You’ve caught the CreateAthon bug. Now what? (Part Three)

  • Written by Julie Turner

This is the finale of a three-part series designed to help communities, companies and creative crews start their very own local CreateAthon.

In January, I shared just how easy it is to get the CreateAthon goodness flowing in your community. A great thing about CreateAthon is the model is flexible. A 24-hour pro bono marathon can spring forth from a business, school, in-house marketing team or professional group.

It may have started in an ad agency but CreateAthon is bigger than a business category. It’s a bunch of inspired — and organized — people who create marketing magic under the worst possible circumstances: in one day with no budget.

In February, we talked about Discovery Impact: Creating Change, Discovery Communications’ pro-bono creative initiative based on the CreateAthon model. Discovery utilizes the power of a global workforce to fulfill design, marketing and communications work on behalf of local nonprofit organizations. They even expanded their event to include a nonprofit conference in year two. Pretty impressive.

But what if you’re not part of an ad agency, marketing services company or giant corporate marketing department? Can you still get your CreateAthon on? You betcha.

In fact, that’s just what AAF of Roanoke has done since 2009. The Virginia American Advertising Federation chapter has a long history of helping nonprofits, but wanted to take community service to a larger number of nonprofits. That’s when they became the first club in the CreateAthon network. That year, instead of helping one nonprofit, they helped 18 with a crew of more than 40 volunteers from local ad agencies, plus freelance and independent professionals.

Convening a professional group — such as an AAF or AIGA chapter — is a way to enhance your group’s community service component with the added support of a national network of professionals with years of CreateAthon experience.

So gather your friends, fellow club members or co-workers. There’s no shortage of work and we’re looking for more great partners.