Mailchimp Launches Big Change Starts Small


By thelaegotist / /

Mailchimp, an all-in-one marketing platform for small business, is launching Big Change Starts Small, a new corporate citizenship initiative inspired by the company’s mission to empower the underdog and help organizations grow and scale through democratized technology. The new initiative focuses on investing in small world-changers such as blossoming local non-profits and small businesses, through non-restricted funds, innovative social programs, and real-time advocacy aiming to create real change led by those who know their communities best.

Mailchimp’s corporate citizenship team built this unique approach to corporate social responsibility over the last six years through their work with over 200 local non-profits, finding that empowering the success of small change-maker organizations—versus more established well-known causes—often produces better outcomes. Big Change Starts Small shares the learnings of Mailchimp’s programs in Atlanta with the goal of inspiring a change in perspective and practice of other corporate citizenship initiatives. To date, Mailchimp has invested over $12 million in local non-profits such as Moving in the Spirit and the Center for Innovation and the Atlanta Music Project among others.

Big Change Starts Small was created in partnership with creative agency Kin to bring the platform to life and is being introduced through an integrated marketing campaign launching in January 2021. The launch serves as a strategic reset of Mailchimp’s philanthropic approach and creates an adaptable model for corporate citizenship, which other organizations can adopt. Through a dedicated website and cross-channel advertising, Kin brings to life the stories of the individuals and organizations that have been effective in bringing change to the communities they serve through Mailchimp’s new way of giving.

“We believe that the world will be a better place if we create opportunities to help community underdogs build successful programs that serve the needs of their local ecosystems,” said Lain Shakespeare, senior director of corporate citizenship at Mailchimp. “Some simple steps such as unrestricted donations that trust these on-the-ground change-makers to use the funds as they need have led to more successful outcomes and impact. Kin helped us focus on this strategy as a strong differentiator in our approach to giving.”

“As the campaign notes, when you restrict the do-gooders, you restrict the good they do,” explained Kwame Taylor-Hayford, co-founder of Kin. “Over the last year, we worked to reimagine Mailchimp’s corporate giving framework around a vision of helping launch, grow and educate the small do-gooders everywhere. We ultimately realized that the essence of Big Change Starts Small is about changing how the changers change the world.”

Mailchimp is deeply engaged in its hometown of Atlanta and has been instrumental in working with urban farmers, social entrepreneurs, youth development organizations and other small non-profits that are the essential backbone of their neighborhoods. The Big Change Starts Small campaign shines a light on these kinds of change-makers to demonstrate how Mailchimp programs can be adapted by others to help launch, grow, and educate the small do-gooders everywhere.

One such program is Launchpad, a leadership academy created in partnership with Clayton State University, in which Mailchimp invested $300,000 over three years to support dozens of students in pursuit of STEAM careers on Atlanta’s often underserved southside.

“Having the opportunity to work with Mailchimp as its strategic and creative partner enabled us to look at the totality of its corporate citizenship approach from its strategy to its brand platform and the actions they have taken,” explained Sophie Ozoux, co-founder at Kin. “This depth of engagement led us to help them reimagine their framework for giving around their vision of helping launch, grow and educate the small do-gooders everywhere.”

Kin worked with Mailchimp over the last year to retool its philanthropic brand strategy. As part of that initiative the agency helped  Mailchimp bring to life its SXSW Support the Shorts project that enabled the world to see the many short films that were set to debut at the canceled SXSW festival, and support emerging and diverse literary voices with By The Books.

The campaign for Big Change Starts Small can be seen across social (link) and digital (link) channels and through a dedicated website here (link). The campaign features artful and whimsical animation to show how ideas grow and shift when new ways of giving are adapted. The animation was developed by LA-based agency Buck.


Kin Credits
Co-Founder – Kwame Taylor-Hayford

Co-Founder – Sophie Ozoux
Project Lead – Mackenzie Alexander

Creative Director – Dave Ramirez

Creative Director – Nicole Karalekas


Mailchimp Credits
Senior Director, Corporate Citizenship – Lain Shakespeare
Corporate Citizenship Manager – Josh Penny
Director, Global Brand Marketing – Michael Mitchell

Senior Director, Brand Studio – Katie Potochney

Creative, Brand Studio – Ross Zietz


BUCK Credits

Executive Creative: Orion Tait
Group Creative Directors: Thomas Schmid
Executive Producer: Joe Nash
Creative Director: Jon Gorman
Producer: Edward Tull
Animation Director: Chad Colby
Art Director: Justin Cassano
Production Coordinator: Deanna Rivera
Storyboard: Diego Abad, Olivia Blanc, Justin Cassano, Jon Gorman
Design: Diego Abad, Justin Cassano, Cari, Vander Yacht

2D Animation: Diego Abad, Paola Chen, Chad Colby, Jon Gorman, Ross McCampbell, Jessica Milazzo, Lana Simanenkova, Emily Skaer, Kyle Snider

• Original Music, Sound Design & Mix: Antfood • ECD/Partner: Wilson Brown
• EP: Sue Lee
• Senior Producer: Trevor Haimes
• Lead Composer / Sound Engineer: Yuta Endo



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