Local nonprofits serve their communities best but they don’t always get the visibility or resources they deserve. Most donations go to large nonprofits that already have enough funding to promote themselves. In addition, the financial disruptions of 2020 affected small nonprofits disproportionately. In a post-pandemic world, it’s even more critical that local nonprofits gain support for their causes.
Less than 2% of nonprofit donations go to small, local organizations best positioned to affect lasting change in their communities.
“Give Where You Live” puts these local heroes in the spotlight, galvanizing community pride and driving donations in the process.
Inspired by travel publications like TimeOut, we curated our own list of each city’s “best of,” driving recommendations, donations—and literally putting them on the map. By presenting the “places that do good” as the “good places to see and be seen,” we drummed up interest and visibility for these small businesses.
We focused on 6 key markets: large metropolitan areas with diverse populations driving innovation and culture—cities with active pools of local nonprofits, which could use a reprieve from financial hardship. We then partnered with Giving Tuesday to amplify our reach on a national scale.
We brought the integrated campaign to life using animation, an approach that stood out from the category and allowed us to create a modular structure, where we could bookend bespoke, city-specific content with delightful graphic campaign elements that translated across every touchpoint. Pen, pencil, charcoal, marker, tablet, shape animation, cel animation, a little bit of subtle 3D, and even some live action pieces—all intertwined seamlessly to create the Give Where You Live universe.
The launch featured an animated film that presented these nonprofits as local attractions to discover. The film was crafted to feel more like pop culture than advertising: an internet-friendly invitation to give back to your local neighborhood. Each character was designed to physically represent the good work that they do, and to telegraph their unique skills at a glance. For example, when designing a basketball coach, we created a character who is not just tall and agile, but whose torso is a backboard and hoop. These fun, surrealist hybrids communicated our message while being stylistically memorable.
The music was composed specifically for the campaign, using Mailchimp’s audio signatures as key instrumental elements. The goal was to create an immersive, optimistic soundtrack for this neighborhood of do-gooders, and to inspire people to discover more of them in their own backyard.
The anthem film was followed by an interactive website, expanding on the animated visual world of Give Where You Live. The site served as a local recommendation engine and a digital directory for local nonprofits, helping visitors discover (and support) the good in their neighborhood.
We amplified the campaign in social media, with city-specific assets that encouraged people to rep their hometown and support their favorite orgs. We then enlisted current and former NFL players to encourage fans to nominate their favorite local NGOs, driving visitors and donations to their websites.
The campaign launched November 2022 for Giving Tuesday and the results so far have been very positive. The nonprofits saw significant increases in new donors and total donations. Key highlights are included below: