Blog: Our Work

marriage_yeah

“I know that many suggest we are going down a slippery slope that will have no moral boundaries. To those who truly harbor such fears, I can only say this: Let us look less to the sky to see what might fall; rather, let us look to each other … and rise.”

-Judge Michael McShane, U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon

Last September, we built an interactive website for Class Size Counts, a non-profit, statewide organization of parents, teachers, students and voters advocating for smaller class sizes in Washington’s public schools. As part of a grassroots effort to raise awareness about the size of Washington’s public school classes – Washington currently ranks 47th in the nation – volunteers, teachers, parents, and others counted students in their classrooms and submitted their findings, and personal stories, to the site. Over the course of just a few months, more than 5,000 classes were counted, making for an astounding visual on the state of Washington’s class sizes.

The site that the Winning Mark team developed for Class Size Counts created just the kind of buzz and interest we were hoping for as we launched a grass-roots project.  With very little paid promotion, the site attracted over 35,000 unique visitors, and 5,300 of those signed on as supporters our campaign.

Class Size Counts has just filed their initiative and is now collecting signatures to get I-1351 on the ballot. To learn more about the initiative (and if you’re in Washington, to submit a class size) visit classsizecountswa.com.

School District Database

Class Size Counts Website

Winning the freedom to marry in Oregon is all about the stories. The stories of love and commitment that make the freedom to marry so important for not only Oregonians, but for the entire nation. And there is nothing more impactful than sharing these stories with family and friends as a way to build support for the freedom to marry, and for Oregon United for Marriage, Oregon’s campaign to win same-sex marriage.

OR4MfundlyfeaturedUtilizing fundraising tools like Fundly for advocacy campaigns makes for a great way to not only get your supporters to participate, but to also wrangle in those unlikely donors and get them to take part in your cause. With Facebook and Twitter promotion, Oregon United was successful in raising money and in getting their supporters to become fundraisers and organizers of their own mini campaigns for the freedom to marry. Fundly makes social sharing easy and succeeds in organizing groups of people in ways that traditional fundraising methods may not.

By using Fundly for peer to peer fundraising, Oregon United for Marriage was able to expand their foundation across Oregon as well as the nation to ensure that the freedom to marry won in Oregon. Encouraging supporters to share their stories – and to encourage their own followers to donate to the cause – proved to be incredibly successful! As the map below shows, the impact of peer to peer fundraising through Twitter, Facebook and email helped the campaign not only raise over $17,000 from 348 donors and 417 total supporters, but also helped spread the word about their efforts far and wide.

Today I went looking for the date when a few Twitter accounts were created.  This is data you can get from the Twitter API, but you need an OAuth application.  You can create new applications on the Twitter Developer Site at https://dev.twitter.com/apps.

Or you can explore the Twitter API (and ask for things like “created_at” date for specific Twitter usernames) using this simple console on the Twitter developer site, created provided by @apigee.

The console creates Oauth credentials for you by connecting a Twitter account, then you use the tool to create queries and you get back results like this:

What date was this Twitter account created

This week we helped Oregon United for Marriage promote some historic news: All 3 major professional sports teams in Portland endorsed the campaign. The Portland Trail Blazers became the first NBA team to endorse the freedom to marry.

This was an exciting opportunity and one that provided an excellent example of how campaigns can effectively combine hashtags, @mentions, location and the “add people” function on Instagram.

We designed a series of creative elements for the campaign to use across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  While effective Facebook promotion requires several different sizes of each creative element, and cover images for web sliders, Facebook pages and Twitter profiles also require different sizes, when it comes to sharing images on Twitter and Instagram, your best bet is to design creative that is square.

Portland Trail Blazers Endorse Freedom to Marry

Campaigns share images like this on Instagram to get the creative seen, interacted with and shared. Instagram provides tools specifically designed for this: hashtags, @mentions, location and using the “add people” function to tag other Instagram profiles in the post. [click to continue…]