Making an Impact

Making an Impact

We developed the WELCOME TO CHECHNYA impact campaign with the input of activists and advocates working in Russia and elsewhere to bring an end to the anti-LGBTQ pogrom in Chechnya and to human rights abuses against LGBTQ people worldwide.

LGBTQ people are still at risk of harm in Chechnya — and around the world — but the film was successful in moving the needle in a number of ways: generating resources, access to decision makers, and platforms to share testimony for activists and survivors; amplifying the calls for accountability and justice from audience members, activists, and policy makers; creating greater political will for economic sanctions against the perpetrators; and motivating citizen activists to step up in the face of anti-LGBTQ policy and sentiment everywhere.

The work is by no means over. We hope that activists and others will continue to use WELCOME TO CHECHNYA to impact social and policy change — and that we have laid the groundwork for them to succeed.

Read the complete case study.

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Following the Money

Following the Money

DARK MONEY, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018 and which The Nation named “the most valuable documentary” on its Progressive Honor Roll, examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials.

The film takes viewers to Montana — a frontline in the fight to preserve fair elections nationwide — to follow an intrepid local journalist working to expose the real-life impacts of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

In the process of developing DARK MONEY’s impact campaign strategy, it quickly became apparent that there was overwhelming public concern for the issue of money in politics that was matched with a correspondingly overwhelming sense of pessimism that anything could be done about it.

We recognized this as an opportunity to educate audiences about the wide range of policy and practice changes that could be undertaken and were, in fact, being actively pursued by an influential, relatively well-resourced, and bipartisan group of people and organizations, ranging from enforcement and safeguarding of existing disclosure laws to a Constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision.

Read the full case study.

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Inspiring Stakeholders

Inspiring Stakeholders

The Vera Institute of Justice was throwing their annual fundraising gala and wanted to produce a video for the event. We noted that previous videos focused on the issue of criminal justice reform, versus the staff of Vera who come to work every day, motivated by their passion and commitment. We wanted gala attendees to feel good about the people behind the organization in which they were investing. So we asked the staff to tell us about their dreams—both those that came to them while they were sleeping as well as their dreams for what the world could look like as a result of their work.

The video was co-directed by our Creative Director, David Wilson, and Kristi Jacobson, who had recently directed SOLITARY, an unprecedented portrait of life inside a supermax prison.

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Building Networks

Building Networks

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation wanted to pursue a new area of funding in which they did not have a great deal of experience. So, before releasing a Call for Proposals (CFP), Aggregate identified and engaged influencers who could help them reach new communities to inform their funding strategy and build trust for the foundation among those working in the field. Throughout the process, we served as the program officer’s coach, helping her build her online network and to share timely and transparent updates. The process contributed to establishing the program officer as a credible thought leader and led to new relationships and opportunities well before the CFP was released. When it was released, the CFP generated a level of interest unprecedented by past CFPs issued by the foundation.

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Connecting Science to the Street

Connecting Science to the Street

The Cure Violence model gained national prominence as the topic of Steve James’ powerful documentary, THE INTERRUPTERS. But what makes the model truly disruptive—founder Gary Slutkin’s approach to treat violence as a communicable disease—was not as well known. The client asked us to produce a video that would “connect the science to the street.” Using an observational documentary approach and animated graphics, we produced a video that highlighted the theory and science that serves as the foundation for Cure Violence and supplemented it with testimony from those who can confidently say it works: policy makers, ER doctors, the police, independent evaluators, community members, and the “interrupters” themselves.

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Mobilizing Supporters

Mobilizing Supporters

In the face of clinic closings and a climate of hostility toward women’s access to abortion, the Abortion Care Network (ACN) hired Aggregate to help the organization to understand how to grow and more effectively support their network of abortion care providers – and their allies.

What was clear from our discovery process was that ACN’s members and stakeholders believe that the organization makes a significant – and unique – contribution to the abortion care community. The challenge, however, is to ensure that a broader circle of abortion rights supporters – including funders and the media – understand the integral role that independent abortion care providers play and why they need to be supported in their work.

Every day independent abortion care providers are pushing the standard of care forward and boldly positioning themselves on the front lines of advocacy, all with the diverse and changing needs of their communities top of mind. These brave providers do all of this without the support that results from being affiliated with a larger abortion care provider. The Abortion Care Network exists to support that gap.

The primary purpose of the organizational and communications strategy Aggregate developed for ACN was to help them to focus their limited resources on what is most needed among the people and organizations they serve, and to more effectively call on and mobilize supporters to allow them to do so. It was a task that required Aggregate to develop a deep understanding of those ACN supports, those they need to reach and engage, as well as what motivates them to think and do what is needed to achieve the organization’s mission.

The photo is by Debra Sweet and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

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