Strategic Planning & Positioning

Managing and stewarding your organization through a strategic planning and positioning process to strengthen your organizational infrastructure, identify hidden resources, and unify around an overall vision.

Representative Client: Great Cities Institute

Thinkinc. was retained by UIC Great Cities Institute (GCI) to facilitate a strategic planning process that would inform the launch of a newly reinvigorated GCI under the leadership of its new Director.  As part of this process, Thinkinc. engaged in a series of external stakeholder and internal leadership meetings to inform the future vision, mission and organizational design of the organization.

Issue Framing & Public Education Campaigns

Developing highly strategic messaging platforms and integrated communications strategies to build awareness, influence public opinion, impact legislation, and engage and move important constituencies into action.

Representative Client: Alternative Schools Network

Since 2000, Thinkinc. has worked on behalf of the Alternative Schools Network (ASN), a public affairs and education campaign, to build political will to reframe the discourse on and raise the profile of high school dropouts and jobless youth.  To best achieve ASN’s objectives, we successfully positioned them as a leader on public policy regarding dropouts and jobless youth.  Working with ASN, we strategized the creation of the Illinois Task Force on Re-Enrolling Out of School and Jobless Youth, a first-ever statewide examination of the dropout crisis, to engage government, civic, education, and business leaders on the issue.  As a result of Thinkinc.’s strategic positioning work, the Task Force and subsequent Council redefined the way the Illinois legislature perceives the scope of the dropout problem and the real needs of out-of-school and jobless youth, solidified ASN’s new role as a leader on both issues, and provided a model for other states to follow.

Board Development

Ensuring your board of directors is aligned with your overall vision and mission and able to provide effective political and financial leadership by assessment and strategic improvement of your cultivation, recruitment, orientation, and training methods.

Representative Client: Metropolitan Tenants Organization

Thinkinc. worked with the Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO) through a comprehensive strategic planning process beginning in Fall 2007 to build organizational capacity, broaden outreach activities, enhance its ability to take the lead on relevant policy issues, and empower the ability to organize among key constituencies.  Thinkinc. managed, and in some instances hosted, numerous pre-planning and strategic/SWOT meetings with the MTO board.  We also facilitated confidential discussions with MTO’s stakeholders, peer organizations, and interested local officials, to determine the current positioning of the organization.  As a result of Thinkinc.’s strategic activities, the organization is actively repositioning itself.  As part of the MTO repositioning process, Thinkinc. worked in conjunction with senior leadership and staff to release the first State of the Renter report at a convening held at The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in June 2009.  We also worked with MTO for the first half of 2010 to develop a positioning strategy for the organization based on its initial strategic plan.

Resource Development

Strengthening philanthropic resources through strategic improvements to development efforts and forging partnerships with key funders.

Representative Client: Instituto del Progreso

For Instituto del Progreso Latino Thinkinc. created an awareness program entitled, Latinas On The Rise, to raise the profile of the work of Instituto with at-risk women in its community.  The program, held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, raised the profile of the organization and engaged numerous stakeholders, leading to increased funding and partnerships.

Coalition Management

Building and stewarding coalitions of individual and organizational allies in support of a common aim, including the committee search and selection process.

Representative Client: One Chicago, One Nation

Thinkinc.’s work to launch of One Chicago, One Nation, focused on bridging cultural divides and engaging a representation of the Chicago area’s 400,000 Muslims with other culturally diverse residents.  Thinkinc. facilitated the collaboration of the initiative partners: One Nation, The Chicago Community Trust, Link TV, Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), and Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), to strategize, build and launch the program while also bringing together neighbors, businesses, community and government leaders, to break down barriers and encourage interfaith and intercultural understanding and relationships.


To discuss how Thinkinc. can get your organization to the next level, contact us now at