30 things to think about

What needed doing

The world is changing fast, and civil society is facing lots of challenges. ACEVO, the membership body for the leaders of third sector organisations, wanted to find a way to celebrate their 30th birthday without having another conference.

We were asked to curate some thought-provoking digital content. The aim was to kickstart debate and conversations about the future of the charity sector, without a lanyard in sight.

How we did this

We ran workshops and devised a content strategy for the project that would make ACEVO seem thoughtful, relevant and capable of bringing important voices together.  

We then curated a list of smart people to interview and to write articles. They said some really interesting things about a range of topics relevant to civil society leaders.

Instead of demanding presents, we then published a beautifully wrapped, stimulating piece of content every day for a month as a gift to ACEVO’s users. What better way to celebrate your 30th birthday than a content calendar that inspires debate about how to make the biggest difference over the next 30 years?

All the articles, video and audio lives on a new website we designed and built. The layout, images, typography, and responsiveness all worked really well, taking elements of the ACEVO brand to create a look and feel that was related but distinct.

What happened

30 things to think about couples simple photography and video with thought-provoking insights to inspire civil society leaders. Many people many have reported how the site did an excellent job of stretching their view of ACEVO. It surprised them, in a good way. There was a real social media buzz surrounding the organisation’s birthday, with more than 7,000 people visiting the site.

And we saved civil society. Maybe.

“From establishing an effective strategy to juggling dozens of contacts and pieces of content, Contentious kept the project on track and within budget. Julius and Laura delivered a well-planned, beautifully designed and thoughtfully curated set of content which engaged our members and provoked lively debate.”

Vicky Browning, chief executive, ACEVO


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