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Special Project

Special Project
From the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

How to build an inclusive economy

Finalist in Non-Profit


Skoll Foundation came to Freethink to raise awareness around the racial inequities and disparities that exist in our economy. Since our economy is designed to exclude and exploit people of color, Skoll Foundation wanted Freethink’s help to tell this story about their investments in entrepreneurs and the role they are playing in building and maintaining wealth within communities that have been historically exploited and marginalized. 

Skoll Foundation’s grantee Common Future is focused on empowering black-owned businesses. Black Americans currently make up about 14% of the population, but they own only about 2.2% of businesses across the country, according to data from the Census Bureau. The Black Americans who do pursue entrepreneurship generally start with less capital than other groups — about three times less than white entrepreneurs do. Though, narrowing the racial wealth gap could strengthen the middle class and significantly boost the GDP.

By unpacking complex stories about American racial wealth through a mission like building an inclusive economy, Freethink was able to deliver a human-led story about Common Future’s mission and impact, while inspiring the imagination for what it could do for future partners. 


Strategy and Execution

Freethink produced a custom documentary that showcases how the U.S.’ long history of discriminatory policies has made it almost impossible for Black families to build wealth. But through a network of entrepreneurs, advocates, and community leaders we are working to close this gap.

Freethink distributed this marquee documentary across Freethink owned sites and social channels such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Linkedin to engage Freethink’s audience, audiences impacted by the racial wealth gap, as well as broader audiences. Skoll Foundation was granted ownership rights of this documentary along with a robust distribution plan that included customized and targeted campaigns across social media. We implemented SEO optimization, created series art, dedicated articles, customized cut downs and clips; we published across news partners, niche online communities, newsletters and contributed real-time comment responses to encourage conversation. Through the campaign, we measured and fine-tuned tactics to optimize where the video was organically performing well to boost performance. 



The documentary was an engrossing hit, with nearly 759,000 views and 39% of them being completed views on a 7:00 video on the internet. That engaged performance for a long form content is notable in a crowded media landscape and competing sources for attention. 

Even though it was branded content, our audience was captivated by the video. We were able to identify the most powerful Skoll Foundation story and frame it in a way that would capture our civic-minded audience, and they delivered the highest engagement and completion rates among other targeted groups. This proves that Freethink is able to tell brand stories that educate, entertain and engage our audience. 


Video for How to build an inclusive economy

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Freethink, Skoll Foundation


Entry Credits