Storytelling, PR, thought leadership raise visibility of impact pioneer

Impact PR case study RSF: display of organic produce
RSF helped Organically Grown Company convert to a perpetual purpose trust.

RSF Social Finance works at the intersection of social change and finance, enabling investors and donors to fund creative solutions to complex problems, connecting social entrepreneurs with diverse forms of capital, training financial activists and seeking to revolutionize the way the world uses money.

The San Francisco–based organization came to Thinkshift in 2012 seeking a higher profile and stronger storytelling. Over the years we’ve formed a deep and trusting relationship that has allowed us to deliver that and more.

We have helped RSF team members build reputations as leading thinkers; developed messaging; provided counsel on challenging situations; and gained recognition for path-breaking initiatives such the Integrated Capital Institute, the Women’s Capital Collaborative and making alternative structures accessible for businesses that want to grow without sacrificing purpose.


  • 155+ placements in 4+ years
  • RSF is recognized as an impact innovator
  • Impact stories illustrate RSF’s value and approach

“Thinkshift’s partnership has been invaluable,” says Melinda Cheel, RSF’s senior director of marketing. “Strategically, they’ve provided value by creating content and pitches that have increased our visibility and helped further our position as leaders in the field. They are consummate professionals who have elevated our messaging, storytelling and media coverage.”

Deb Nelson, RSF’s vice president for client and community engagement, says she’s “both impressed and delighted with Thinkshift’s approach and results. Their team of talented strategists, writers, collaborators and influencers have helped RSF reach a broader audience, develop more compelling impact stories, and continue to innovate in important ways.”


  • Worked with RSF leaders to write bylined articles that illuminated RSF’s systems-shifting strategies for activating capital to solve social and ecological problems
  • Developed story ideas that tied RSF’s forward-looking work to current issues and demonstrated how it was already fueling positive change
  • Created an impact story program that illustrates how borrowers are benefiting the world and the value of their relationship with RSF
  • Supported PR and brand development by providing media training for RSF leaders, storytelling training for the communications team, updated messaging, and consulting on themes and outreach strategies
  • Created and maintained a robust, beautiful Medium publication titled Reimagine Money that showcases RSF’s thought leadership

Thinkshift’s partnership has been invaluable. They’ve increased our visibility and helped further our position as leaders in the field.”

—Melinda Cheel, RSF senior director of marketing


  • RSF has been featured or mentioned positively in 155+ articles and podcasts in the past 4+ years, including Fast Company, Forbes, Salon, San Francisco Chronicle, The Financial Times, Civil Eats, GreenBiz, Inside Philanthropy, Next City, CNN Business, InvestmentNews and others.
  • RSF authors have been published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Chronicle of Philanthropy, HuffPost, Sustainable Brands, Triple Pundit, ImpactAlpha and other publications.
  • Based on Thinkshift’s nomination, RSF was a finalist in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards 2020 (Experimental category, with the Purpose Foundation), and Deb Nelson was recognized on Conscious Company’s World-Changing Women in Conscious Business 2019 list.
  • RSF leaders are recognized experts on impact investing, sustainable business, sustainable food and philanthropy innovation.
  • Staff members have a substantial collection of stories and articles to support business development and network building.

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