This week I had the chance to speak to Teresa Coles, Senior Partner at Riggs Partners – a marketing, advertising and communications consultancy. But actually she is much more than that: She is one of the funders of a fascinating program called CreateAthon . CreateAthon offers pro bono marketing services to nonprofits in a 24-hour, work-around-the-clock creative marathon. Eventually, this extreme setting and all the caffeine necessary to endure it, translates into a certain magic that results in a creative blitz and very strong teams. Those pro bono teams of around 30 people deliver all aspects of traditional and digital marketing such as identity development, collateral, television, marketing strategy, public service announcements and so on for up to 10 nonprofits during the 24 hour marathon. Since the first CreateAthon in 1998 it has been replicated by 73 agencies across the US, Puerto Rico and Canada providing marketing capacity to over 1,100 nonprofits in more than 2,500 projects. Universities have also taken up the idea and created a CreateAthon on Campus where the model is integrated into the curriculum. The program first exposes students to the needs of the nonprofit sector and also provides students with the opportunity to organize their very own CreateAthon. I am very excited to participate in a CreateAthon myself during the National CreateAthon Week in September.
Also I had the exciting opportunity to be one of the first to read the first part of Powered by Pro Bono , Taproot’s latest innovation. The book that is going to be published later this year is designed for nonprofits, providing them with the background needed to understand the potential of pro bono, and the tools and knowledge needed to effective scope, secure, manage and scale pro bono resources. In the first chapter I learned about the History of Pro Bono in the US and about principles to make pro bono work.
Armin Pialek is the first Fellow in a pilot joint venture between Taproot and the BMW Foundation. He is working to first bring pro bono to Germany, and then to replicate the model to engage Fellows to develop pro bono with Taproot and the BMW Foundation around the globe.