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“We should work around the clock once in a while,” said Cathy Riggs Monetti one late summer night, while working in her studio. “Then maybe we could get ahead.”
“Yes, we should,” Teresa Coles agreed. “But we should do it for charity.”
That brief exchange resulted in the founding of CreateAthon in 1998—the first year Riggs Partners, a marketing and communications firm in Columbia, South Carolina, offered pro bono marketing services to nonprofits in the area during a 24-hour creative marathon.
In 2002, Riggs Partners decided to expand the program into a national CreateAthon network. Since that time, more than 75 agencies, universities, corporations and clubs across the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada have participated in the CreateAthon network, conducting CreateAthon events in their respective markets during the designated CreateAthon Week, typically the second or third week in September.
CreateAthon works like this: A local advertising agency, university, corporation or club signs on as a CreateAthon partner, agreeing to follow standards developed by the program’s originators. There is no cost to join the organization or participate in CreateAthon. The agency solicits applications from local 501(c)(3) organizations and then selects a group of non-profits and projects based on the recommendation criteria.
The projects are completed start to finish during one 24-hour period. Deliverables produced during the blitz may include strategic development and creative work that spans all aspects of traditional and digital marketing: identity development, collateral, television, out-of-home, web development, inbound marketing, email marketing, public relations, etc. Partners are encouraged to seek out additional local partners to provide printing, production and media placement in order to make CreateAthon a turnkey pro bono effort.
To date, 75 agencies, two universities, three clubs and one in-house group (Discovery Channel) have participated in CreateAthon. The effort has collectively benefited more that 1,275 nonprofit organizations with 3,100 projects valued at more than $15 million.
In September 2011, CreateAthon became a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Prior to this incorporation, Riggs Partners underwrote one hundred percent of the operating costs associated with CreateAthon. We are currently seeking national corporate sponsors, grants and individual donations to fund CreateAthon with a full-time staff and help us reach our goal of $100 million in donated services by 2015.
This case study is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Illinois Wesleyan University faculty taught courses on the topic of food, instructing students through the lens of their own discipline. Graphic design students branded the theme, providing visual, experiential and social media to enhance awareness of the course cluster on campus. Students also designed a campus movement to promote local food.
Section: Why Design -
advertising, design thinking, marketing, print design, Design for Good, college, logos, mass communication, posters, print advertising, education, health, social issues, social responsibility, student work
Students seem to be always stressed out. Tight deadlines, poor time management, balancing school and life, taking too much on. As an educator, I may be on the other side of the fence, but I can totally relate.
Section: Tools and Resources
Good design has the ability to define a great product, service or cause. AIGA member Sara N.A. Suttle shares some thoughts on why skimping on design is never, ever a good idea.
Section: Why Design
This mentoring program in Jacksonville, Florida pairs high school students who have
expressed an interest in graphic design with professionals from the local
design community. Over the course of three to four months, the mentoring group
meets on weekends to complete individual projects that use social design to give back to
Section: Tools and Resources -
communication design, graphic design, K-12, mentoring, posters, education
Justen Renyer Design
External Resources (cont.)
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) 2009 Summer Campaign