MATT PIERCE
 

we need one another  

together we rise 

 

 

campaign overview 

Together We Rise tells the powerful story of a diverse group of students - Christian, Muslim and traditional African faiths - overcoming cultural expectations with bicycles. The campaign anchored World Bicycle Relief’s year-end fundraising efforts online, in print and with a series of donor events in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. The campaign surpassed the organizations aggressive revenue goals while sharing a new, important story of unity in times of global discord.

 

My RolE 

When I learned about these students in Eldoret, Kenya building cultural bridges with bicycles I advocated to share their story as part of World Bicycle Relief's largest global revenue generating campaign. There were risks. This was not our central message. We had never addressed religion in our work. And the political landscape in our target markets was shaky, to say the least. After spending time with these students in their homes and classrooms it was clear that their powerful voices and important message would resonate with our audience - standing out amidst the noise of the holiday giving season. As with all of WBRs campaigns, I worked with our field team to coordinate and oversee filming as well as the production of the campaign videos, visuals, website, emails, print materials, press, social media and partner outreach. Additionally, I built a virtual reality riding experience for guests to enjoy at our campaign events and shared personal stories from the field at a VIP reception for donors. 

 

Featured In

  • Teen Vogue
  • Pink Bike
  • GivingTuesday.org
  • Bicycle Film Festival
  • Makala Film Premier, Cambridge, England

 

Response 

“This is what it’s all about.” - Moonfire Media, Charleston, West Virginia

“Perfect. Just Perfect.” - Ben Bellinson, Ashland, Oregon

“Peace upon you. I am grateful for this beautiful story.” - Bakhat Ibraham, London, England

“Yes, yes, yes! Everything about this!” - Lindsay Martin, Santa Cruz, California

 

 
 

ASSETS

 
 
 
 

A VIDEO exploration 

MECHANICS OF MOBILITY 

 
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campaign Overview

Field mechanics are a central part of World Bicycle Relief’s sustainable model. Their stories, however, are often overshadowed. Mechanics of Mobility is an interactive video allowing the viewer to explore WBR’s mechanics program - their training and how they keep Buffalo Bicycles on the road moving people forward. Hosted on Verse, the video is filled with dynamic content including an interactive Q&A with WBRs Product Development Manager, a slideshow about the mechanics training courses and links to related content. The piece is used online and at learning events where participants can build their own Buffalo Bicycles.

 

My role

World Bicycle Relief had some incredible unused content featuring our field mechanics. We also had a gap in our upcoming content calendar. When a colleague showed me the Verse platform, I knew this would be a winning way to share the mechanics' story. I worked with WBRs film partner, Pedal Born Pictures to storyboard and create a piece specifically formatted for Verse. The result was an exciting video exploration that broke the mold for WBR. Adding a donate button to the campaign landing page and donation amounts tied to  field mechanics training turned this learning piece into a giving opportunity. 

 

featured in

  • Chicago Ideas Week Learning Labs
  • The New York Times
  • Bicycle Times

 

response

“This touched my heart & brought tears to my eyes.” - Marsha Wartell, Corpus Christi, Texas

“This is awesome in so many ways.” - Kirk Van Deraa, Chicago, Illinois  

 
 
 

 The family we choose    

Tribes

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campaign overview

TRIBES was a multimedia dance performance in Chicago, Illinois bringing together award-winning international choreographers Erin Rehberg of Core Project Chicago, Jayson+Tisa Dance and Company Stefanie Batten Bland. These rising stars showcased compelling new works about shifting perspectives on family and community during two sold-out shows at Ruth-Page Center for the Arts.

 

My role

As Creative Director for Core Project I oversaw production of the event as well as design and creation of all marketing materials - built with photography from Company Stefanie Batten Bland - including posters, postcards, emails, social media, press and online ads. The result was Core Project’s best-attended show and an elevated presence in the Chicago dance community.

 

featured in

  • Chicago Artists Resource

  • Chicago Tribune

  • See Chicago Dance

  • Time-Out Chicago

 
 

ASSETS

 
 
 

education FOR ALL  

A WAY FORWARD

 

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campaign overview

A Way Forward is a multimedia fundraising campaign that highlights how distance, dangerous routes to school and early marriage stand between young girls in rural Africa and their futures. Launched just days after the 2016 US presidential election, this timely story - told entirely through female voices - felt especially relevant. By seizing the moment rather than shrinking away, A Way Forward became World Bicycle Relief’s most successful and celebrated campaign to date outperforming revenue targets and social media projections.

 

my role

With this campaign I pushed World Bicycle Relief outside of our comfort zone. Inspired by insight from WBR's co-founder, I proposed that we build on the proven success of telling a girl student’s story but focus on the element of safety. It was a new angle. One that took time to embrace. Hearing from students, their parents and community leaders in Kakamega, Kenya about the prevalent fear of rape on the way to school was hard to stomach. Ultimately though, we felt the story was important to share. By spending extended time with students and their families we learned about the daunting challenges of life in rural Kenya and the difference a reliable bicycle can make.


The result was a series of video vignettes woven into a six-week communication arc shared with WBR supporters, partners and media contacts. At the time, industry advisors (and some team members) advocated for a shorter video piece to launch the campaign. I knew that a one-minute clip would not do the story justice. Instead, we went the opposite direction. Our editors and I produced a six-minute mini-doc along with six 30-60 second social videos. Our instincts payed off. The six-minute piece was our most viewed, shared and commented on video to date. Most importantly, the campaign inspired a 20% increase in year-end donations to WBR. A Way Forward continues to resonate with new viewers through media features and festival audiences.

 

Featured In

  • Global Citizen
  • The Guardian
  • Outside Magazine
  • Social Impact Awards (Finalist)
  • Here and Now, NPR
  • Upworthy
  • Vogue

 

response

“I feel this in my heart.” - Johnny Scott, Erie, Pennsylvania

“Fantastic story!” - Mei Hung, Boston, Massachusetts

“Thank you for sharing this story and supporting the girl child.” - Elizabeth Namazzi PhD, Kampala, Uganda

“Heartwarming!” - Marian Singleton Barksdale, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

 
 

ASSETS

 
 
 
 

Crisis. collaboration. change.  

water pressures

 
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Campaign overview

The Water Pressures documentary project highlights a unique collaboration between impoverished, water-distressed communities in Rajasthan, India and students at Northwestern University - whose campus sits on one of the largest bodies of freshwater on the planet. The story demonstrates how education and collaboration can lead to sustainable solutions between water-scarce and water-rich regions of the world.

My role

Over a three-year period, I worked as Assistant Editor, Assistant Producer and Creative Director for Water Pressures. Together, with Artistic Circles Executive Producer, Anne Feldman and Director Bill Natale, I helped lead a group of Northwestern University students to visit families in The Thar Desert, where we filmed the cultural exchange. I helped to shape the final film and promotion of the piece. In addition I worked with Archeworks to create a series of print and digital educational pieces to accompany the video.

 

feAtured In 

  • Culture Unplugged
  • Indie Fest (Award Winner)
  • South East Asia Film Festival
  • WTTW

project partners 

  • Archeworks

  • IBM

  • Northwestern University

  • Office of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky

  • PepsiCo

  • Sir Ratan Tata Trust

  • The Sehgal Foundation

  • United Nations Development Programme

 
 

A community on the move 

PALABANA

 
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CAmpaign overview

Palabana: Community on the Move tells the story of a village in rural Zambia on the move with the power of bicycles. Anchored by a 3-minute video about the collective impact of mobility, the campaign also features five videos about individuals serving their community on two wheels. Originally launched as World Bicycle Relief’s 2015 year-end campaign, the materials continue to be used today to show the long-term and cross-cutting impact of the organization’s work.

 

My Role

To shift from portraying one central hero to showing a community on the move was new and met with some opposition. Conventional fundraising tactics usually highlight an individual’s story. World Bicycle Relief had generally adhered to this best practice. We felt though that it was time to show our impact on a larger scale. The result was a campaign anchored by individual stories, but equally focused on showing the impact of bicycles on an entire mobilized community. I oversaw the collection of video, photos and stories for this campaign over two years, working with Zambian photographer Gareth Bentley, Pedal Born Pictures and WBR field staff. Being immersed in the community for the filming helped my team to go deeper and find rich stories that grew over time.

 

FeAtured in

  • Global Impact

  • Philanthropy Age

  • Spiegel

  • UBS Optimus Global Employee Conference

 

response

“Amazing Video. Simple yet effective. Illustrates how bicycles build community and empower people around the world.” Caesar Castano, San Francisco, California

“Bravo!” - Joseph Connell, Chicago, Illinois

“Wonderful video.” -  Andi Fch-bienchen, Berlin, Germany

“Beautiful story about strong, hardworking people.” - Kateve AmenshieIsaac

“Aw man. Now I’m crying.” - @koolfoolable

 
 

ASSETS