You’ve caught the CreateAthon bug. Now What? (Part Two)

  • Written by Julie Turner

Last month we shared how to get the CreateAthon goodness flowing in your community. And, like we’ve said before, CreateAthoners don’t have to be quote — ad agencies — unquote. So if you don’t work at D&D Advertising, how might a CreateAthon work?

Well, in 2010, we got a call from Discovery Channel’s marketing division, Discovery Communications. They were interested in implementing their own CreateAthon.

Naturally, we were thrilled. We invited executives from their CSR department to come experience our local CreateAthon machine at work. And, of course, we had them work on nonprofit teams to maximize their experience.

The result was Discovery Impact: Creating Change, Discovery Communications’ pro-bono creative initiative based on CreateAthon. Discovery utilizes the power of a global workforce to fulfill design, marketing and communications work on behalf of local nonprofit organizations.

During the 12-hour marathon, Discovery employees assist local nonprofits with social media training, event conception, promotional materials, websites, pamphlets, logos, PSAs, press kits and mission statements. The second annual event, held in November 2011, had more than 200 Discovery employees donating nearly 3,000 hours of work for 24 organizations.

In 2011, Discovery took their Creating Change effort another step further by adding the Creating Change Conference. Representatives from 70 nonprofits participated in the probono marathon’s companion event featuring one-on-one sessions with Discovery executives, seminars, workshops and roundtable discussions.

So the lesson here is that the CreateAthon model works in all shapes and sizes, even when the group is as big as Discovery Communications. Next time, we’ll talk about how some of our smaller, longtime partners opted to get creative, together.

In the meantime, let’s talk about getting a CreateAthon started in your market!