Take a Hike, Youth at Risk Foundation

Taking a Hike × Strategic Design = Changing Lives for the Better

A full-time alternative education program, Take a Hike, Youth at Risk Foundation engages at-risk youth through a unique combination of adventure-based learning, academics, therapy and community involvement. As not-for-profit whose economic fuel flows from its donor network, the challenge to connect with and inspire people to positive action never ends.

Heart and Soul

Working directly with Take a Hike’s Chair of the Board, Executive Director and Board, and with teachers and therapists, we gained a deep understanding of the organization’s mission, activities, challenges and successes. But interacting with the kids Take a Hike works so hard to help—learning first hand about their personal journeys and the important role the Foundation plays in their lives—gave us a crystal clear sense of its heart and soul.


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Articulation and Execution

With no shortage of incredible stories, our job was to develop a communication strategy that would tell them well. Framing the organization from the top down, we helped articulate a clear vision statement and key message structure to help guide communication, researched and defined the organization’s existing and potential audiences—donors, potential donors, students, teachers, Vancouver School Board, parents, volunteers, directors, referring agencies, caseworkers, alumni and media. We then created a range of communication assets including an identity refresh, website, event marketing collateral, annual and interim reports designed to address specific issues:

  • Increase Take a Hike’s connection with all stakeholders;
  • Inspire existing donors to continue to give and new donors to give for the first time;
  • Inspire increased community involvement by attracting new volunteers, board members and partner organizations;
  • Increase awareness and understanding of Take a Hike among referring agencies and parents to better serve as a resource;
  • Clearly affirm the organization’s efficient operational structure and responsible financial stewardship.



We helped Take a Hike make the kind of meaningful connections that move people to make a difference. Increased awareness and understanding of the Foundation’s mission, activities, challenges and successes resulted in significant increases in donations from both existing and new donors, and Take a Hike’s expanded activities are helping even more kids to finish high school and change their lives for the better.

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Take a Hike, Youth at Risk Foundation

This visualization illustrates the full extent of our engagement with this particular client, broken down by the percentage of specific capabilities we provided during the relationship.

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  • General
  • Individual
  1. I Understanding / strategy
    1. A Research
    2. B Data visualization
    3. C Brand strategy
  2. II Conceptualization / articulation
    1. D Naming / nomenclature
    2. E Positioning / message development
    3. F Copywriting / content development
  3. III Communication design / execution
    1. G Corporate identity
    2. H Video / motion graphics
    3. I Web design / development
    4. J Physical spaces
    5. K Collateral / publications
    6. L Events / experiences
    7. M Digital media / marketing
    8. N Social media
    9. O Packaging
  4. IV Measurement / consulting
    1. P Search engine marketing
    2. Q Creative consultation
    3. R Innovation workshops