The Oregon Cultural Trust provides grants and wide-ranging support to more than 1,400 cultural nonprofits in Oregon.
Based in Salem, the Cultural Trust does incredible work supporting arts, heritage, and humanities across the state. It’s funded by a unique, fairly complicated tax credit, however, which for years made raising awareness of the financial model a struggle. At the outset of our work with the Trust, we boiled the process (and its benefits) down to a simple, memorable phrase: “Donate, Match, Get the Whole Match Back!” That tagline became a staple of the Trust’s communication efforts; and along with an accompanying musical animation, it has greatly demystified the Trust and its funding mechanism.
In 2013, the state legislature was poised to vote on the renewal of that vital credit. The Cultural Trust needed a way to succinctly explain the impact of its work on quality of life in Oregon. Sheepscot directed its communications, building a microsite to exhibit the wealth of cultural activities produced and protected by the Trust’s constituent nonprofits; and we traveled the state to produce a video series that demonstrates the impact of Cultural Trust grants on communities from Bandon to the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The tax credit was renewed in full.
For three years, we creative directed a series of Oregonian portraits by photographer Holly Andres. Cheryl Strayed, Dan Wieden, the Rock and Roll Camp for Girls… Using these playful photographs as a visual foundation, we designed and produced the Trust’s print, online, and outdoor advertising. The popular photos have graced the cover of magazines and been shown on exhibit around the state.
In 2014, we produced a second series of videos for the Trust: first-hand accounts of the power of cultural funding on the lives of Oregonians statewide. The organization’s fundraising increased yet again—in fact, it increased every year that we were on the job.