Alex Menglide

Urban Pathways | Social Media Campaign

Make a Mark is a 12-hour design and development marathon benefitting local humanitarian causes. My team was matched with a local non-profit called Urban Pathways, whose mission is to move homeless New Yorkers off the streets and into housing.

project type

Social Media Campaign


Ryan Cadiz (Strategy), Laura Renga (Strategy, Art Direction, Design), Charmie Shah (Strategy, Animation)

my role

Strategy, Art Direction, Design

the ask

In the week leading up to our design marathon, we had a call with our Urban Pathways (UP) reps to review the project. The ask was that we create a social media strategy that sparks donations to the organization’s digital fundraising site. They planned to launch the campaign in June, giving them three months to execute based on our recommendations.

the deliverables

We decided to focus primarily on Instagram, since UP was targeting younger users and smaller donation amounts. (This campaign would follow their annual gala, where donations are driven by corporate sponsors.) Since we only had 12 hours to ideate and execute, we committed to the following:

  • a 20-page deck walking UP through our recommendations
  • a campaign hashtag
  • 6 templates for Instagram
Kicked off our 12-hour “make-a-thon” with a brainstorming session

Kicked off our 12-hour “make-a-thon” with a brainstorming session

A snapshot of UP’s existing Instagram feed

A snapshot of UP’s existing Instagram feed

asset review

We found that UP’s Instagram feed lacked cohesion. There was a mix of:

  • client success stories
  • event notices
  • event highlights
  • volunteer recognition
  • weather alerts from the city government

We saw an opportunity to tie everything together with their distinct logo and primary brand color, orange. UP's logomark is powerful, in that it represents both housing and upward mobility. Their orange seemed underused throughout their feed, even though it is an energetic color that aligns with the organization's mission.

instagram templates

We set out to design templates that could be easily executed, even with limited resources. We also wanted to make sure they were scalable and could be rotated throughout the duration of the campaign. Each post’s caption would include a CTA to click the link in bio, which would lead to UP’s fundraising page.

Template 1:  Client success stories

Template 1: Client success stories

Template 2:  Volunteer profiles

Template 2: Volunteer profiles

Template 3:  Fundraising meter

Template 3: Fundraising meter

For Template 3, we replaced the standard fundraising thermometer with a custom campaign progress tracker. The transformation of the word “Homeless” to “Home” becomes a meter for the drive’s intention. As UP approaches their fundraising goal, the opacity of "less" continues to drop.

Template 4:  Google Street View

Template 4: Google Street View

For Template 4, we overlaid New York street views with the UP logo, indicating the spot someone once called home. By marking the absence of a homeless individual, the street view images highlight UP’s impact on our neighborhoods.

Template 5:  Quotes

Template 5: Quotes

Template 6:  Statistics

Template 6: Statistics



To boost our social media reach, we came up with a campaign hashtag: #Homeblessed.

We sought to drive user-generated content using Instagram Stories. By encouraging followers to re-post the blank template with a name filled in, we hoped to drive awareness of UP, their mission, and their campaign. (We also hoped to drive some empathy.)

This is a message that resonates with all of us, and therefore, is more likely to be shared. With each tag or shared post, UP has the potential to gain followers.

final thoughts

This was my first time volunteering with Make a Mark, and I loved every minute of it. The best part was presenting our work to the Urban Pathways team. Their gratitude made the experience beyond worthwhile.

In the months that followed, our Google Street View concept inspired an out-of-home activation that brought even more awareness to UP’s impact across the city:

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