Banking on Community Outreach


Impact PR & Communications (IPR&C) has worked with Tompkins Financial Advisors (Tompkins), a holistic financial services firm that focuses on providing customized wealth management, financial planning and trust solutions since 2015. Given the long relationship, which grew from IPR&C supporting the company in one of its regions to now representing the brand across its entire footprint, the agency has been asked to counsel the company on creative activations and new approaches to achieving its business goals over the years.

In 2022, Tompkins sought to increase applications and awareness of Tompkins Charitable Gift Fund and looked to IPR&C for suggestions. This fund is designed to give financial support to 501 (c)(3) nonprofits and other eligible public charities in New York and Pennsylvania. From its inception in 1999, the fund had distributed more than $1.2 million to deserving organizations and worthy causes, but Tompkins hadn’t been getting as many applications, and reaching as many diverse recipients as it anticipated, and wanted a way to widen its reach.


  • Draft and disseminate customized by-region press releases, along with a high-resolution, attention grabbing “jumbo check” photo, in publications whose primary readership are business professionals and local community leaders are located in each of the company’s regions of service: New York’s Hudson Valley, Central New York, Western New York and Southeast Pennsylvania.
  • Collaborate closely with Tompkins team members, specifically the manager of the Charitable Gift Fund internally.
  • Ensure the nonprofits were reached in a timely manner and could easily access the application portal.
  • Build upon a previous tactic IPR&C recommended, using thought leadership articles as a means to tell stories about the Fund, making audience’s more aware of its existence and the bank’s value of cycling funds back directly to communities it serves.


  • 16+ geo-targeted placements, directly from the news release, in publications, including: Citybizlist, Mid Hudson Valley Patch, Dutchess Chamber, Business Council of Westchester, The River Journal, Citybizlist PA, Cortland Area Chamber of Commerce, Daily Local News, The Reporter, The Mercury, Delaware Times, Pennsylvania News Today, The Reading Eagle, Tompkins Weekly, Westside News and Greece News.
  • A bylined article on “Answering the Call to Give Back” in the Westchester & Fairfield County Business Journals, secured ahead of the press release distribution in 2022, to tee up interest and build off a successful story on how “It’s Never Too Late to Start Giving Bank” in, another one of Tompkins’ key markets.
  • A noteworthy spike in application submissions during this time period compared to previous cycles and the following cycle where a PR initiative was not implemented. Specifically, there were 132 applications submitted in the spring of 2022, compared to just 46 in the fall of 2021 – a 187% increase.


Working with Impact PR always meant I’d receive sound counsel and real business advice. When I brought up Tompkins Charitable Gift Fund’s need for more grant applicants, I hadn’t thought of using our PR toolbox to help. The team had an idea to pursue a simple press release announcing that the application period had opened. Within hours, we received an influx of new applications and emails asking additional questions. This led to more awareness around the fund and more money flowing to the charities our communities need most. It’s not always easy to track PR efforts and their tie to business results, but this one was clear.

– James McKenna, former Vice President of Communication, Tompkins Financial Corporation