The Challenge

A local school district came to Hubbell Communications for help in developing and passing what was to be the largest capital school bond (as measured by revenue per student) in the state’s history. This task was made uniquely challenging by the fact that some of the capital projects funded by the last bond were plagued by poor workmanship and resulted in litigation. Another complicating factor was the aging demographic of the community in which more than two-thirds of voters did not have school aged children. At the time we were retained, the bond was barely polling at 50%.

The Strategy

We began by polling the issue to determine key messages, potential obstacles and ways in which the bond might be structured to increase the likelihood of passage. We built a coalition of individuals within the local community that would be able to promote the efforts of the campaign themselves. By organizing events, letter writing campaigns, presentations and fundraisers, we were able to get the word out about the need for the additional school funding. The creation of a brand new website and social media platforms, as well as earned media in local papers, allowed us to mobilize the community at an organic level.

The Results

By mobilizing the community and local volunteers, we were able to successfully fundraise, complete numerous community presentations and form a committee in support of the bond measure. Despite initial low polling numbers, the bond measure passed with more than 60% voter approval, 10 percentage points higher than when we were initially retained.