For 25 years, The Doe Fund has been helping previously homeless and incarcerated men rebuild their lives through its Ready Willing & Able program, which provides individuals with transitional work, housing and educational offerings to help them get their lives back on track.
While Ready Willing & Able started in New York City 25 years ago and has since been replicated in cities including Philadelphia, the nonprofit is hoping to expand the program to even more cities across the US. At Plan It Day in October, the nonprofit challenged the creatives, strategists and developers working on its brief to come up with a campaign that would capture the attention of mayors across the US and make them realize the positive impact that Ready Willing & Able can have on their city.
They ultimately landed on the idea of creating simple yet powerful graphics that would use key measures – like poverty rate and violent crime statistics – to show mayors how Ready Willing & Able can help reduce these measures in their own cities once implemented.
At Do It Day, the team got to work on the graphics by first looking at data from New York’s Ready Willing & Able program to see how it has impacted the city and made it a safer place over the past 25 years. The team then looked at crime statistics in the state or Florida and, based off of their New York calculations, projected how Florida’s cities could potentially benefit from Ready Willing & Able as well. For example, they found that while Florida spends $2.08bn a year on criminal justice costs, that number could be reduced by something like $400m if Ready Willing & Able were to be implemented.
Once they had the projected data, they put it into a series of simple, digestible graphics that mayors could take a look at and easily see how costs could be saved and crime could be reduced via Ready Willing & Able. The graphics could also be tweeted with simple hashtags like “#prosperity, “#safety” and other key terms that mayors are likely to be looking for when scrolling through Twitter.
While Florida was just the guinea pig, The Doe Fund was pleased with the idea and hopes to expand it to all 50 states under an overarching campaign that will be named “State of Tomorrow’ and will live on the nonprofit’s site on a dedicated page.
Alanna O’Donnell, media affairs manager at The Doe Fund, said that getting involved with Do It Day was a great opportunity for the organization since it gave them the chance to truly bring an innovative concept to life.
“It’s not just ideas. It’s not just talking about it. You’re seeing things actually start to get built and that’s something that in the nonprofit world is very difficult to do. So that part is really, really great,” she said. “It’s great to be in a team that is very committed to getting the creative juices flowing but also getting stuff going.”