National CreateAthon® Week Brings Pro Bono Marketing to Nonprofits

  • Written by Teresa Coles

It’s finally here. CreateAthon®, a national movement that encourages professionals and students in the communicating arts to put their creative talents to work for social good, announces the beginning of National CreateAthon Week on Sunday, September 11. During this week, marketing, advertising, public relations, interactive and design firms across the country will host 24-hour, pro bono marathons benefiting nonprofit organizations in their respective communities.

CreateAthon was founded in 1998 by Riggs Partners, a creative marketing consultancy in Columbia, SC. Since founding the marathon as a model of creative philanthropy, more than 75 agencies in North America and Puerto Rico have participated in the program, helping more than 1,200 nonprofit organizations by delivering over 2,750 projects valued in excess of $12 million.

Twenty firms across the country will hold CreateAthon events this year, with 12 agencies holding their 24-hour marathons during National CreateAthon week. “We joined the CreateAthon movement so we could give back to our community, but what happened was the opposite: our community gave back to us,” said Kim McMullen of Flipside in Vancouver, BC. “We felt warm, fuzzy, motivated and inspired. Since this time last year, we have spent 365 days anticipating that lovely feeling again.”

In addition to recruiting agencies into the program, CreateAthon encourages professionals and students from various organizations to collaborate, as evidenced by the Northeastern Pennsylvania CreateAthon group. “We bring creative professionals from our agency, other agencies and the freelance community together,” said John Dawe of John Dawe Consulting Group. “We also involve our local Association of Fundraising Professionals chapter and students from local university advertising and marketing classes to enhance the creative work being produced and to build stronger relationships in the local creative community.”

“CreateAthon is more relevant than ever,” said Teresa Coles of Riggs Partners and co-founder of CreateAthon. “The need for creative problem solving in social issues is at an all-time high. At the same time, nonprofits are facing unprecedented budget cuts. Leaving a great big opportunity for creative thinkers to put their talents to work for social good. We believe CreateAthon is the perfect model to harness that creativity, and it’s an experience that no creative professional should miss.”

Marketing professionals interested in becoming a CreateAthon partner may click here for more information on how to join the national CreateAthon network and conduct a CreateAthon event.