City Year #makebetterhappen

By City Year (created by allen & gerritsen)

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City Year, an education-focused non-profit, works with at-risk students in urban schools across the U.S. Each year, it recruits teams of young adults, called corps members, to dedicate a year of fulltime service to help students stay in school and on track to graduate.

Finding high-performing young adults to serve with City Year is vital to their success. But, awareness of the organization was modest at best (25% among college students prior to the campaign).

Our mission: to increase awareness among high-potential prospective corps, with a focus on college-going males/females, 17-24 years old.

Research told us that this audience trusted the word of their peers above that of institutions. So, we adopted a hashtag, #makebetterhappen, to allow current corps members to share their experiences on Twitter, creating a rich, constantly updated content stream that spreads their stories to the world - and most importantly, to prospective corps members. And the results speak for themselves.

- In less than one year, we have been able to produce a lift in aided awareness among college students from 25% to 46% (a 21% increase).
- On campuses where campaign materials had a presence, the number of students considering City Year as an ideal employer jumped from 3% to 11%, and the number of students who had applied or intended to apply increased from 1% to 5%.
- 28,700 total tweets containing #makebetterhappen and over 26,000,000 impressions have been recorded on Twitter so far.
- We've seen a 30% increase in web traffic over last year (even without the URL on materials).
- City Year's confirmed acceptance rate has increased 16% over last year, indicating a more qualified applicant pool.
- Unaided word associations of City Year among our target reflected language such as "innovative," "change," and "cool" - showing movement in perception among our audience from the functional attributes of City Year to the emotional ones.
- In Spring 2013, City Year was recognized as #64 on Universum's Top 100 Ideal Employers list among college grads (Liberal Arts & Humanities), cracking the list for the first time.

September 2012 - present

City Year #makebetterhappen