Case Study: Year of Service

Sponsored by

How do you cut through the media noise to move the needle on an important issue?


Our Big Idea

NationSwell believes deeply in the concept of a “service year”.  It’s the idea that every year, one million young adults from around the country should have the opportunity to engage in 12 months of voluntary, civilian service as a right passage.  It’s also a way to foster unity through shared experience in a time of division. It’s a bold vision, and NationSwell and our partners at Service Year Alliance knew that it wouldn’t be easy. So, we designed a targeted campaign that would drive wider awareness among people who were new to the issue, and deeper engagement with our audience who were already familiar with it.  Our goal was to bring hundreds of influencers, from a range of sectors, into the service year movement and catalyze high-end partnership opportunities, in a multimedia program that would move the needle for Service Year Alliance.

Our Execution

To realize this vision and deliver on our partner’s objectives, we launched an 8-part storytelling series that was tailored to our partner’s target audiences: business, higher education, not-for-profits, foundations and more. The stories advanced the case for the service year through powerful, character-driven video storytelling.  We focused on the people most affected by this work in communities around the country, and were able to showcase and elevate the issue in an emotionally resonant way. Content was distributed on our social channels and through an extensive media distribution program.  In addition to our branded content program, NationSwell designed six event experiences including mini-summits and salon dinners across New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC. There was participation from high-profile national leaders and senior leaders from organizations like Google, Greylock Partners, Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, LinkedIn, McKinsey & Company, and The Case Foundation.



Our Results

NationSwell engaged our community of national leaders — providing exposure to more than 300 new influencers to both broaden and deepen the service year movement. NationSwell also actively sought to foster collaboration between CEOs, foundation heads, not-for-profit leaders, journalists in order to develop new partnerships and catalyze new initiatives in support of the service year agenda. Those experiences and connections have helped generate more than 25 partnership conversations that are currently in process. The campaign was covered by The Atlantic’s “The Renewal Project,” Moyers & Company, and others. 




Video Views

“NationSwell gives the opportunity for a wider view of how America is actually becoming a better place. ”

Board Chair, Service Year Alliance

Our Work

Want to see more from the Year of Service campaign?  Drop us a line at [email protected].