City Year is a non-profit organization that mobilizes highly trained 18-24 year olds to work full-time with high need students in elementary, middle, and high schools across the country. Government (AmeriCorps), private, and public investments to City Year are leveraged to support these young people (called corps members) as they collaborate with teachers, schools, and districts to help reduce dropouts and prepare students for academic and job success.
The Red Jacket Society is a circle of individual and family donors who support City Year at a $10,000 or more giving level. The development team at City Year approached our in-house marketing agency with a request to produce a digital experience profiling one of the donors each quarter. Our team saw this as an opportunity to stretch the City Year brand in a new direction and positioned this project as a tool to mature the brand identity.
Like many service organizations, City Year is hard pressed to quantify the precise leveraging impact of every donated dollar. This posed an ongoing challenge as they sought to establish themselves as a leader in the data-focused education impact space. The team therefore pursued the following:
A compelling, emotionally driven researched story profiling the donor’s values and relationship with the mission and corps members.
High-quality personalized photographic, audio, and visual assets to give every story a real personality
A new written voice that targeted emotions, sights, and sounds over numbers and data
We chose Squarespace as the platform for these stories for its highly polished design assets, which allowed our design team to focus on the layout and reading experience of the story without worrying about the delivery infrastructure. The result is a growing collection of media-rich longform articles that contextualized organizational impact as an immersive storytelling experience.