A campaign to bring equality to Central Park

After winning the city government’s approval to put the first statue of a real-life woman in New York’s Central Park, the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund was ready to make history. First, though, they needed a smart, high-impact capital campaign to help raise the money to pay for it all. Enter Thinkso. We gave the campaign a pithier and more memorable name, a unique identity, compelling messages, and a modern website with a strong call to action. These new tools helped the Fund to get the word out to the general public and attract corporate sponsors.

BACKGROUND

The Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund had accomplished a lot in the handful of years it had been pursuing its mission — most notably, convincing the powers-that-be to lift a decades’ long moratorium on erecting statues in Central Park. After all, there were 23 statues honoring male historical figures in the park, but not a single one honoring a woman! The Fund had a really persuasive argument.

But the organization’s efforts had plateaued. They needed to ramp up marketing efforts in order to raise the money needed to design, build, install, and maintain the statue, and their current materials were falling short. Cluttered with content, the Fund’s existing website had the main messages and calls to action intermixed with less important content. With an outsize focus on commemorating achievements of women in the past, it lacked broader appeal to women of today. Additionally, the organization’s name was problematic; it was neither easy to say nor remember. If this campaign was going to be effective, the theme line would need to be concise and catchy.

APPROACH

Thinkso developed a moniker for the campaign that physically marries the statue with its honorees: #MonumentalWomen. While we agreed the cause was most likely to resonate with New Yorkers, omitting the location would ultimately broaden the campaign’s appeal: reminding people of the importance of honoring women — and their many accomplishments — in our everyday lives. An integral part of the logotype, the hashtag was added to the identity to position it as a modern initiative and make the campaign easily searchable on social media.

We designed a visual identity that leverages yellow and purple, the traditional colors of the U.S. women’s suffrage movement that also stand out in any environment. The new website keeps text to a minimum but sets up the problem — pointing out the absurdity of the situation (“A Polish king. A Venezuelan military leader. A Prussian naturalist. Even a sled dog. But not a single woman.”) and provides clear, compelling calls to action.

To make the most of our client’s very limited budget, we armed them with ways to promote the cause for little or no cost. This included pass-along postcards, buttons, a social media strategy and assets, and a fundraising guide that students and others could use to raise funds at the grassroots level.

RESULT

The #MonumentalWomen campaign materials helped the Fund tell a concise, convincing story, which resulted in broader reach and a number of notable corporate sponsors, including New York Life and Johnnie Walker’s Jane Walker campaign. The statue will be installed and commemorated in NYC’s Central Park in 2020, the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which granted women in the U.S. the right to vote.

We kept text to a minimum and focused it on the most important messages—identifying the problem, proposing the solution, calling the visitor to take action. The main image, a grid comprising the statues in Central Park (23 male, 0 female), powerfully illustrates the disparity at the heart of the Statue Fund’s mission.

Design of donation page on the Monumental Women website.

A dedicated donation page with an uncomplicated form-fill for payment information makes contributing seamless. A series of suggested donation amounts at a variety of levels are more than just random figures—the numbers represent significant moments in the suffragette movement or Central Park’s history, reminding the user of the symbolic nature of their contribution.

Collage of various social media posts on instagram for Monumental Women

Knowing that the social sphere would play an integral role in achieving the Statue Fund’s goals, Thinkso designed a comprehensive social media strategy for the Fund to implement. We also produced assets in complementary styles to ensure the campaign had “legs” but also felt consistent and had high impact.

Bright yellow circular pins that say "Bring monumental women to central park" and the website monumentalwomen.org
Bright yellow circular pins that say "Bring monumental women to central park" and the website monumentalwomen.org

Brightly colored, attention-grabbing pins were inexpensive to produce and encapsulated the Statue Fund’s mission at a glance. Affixed to virtually any item of clothing or material, the pins stand out and include the web address, as well as the branded hashtag.

Image of the Fundraising Guide paper design

The Fund had a number of passionate high school students waiting to pitch in on the campaign. We developed a fundraising guide to help mobilize these and other grassroots efforts. The guide included ideas for event formats and social media posts as well as all the details needed to start, run, and donate the proceeds from the fundraiser.