The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Quaker organization with over nine decades of experience building peace in communities worldwide. Since its founding during World War I, AFSC has worked diligently to change the culture, situations, and systems that lead to violence. To this end, the AFSC works in areas impacted by natural disaster, conflict zones, and oppressed communities to address the root causes of war and violence. To reflect on its history and continued impact, the AFSC was looking for a way to collect and tell the stories of the people at the heart of its mission.
As part of its centennial celebration, AFSC partnered with Message Agency to design and develop Peace Works. AFSC wanted to detail its century of action in a way that highlighted the voices of participants. The site also was intended to serve as a platform for re-engaging the organization's donors, participants, and program alumni to help strengthen their ties to the organization and lead to increased donations and future participation. The engagement strategy we pursued was to build a space where people whose lives have been touched by the AFSC can author and share their personal experiences around key institutional milestones in the organization’s history. The result is a dynamic illustration of AFSC's impact that displays the initiatives and range of personas that are integral to AFSC's identity and a site that collects updated information on stakeholders to help further connect them with the organization through future campaigns.
Honoring key issues and initiatives
We needed to present AFSC’s vast scope in a way that was digestible and organic. So we decided to organize AFSC’s work in a series of topic areas that highlight issues and events from its past and present. This allows you to dive into the story of an initiative and follow it from a high-level overview to ground level perspectives and anecdotes.
A Living Archive
To collect and display content generated by users, we needed a clear interface and an easy yet robust way to find particular topic areas and events. The comprehensive search and sorting capabilities help people to quickly find the initiatives, and prominent call to actions allow contributors to add their stories. What results is a constantly evolving yet navigable archive of AFSC’s work through the eyes of those that lived it.
A Space for Reflection
We wanted to provide a way for past participants to reconnect with AFSC, reflect on their experiences, and have their say in the legacy of AFSC. The form we created provides an easy to use interface that works as a blank canvas for people to weave and publish their stories. It also collects user data and presents the user with multiple calls to action after submitting the form to donate, share, and connect with AFSC. While drafting a strategy for collecting user-generated content, we helped AFSC to clarify and define the variety of personas engaged in their work.