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Rise

Accelerating a city-wide movement of and for the good of New York.

Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City hired Open Book as a comprehensive partner for the seven-month season encompassing the largest capital campaign in their history. It was a pivotal time for the church, because the campaign would also be part of the transition strategy for the founding pastor, Rev. Dr. Tim Keller, whose name was synonymous with the church. But that fact became a key part of the Open Book approach. We knew this campaign needed to go beyond strong materials and an endorsement from the top; it needed to be fueled by grassroots activation at every level. We partnered with Redeemer on a campaign strategy that led with a big story both of and for New York.

Impact

A galvanizing kick-off

More than 2,750 people attended the public kick-off, catalyzing pivotal alignment and momentum out of the gate. This was Redeemer's largest-ever single gathering.

Record-level engagement

During the course of the campaign, more than 2,800 people across the city said "I'm in" and pledged involvement. This was nearly triple the engagement of past campaigns.

$32.5 million raised

In just over 5 months, the campaign generated $32.5 million in pledges—which is more than double any previous Redeemer capital campaign in its 25-year history.

Strategy + Story Formation

The heart of Redeemer's vision was to accelerate the number of New Yorkers committed to love and serve the city. Redeemer was encouraged by how they had seen this number rise in recent decades and believed it could continue to rise exponentially. So Open Book honed in on the word "rise" as the simple and profound idea at the core of the campaign. We selected "Rise" as the campaign name because of how it reinforced the big-picture vision—but also because it so powerfully connected to the call to action to individual New Yorkers to "rise" where they lived and worked for the good of the city.

Story

We developed a unique, signature theme for Momentum Weekend that simultaneously spoke to the overarching vision and the the real-time growth of the movement on the ground.

Visual Identity + Branding

With “Every home loved” as a cornerstone message in the brand, we focused on building it out with simple language and a visual tone that was low-pressure, friendly, and invitational. The outline of a home became a visual connection between the EncounterLife logo and the campaign vision.

Creative Direction

We simplified Vivo's existing color palette to the simplicity of black and white accented with a vibrant green. We introduced multiple typefaces and shapes to create a sense of playful imagination in the brand. Like the meals they create, Vivo's new brand led with a sense of creativity unleashed before-your-eyes. We also built momentum around the hashtag #tastepossibility and social media ads as they generated excitement for their grand reopening.

Logo + Visual Identity

Open Book created a new logo that embodies this refocused mission and story. Core to TreeHouse’s point of view is a belief that transformation is possible—and it happens from the inside out. So, we developed a logo that’s a nod to the growth rings of a tree, which develop over time, from the inside out. This rings also show the compounding impact of a transformed life on individuals, communities, and beyond.

Story

We worked with Riverbridge to flesh out the story that surrounds "invest with endurance." It was important to highlight both the optimism and specificity of their approach. Their lead messaging now elevates their belief that what is true endures⏤in investments, people, and companies. Both visually and narratively, we positioned Riverbridge as builders. In a world where people are not experiencing superior returns on their investments because of shortsighted behaviors, Riverbridge is on a mission to invest with endurance.

Visual Identity

We crafted a visual identity that represented the three-part strategy of new leaders, new churches, and new buildings—plus the most important part: YOU, represented by a red location pin. This was a strategic choice to underscore that Rise was about activating everyone into new service and outreach from right where they are. As a whole, the logo was also reminiscent of the four-square cross that had long been a feature at one of the Redeemer sites, as well as a grid of city blocks, since a neighborhood call to action was central to the campaign story.

Story

The story we developed focuses on the core idea that life is not meant to be a series of disconnected dots. At the modern university, the issue of living a divided life can feel like the norm for people who see themselves as both academics and Christians. Faith and academics are seen as parallel at best—and, at worst, in opposition, But Anselm House is inspired by the Scripture that says, “In Christ, all things hold together.” We helped Anselm give voice to their grounding mission: "to connect faith and knowledge with all of life."

Story

We helped Stony Brook crystallize that the kind of leadership vision they emphasize is the ability to "see beyond"—beyond information to application, beyond what's expedient to what is wise. Our storytelling captured Stony Brook's heart to raise up life-long learners who don’t just wait for answers but keep asking the right questions, leaders who transform information into insight, and citizens who approach their communities with eyes for the common good.

Creative Direction

Throughout Rise, we activated the audience as the hero. We spoke directly to New Yorkers to say, “We need YOU to rise to love the city where you live, work, and serve.” In both live events and online, people were asked to use a red geomarker to mark the part of the city where they would rise.

Website

A new streamlined website leads with the story and provides clear pathways to the tools and resources EncounterLife offers. 

Website

We built a website that invites visitors directly into the opportunity to invest with endurance, providing clear and efficient pathways to key information. The new site is a clean and modern shift from their old site, while also providing flexibility to build upon as they customize messaging to core constituents in the individual, institutional, and retail channels they seek to serve. 

Website

We created a straightforward website that featured the different dimensions of Vivo—dining, catering, and gathering spaces. The platform features Vivo’s story and vision, as well as visually sets the table for what guests can expect.

Website

We created a robust Rise website that connected vision to action through streamlined content, photography, and resources. During the campaign, users also had a custom page where they could place a location pin, which allowed people to see engagement growing across the five boroughs of New York.

Website

We designed the new TreeHouse website to be equally relevant to donors, volunteers, teens, and community members. We aimed to build a site that was simple to navigate while clearly telling the story of what TreeHouse does and the invitation it makes.

Website

We created a new website to house their content, and to position Anselm House as not only a credible, academic resource for the University, but also as a community of prayer, shared meals, open discussions, and faithful presence.

Storybook + Branded Materials

More than 5,000 books—each 48 pages long—were mailed out to attendees to invite them into a deeper understanding of the campaign plan and opportunity. We also developed a complementary suite of creative materials and digital resources that consistently led with the vision. Photography of the city and of New Yorkers was a dominant part of the visual brand throughout.

Event Strategy + Execution

Open Book advocated for, and helped plan, a major kick-off event that generated 2,750 people in attendance. Attendees were not told that it was a launch event for a capital campaign, much less told the name Rise. Instead, we helped position it simple as an important night of vision-casting. Then, at the event, the Rise story, vision, video, and invitation were unveiled comprehensively. Nearly everyone in the room ended up walking forward that night to fill out a personal geo-marker card with their commitment to be part of the Rise campaign.

Live Messaging + Talking Points

We developed overall event messaging and talking points for the lead speakers and communicators of the New York Project team. This involved finding both succinct soundbites and effective narratives that reinforced the big-picture vision at play while also illuminating specific metrics and reporting.

Event Materials

EncounterLife decided used the new brand story as a launchpad for a state-wide event for Colorado churches. We worked with them to name the event "We Love Colorado" and developed materials and custom packaging to serve as invitational outreach tools.

Print Materials + Environmental Design

A restaurant needs a brand you can experience at every meal and every visit. We created menus, table signage, gift cards, and a 30-foot mural to surround the place in the feeling of possibility.

Video

The Rise campaign video was viewed 69,000 times its first day. Today it has passed 275,000 views. The Rise video was even discussed on an episode of NPR's flagship show, "This American Life," with host Ira Glass.

"The upsurge of support and enthusiasm that sparked with the Rise Campaign is remarkable.

If I may be frank, God showed me that my own expectations had all along been far too modest."

TIM KELLER, FOUNDING PASTOR

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