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Overview: Gwinnett County Public Schools Community-Based Mentoring Program (CBMP) had enjoyed great success since it opened for business in 2009. Trouble was, the need for mentors outstripped the supply. With a generous grant supplied by Atlanta author and consultant George Hirthler, we met with the CMBP to determine how we could help it expand its program to reach more Gwinnett students in need.

Purpose: Created a branded, integrated campaign to raise awareness of the success of the CBMP, recruit new volunteer mentor prospects, and raise money to help the county-financed organization pay for broad community outreach and volunteer recruitment—funds not in the county budget.

Deliverables: You name it. Campaign theme, tagline, content, and identity, plus campaign film for Indiegogo’s Generosity (crowdsourcing platform). Work included 11 portraits of 11 mentors, parents, and mentees, location film shoot in Washington DC with a GCPS Mentor, and graphic standards. Campaign launched December 6, 2016.

Results: GCPS administration officials killed the program at launch by failing to notify mentee parents, school teachers, school counselors, civic and business leaders. The reason for killing the mentor recruitment campaign was never explained. Letters to 35-year Gwinnett County Public School Superintendent went unanswered. Entire campaign never produced.  Good Thinking is offering the creative to other nonprofit mentoring program unaffiliated with any governmental body.

Lesson: As a result of the failure of support from GCPS administrators, we no longer accept government clients. Ambivalence, politics, and incompetence led to a tremendous waste of generosity, good will, and creative talent in support of children in needs of mentors across Gwinnett County. This was a hard but useful lesson.

Client: GCPS Community-Based Mentoring Program
Client Team: Michael Hinton, Dante Harmon, Lewis Robinson
Sponsor: George Hirthler
Creative Direction: Drew Sisk, Terry Combahee
Design: Drew Sisk, Terry Combahee, Sarah Lawrence
Website: Rail Road Earth
Photography: Artem Nazarov
Content: Matthew Porter
Project Management: Nakita Pope, Matthew Porter
Film and Editing: Neil Fried
Music: Railroad Earth
Sound and Post-Production: Primal Screen
Project Budget: $5,000
In-Kind Value: $150,000
Volunteer Time: 1,450 Hours