebration and spread awareness for their purpose locally all while securing and building relationships with state and local elected representatives and wide media coverage.
We continued throughout the next 12 months to find and create media ‘hooks’ and stories to keep AIM in the news while making fundraising and marketing best practices an integral part of the AIM culture.
RESULT: The intended result was to place AIM in the forefront among similar organizations and raise their profile in the local and state community, making them worthy of fundraising dollars. In the process we also gave the staff and the board of directors a new sense of pride and purpose. As a result, AIM attracted new directors, new major donors and a number of substantial matching gift donors.
SUMMARY: Physical and intellectual disabilities affect one in three families. Chemical dependence touches virtually every person and family in some way. For the community, at every level, there is probably no affliction of more importance and deserving of support and funding than chemical dependence. As with AIM Services, Yepsen & Pikulski can build the internal structure and external connections to make New Hope successful in their marketing and fundraising endeavors.
To watch highlights from the ADA 30th Anniversary Celebration, visit AIM Service’s Facebook page at https://fb.watch/6b9vGcDJR8/
To watch more about Croquet Off the Green, visit AIM Service’s Facebook page at https://fb.watch/6b9nKa-qmL/
Government Relations/Public Relations| Cruelty Free International
Yepsen and Pikulski, LLC is known best for working with clients that take action for positive change. One such client is Cruelty Free International, an international nonprofit based in London whose mission is to end animal experiments and testing in cosmetics worldwide one state and country at a time. Yepsen and Pikulski have been hired to ensure the New York Cruelty Free Act is passed into a New York State law making it illegal to sell new cosmetics tested on animals. Yepsen and Pikulski not only support the message of Cruelty Free International, but are directly advocating and educating lawmakers and their staff as well as marketing an important message to their constituents for change through an advertising, public relations, and social media campaign.
To learn more about the initiative and how you could become involved, visit https://www.
Government Relations/Community Engagement | Equine Therapy at St. Croix
US Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr. and Bureau of Corrections Director Testamark have contracted with Yepsen and Pikulski and a new nonprofit they helped form, the Virgin Islands Equestrian Equine Therapy Project, INC., to provide Equine therapy to inmates at the Golden Grove Correctional Facility on St. Croix. When travel was difficult due to health concerns, Yepsen and Pikulski have worked successfully long-distance with government officials, local media, people of their community and corporate partners to move the entire process and program forward. Yepsen and Pikulski even organized a groundbreaking for the project at the Corrections Facility site with the Governor and other leaders which was live streamed and promoted through social media! Teaching equine management and care will gain the inmates/students a certificate to help with future employment possibilities, support the local economy and offer extremely important proven equine therapeutic benefits to all who participate.
Fundraising Services | ACTT Naturally
ACTT Naturally is an organization that employs equine therapy in leadership programs, summer camps, events, and clinics. In 2019- 2020, their efforts were put on hold and they reached out to Yepsen and Pikulski. Yepsen and Pikulski were responsible for spearheading a fundraising campaign, asking for donations for a new trailer and building awareness regarding the benefits of their equine therapeutic programs. Due to Yepsen and Pikulski, ACTT Naturally raised $25,000 even during the economic stresses of the COVID 19 pandemic, allowing them to get back on the road to aid dozens more women, veterans and children. They are now working in concert with Aim Services, Inc. to offer equine therapy and horsemanship skills to members of the disabled community. Yepsen and Pikulski network allows their clients to interact with one another for mutual benefit.
To learn more about ACTT Naturally and what they do, visit www.acttnaturally.org
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