Progress Stories
Content innovation for the world’s largest non-profit

Progress Stories

Created for a Seattle Family Foundation 

A Seattle Family Foundation is leading innovation within the global philanthropic community. With our help, it’s also rethinking how to use content to engage and inform the general public, in an effort to ultimately gain wider support and awareness for the Foundation’s work with important causes.  

We created strategy and content for audiences unfamiliar with dry and difficult subject matters like Malaria, Sanitation and Agricultural Development. Our strategy incoporated using familiar commercial tactics, like storytelling, to humanize the progress of these initiatives. We developed an ownable visual language and activated new communication opportunities and gained the attention of media outlets including Fast Company and Wired.  


Not All Important Causes are Sexy

A majority can be flat-out boring. Instead if determining the most powerful facts to shock people into caring, we saw an opportunity to solve the bigger challenge of humanizing a cause and creating empathy.

“Because of this understated, empathy-inducing experience, I’m only left with the feeling of importance for a cause I had never concerned myself with before. And that feeling, unto itself, leaves me feeling very much informed.”
- FastCo Design

We needed to create meaning for these issues among audiences who have abundant choice and selective attention.

A Shift in Thinking

Our insights led us to propose a new approach content - less information and a more relevant presentation might actually be be more informative.  

Share a True Story

To make it clear what people should care about, we established a unique narrative to support the objectives of an initiative. Each story is a directed message translated with a remarkable, attention earning and sharable experience.

Consider Content Channels

Created to support media partner distribution and scale from experiential to social, each piece of unique content was adaptive for maximum influence.  

Use Design and Technology to Engage

Humanizing serious issues with approachable design and interactivity encouraged more people to engage with each cause because it was a pleasurable experience to do so.

Visual Education

From the Source

We edited raw data and a variety of materials, reducing it to the most relatable information in order to support each story. Narrative design allowed for the most reduced expression of the message and facts to be easily recognizable.   

Ownable Style

Distinct art directions together with unique methods of interaction created a new and ownable style of visual communication.

Ownable Style

Distinct art directions together with unique methods of interaction created a new and ownable style of visual communication.

Success at Scale

An overwhelmingly positive response to the initial stories informed our process for a replicable content framework helping the strategy and content creation scale across initiatives and various groups within the global organization. The content was also adapted for large-screen experiential installation and has been leveraged for bite-sized engagement across social networks. As a unified communication system, we continue to iterate and innovate to maintain relevance for the foundation’s efforts.  

At a Glance

What it Was

Content innovation for the world’s largest non-profit to engage and inform a general public audience.

What We Did

Strategy and creative production for cross-channel content, replicable across organization initiatives. Storytelling, user experience, original art direction and information visualization. Animation and front-end programming of scalable web applications.

Why it Worked

Used commercial tactics to humanize difficult subject matters. Created an ownable visual language and activated new communication channel opportunities, including media like Fast Company, Mashable and Wired.


  • Fast Co Design