ACLU Action

Civil liberties are among our most cherished rights, but the organization focused on defending them faced an aging supporter base that didn’t reflect the constituencies most affected by their work. Purpose worked with ACLU to supercharge their digital campaigning capacity, supporting their transformation to a leading name in online advocacy and supporter engagement. Together we rapidly built their email list, improved online fundraising and expanded their audience to reach a younger, more diverse supporter base that was previously unfamiliar with the organization’s work.

Article - New York Times aclu.org/action Article - Yahoo! News

Challenge

The ACLU is one of the most successful civil liberties organizations in the United States, but they needed to expand their supporter base to include a more diverse millennial audience.

Opportunity

Much of the ACLU’s work protects the rights and liberties of the most vulnerable populations.

While these issues are inherently appealing to the organization’s new target audiences, the ACLU wasn’t effectively communicating their role in driving progressive change.

Theory of Change

Create a sub-brand, ACLU Action, which could stand alone as a separate, more supporter-driven brand to…

Refine the ACLU’s advocacy strategy to put supporters at the center of their campaigns and run more local campaigns and create content on issues that are relevant to affected populations to…

Build a new generation of ACLU supporters.

My Big Gay (Il)legal Wedding

Before same-sex marriage was legal nationally, we created and launched My Big Gay (Il)legal Wedding to reach a younger, more digitally native audience. The multi-state, public campaign empowered same-sex couples from across the country to become powerful spokespeople for marriage equality. It gave supporters the opportunity to vote for couples to win a ‘statement’ wedding, where they crossed state lines from their home state where they couldn’t get married, to a neighboring state where they could.

Stand Together

In order to employ a more aggressive approach to fighting the war on women, the ACLU added a stronger public engagement component to their existing strategy, which focused heavily on grasstops legal activities. Purpose created a new campaigning brand called “Stand Together” to appeal to young, unmarried women. Purpose developed the new campaign’s brand, designed and developed the website, created a video and designed shareable graphics.

StopWatching.Us

Purpose worked with ACLU Action to help elevate the issue of NSA surveillance reform and push reform legislation through Congress. ACLU Action worked with the StopWatching.Us coalition to organize a rally in Washington, D.C. that drew 5,000 people, gained thousands of media hits. We also organized a lobby day with 60 congressional offices and launched a joint petition signed by 500,000 supporters.

Impact

During the 12 months of our work together, ALCU experienced double the list growth rate of the previous 12-month period, for a total of ~165,000 total new supporters.

We reached 10 million people through the My Big Gay (Il)legal Wedding campaign’s earned media, including The New York Times and Yahoo! News.