United Way Worldwide Center to Combat Human Trafficking

Support funding and research through impact report design



Impact Report
Social Impact


Graphic Design, Impact Report Design, Social Media Graphics

The United Way Worldwide Center to Combat Human Trafficking was founded in 2015 as a global center to accelerate action. As a featured program of United Way, the Center is working to create effective community-based solutions, galvanize collaboration across sectors, and build public and political will to support, fund and scale strategies across the world that find, stop, and prevent human trafficking.

Germinate Creative collaborated with the organization to complete a compelling and thorough impact report for 2021, covering several years of critical work — and serving as the launchpad for research and funding to support trafficking survivors as well as anti-trafficking initiatives across the globe.

We have been working with the wonderful and dedicated Center team for several years. A few of the special individuals we’ve worked closely with are Executive Director Mara Vanderslice Kelly; Allie Gardner, the Senior Manager of Outreach & Engagement; and Narit Gessler, Senior Partnership Manager. They are truly the fuel that makes everything happen, and have been amazing collaborators.


The Challenge

The challenge of the 2021 Impact Report was to highlight the Center’s progress since the onset of the organization, highlighting the work that’s been done and the resulting impact. It also needed to communicate the work that lay ahead and the current research that’s gathering data in support of that work. Finally, the Impact Report would need to serve as a tool to inspire action from the audience, whether getting involved from a community level or supporting global research and federal legislation.

Ultimately, what the project called for was a designer who could:

  • Organize years of information into an easy-to-read report format,
  • Translate data points and charts into bite-size, at-a-glance graphics,
  • Balance the flow of information with knockout design elements, and
  • Work well with frequent changes and feedback from a diverse team.

”Maria has been working with United Way on our anti-trafficking work for 5 years. She has truly become a full member of our team. She understands our mission and helps us convey the messages we want to share in ways we never could on our own.

She has helped us create everything from social media content, presentation decks and promotional collateral, as well as our visually stunning annual Impact Report. Not only are her designs beautiful, but she was able to work within strict United Way style and brand guidelines to make sure every product felt like our own. Finally, she is easy to communicate and work with, making it easy to complete large projects even on a tight deadline.”

Mara Vanderslice Kelly

Executive Director, Center to Combat Human Trafficking, United Way Worldwide


The Solution

From the very beginning, we realized we weren’t just creating a report; we were going to tell a story. Being a partner with this client since the beginning of the Center, we had a unique perspective. We have seen them grow from a one-person team to a full staff with interns. It’s an impressive evolution, and the team has made a tremendous impact in communities around the globe since that time. The impact report simply had to cover all that ground and more.

Due to the nature of the Center’s work, the photography representing survivors had to be chosen carefully. In the anti-trafficking world, stereotypical photos often create a false narrative or reignite trauma for survivors. Knowing these types of photos carry a lot of weight and meaning, Germinate has always collaborated with the Center to curate appropriate images that are neither sensational nor disturbing. Instead, we considered age, race, gender, and emotion respectfully in our selections.

The Center also had massive amounts of data points from which to illustrate and support the story. However, data can be difficult to trudge through, so we created a range of eye-catching graphics and icons to help readers easily digest the most important takeaways.

Germinate Creative also partnered with the Center on their training programs, which help people learn how to identify human trafficking. This training has received funding from The UPS Foundation and is being offered worldwide to local United Ways. Additionally, Germinate Creative and United Way completed social media campaigns with Polaris Project and Dressember.

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