Join Our Campaign: YOU Can Do a Service Year

As part of Service Year Alliance’s Climate Project with the Cisco Foundation, our team worked with polling and market research firms Data for Progress and Strategies 360 to learn more about what motivates young people to serve in climate and environmental resilience-related service year programming. The goal was to equip existing and emerging programs with data-driven messaging strategies to increase their ability to successfully meet their corps member enrollment goals. Service Year Alliance leveraged learnings from this market research, as well as years of research and recruitment testing, to launch new campaign concepts that we tested in early 2022.

Based on learnings from the poll results, focus group, and our past recruitment efforts, we developed four initial campaign concepts to test on social media. Our top performing campaign was the “YOU” campaign, which centers the individual in the message to highlight what a climate service year allows an individual to do – both the benefits they’ll gain and the actual projects and service they’ll do during a service year. This campaign aims to make clear the personal benefits of doing a service year by framing even altruistic benefits — like making a difference on climate change — as personal gains so an individual can see that they personally can be empowered to make a difference. This concept was developed directly from a central theme from our polling: 65% of young people care about climate change but don’t know what they can personally do to make a difference.

We ran campaigns with two types of ad carousels — one focused on highlighting various issue areas or projects you can focus on during a service year and another on highlighting the multiple benefits of doing a service year:

Project Highlight

  • YOU can fight wildfires.
  • YOU can preserve our National Parks.
  • YOU can bring solar to your neighborhood.
  • YOU can prepare for natural disasters.
  • YOU can do a service year.


  • YOU can get paid.
  • YOU can help the environment.
  • YOU can earn money for school and student loans.
  • YOU can do a service year.

#YOUCanServe Video:

Check out our new video based on this campaign, featuring service year programs Artist Year and PowerCorps. Watch & Share:


Utilize the YOU Campaign in Your Program’s Recruitment Efforts

We encourage service year programs to replicate this concept and messaging across their social channels! Here are some tips for creating similar content:

  • Use a caption that recognizes your target audience’s interests and needs, for example:
    • “We know you care about the environment. Now you can spend a year getting paid to help. Learn how at”
  • Ensure your target audience is centered in your messaging and sees specific information about how a service year will benefit them
  • Use visuals that show people’s faces — remember to highlight a diverse array of individuals so all prospective corps members see themselves in your content
  • Use our template below (or make your own!). Be sure to add your logo to your graphic too!
  • Don’t forget to use relevant hashtags if you’re posting across social networks like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook (i.e. #YOUCanServe)
  • Include a specific call to action, like“Apply Now” or “Learn More.” 

Download this template, add your own photo and logo, and get ready to share! We recommend using Canva, a free and easy graphic design tool, to get started. Here are some instructions specific to our YOU campaign and how you can recreate it, click here

Join Our Campaign: YOU Can Do a Service Year
Join Our Campaign: YOU Can Do a Service Year
Our Vision