I Am Halcyon


Halcyon, a social impact and arts nonprofit that launched in February 2017, was birthed from a successful S&R Foundation program, Halcyon Incubator, which for the past three years has incubated over 60 social impact ventures. The newly formed organization, through mentorships, advising, funding, housing, and venture-funding opportunities, catalyzes creatives striving to make the world a better place.

Obviously, when Halcyon launched, it was relatively unknown, but had the backing of significantly notable local influencers, such as celebrity chef José Andrés, BET co-founder and philanthropist Sheila Johnson, and Bluemercury founder Marla Beck. Sage helped form a three-month social campaign to activate these influential supporters in a two-tier approach called “I am Halcyon.”

The first part of the campaign involved partnering with these influencers to give away experiences in an online contest, with proceeds benefiting the nonprofit. For example, José Andrés donated a private dining experience for six at multiple D.C. restaurants titled “Tour de José.” Mark Lowham of Sotheby’s donated an all-expenses paid trip to New York City, including a stay at a historic hotel, dinner at a Mario Batali restaurant, and a rarely seen behind-the-scenes tour of Sotheby’s Auction House in New York. Participants simply had to donate $12 to Halcyon to be entered in to winning any of the many experiences.

The second tier of the campaign was focused on awareness. The campaign sought to answer the questions, “Why are these notables, like Ben and Jerry, involved with Halcyon? Why do they believe in it, and why should I?” Through video interviews and formation of highly engaging digital art, Sage told the stories of why the influencers so powerfully believed in this new organization, and why the general audience should too.

Sage created the concept, the digital art, a microsite for the initiative with a unique URL, a two-tiered digital ad plan targeting different audiences for the giveaway and the awareness posts, wrote the copy, integrated the site with Halcyon’s donor software, and scheduled and managed all of the digital ads to ensure an optimized impressions per dollar. Our efforts led to a significant increase in donations, the most new social followers likes/shares/retweets in the organization’s history, and a dramatic increase in overall organizational awareness.

The “I am Halcyon” ambassador webpage can be found at http://halcyonhouse.org/iamhalcyon