How do you turn momentum into a movement?

Troubled by a trend of suicides among gay teens, author Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller created the “It Gets Better Project” channel on YouTube and posted their first video. They shared their stories of adolescent survival and the happiness they’ve found as adults. Before long, response videos began to pour in, hundreds at a time. Realizing he’d touched on something bigger, Dan set out to turn the viral idea into a lasting movement.

Blue State Digital partnered with It Gets Better to create the infrastructure that would direct a big cultural moment toward creating lasting change. We built a digital platform and clearinghouse to help the organization extend its reach, make the movement last longer, and build capacity to drive concrete fundraising and advocacy outcomes.

What started as a single message has turned into millions of actions, illuminating the issue of bullying and encouraging gay teens to keep hope. Since Dan and Terry’s initial video, the campaign has helped countless teens, inspired communities, and raised money to support charities involved in the anti-bullying movement.

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Designed for action

More than a home for video content, the site was designed to get people involved by taking a pledge to speak out against anti-LGBT bullying and uploading their own inspiring stories.

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Mobilized to spread hope

In the years since the site went live, tens of thousands of people have signed on to say “It gets better,” thousands of videos have been uploaded to the It Gets Better channel, and ItGetsBetter.org and the YouTube channel have drawn viewership in the millions. Video contributors include President Obama and Hillary Clinton; employees at Google, Apple, Disney and EA; and celebrities like Lady Gaga, Kathy Griffin, Kesha, and the San Francisco Giants.

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