OLEAN, NY – A communications startup launched from an east Olean home office is announcing a rebrand to mark its national influence for small nonprofit and business clients. Southern Tier Communications Strategies, LLC is now Grand River Agency, a title honoring its local roots and forecasting a brighter future.
Grand River Agency President and Founder Kelsey Boudin opened STCS in 2020. Beginning with local digital marketing and nonprofit grant writing jobs, the agency grew rapidly to serve a vast client base alongside fellow communications experts across the United States.
“Opening at the start of the pandemic came with risks,” Boudin said. “We’ve been fortunate to harness the power of the digital realm to reach new clients and partners. This rebrand is a key step toward an identity serving organizations everywhere. For imagery, we looked no further than the beautiful Allegheny River here in our backyards – a driver of communication and commerce for hundreds of years.”
Grand River Agency’s small team specializes in digital marketing tactics like SEO blogging, social media, podcasting, graphic design, videography and website development, as well as nonprofit fundraising strategies like grant writing, funder research and cases for support.
Small nonprofit clients, in particular, have benefited from marketing and public relations services typically available only to big-budget organizations, Boudin said. Grand River Agency primarily serves clients on a contractual basis to provide full-time services for a fraction of a professional salary.
“Our friends in charity have a difficult time pushing their message to the communities they serve. Just as importantly, many fail to reach and resonate with funders, donors and volunteers with their missions at heart,” said Boudin, who is also Executive Director of the local nonprofit Strength Solutions. “We develop and launch communications with an outward focus to highlight impact. The mission is most important. Money follows mission.”
Earlier this summer, Grand River Agency began digital marketing work with the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations and Executives (NANOE), a nationwide network of donors, volunteers and charitable leaders committed to sustainable nonprofit impact. Following a 1,400 percent increase in social media engagement across NANOE’s platforms, Grand River Agency was named a NANOE Enterprise Member and preferred social media marketing vendor.
It also partners with Florida-based Joanne Oppelt Consulting, LLC. Oppelt is a nonprofit fundraising and management expert who has authored numerous books including “The High ROI Fundraising System,” “The ROI Mindset: How to Raise More Money with the Budget You Have” and the upcoming “Re-Imagining Major Gifts.”
“My career’s work has been in helping nonprofits build fundraising strategies that actually bring return on investment,” Oppelt said. “The team at Grand River Agency has proven an investment in improved communications – whether in public relations, marketing, website design or grant writing – is key to development. What better ROI than achieving big-market results on a small-market budget?”
The agency’s commitment to excellence has yielded remarkable results for nonprofits and small businesses alike, Boudin said. Smaller-scope marketing, community outreach, website design and grant writing projects are also available to organizations on a per-diem basis.
“The inability to afford full-time communications staff hamstrings many great business plans and visions for community impact,” he added. “Lacking that advantage in today’s competitive communications industry always hurts ‘the little guy’ against larger organizations with ample resources. We aim to level that playing field.”