CreateAthon Invites Second Wind Members to Help Non-Profits


CreateAthon®, the now venerable, pro bono creative marathon for helping non-profits by “using creative superpowers for good,” has extended an invitation to Second Wind’s membership to join the effort in 2020.

What Is CreateAthon?

CreateAthon was established in 1998 as a 24-hour marathon in which agencies worked on selected pro bono projects for clients who would otherwise not be able to afford such work. In 2002, they expanded the effort to create a nationwide CreateAthon network. By 2020, CreateAthon had achieved 100 agency and organization partners, supported more than 1,300 NGOs in the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico and Europe, completed more than 3,500 projects, and delivered over $25 million in marketing services. Also in 2014, the organization applied for and received 501©(3) status. The effort now includes student teams, corporations, and universities as well as professional marketing crews. Several Second Wind members are already long-term CreateAthon partners, including, EGC Group, BBR Creativeand redpepper LLC.

Riggs Partners, Columbia, SC, the agency that founded CreateAthon, is a Second Wind member. Their CreateAthon team contacted us at the end of February to see if we might be interested in promoting the pro bono effort to our membership. Pro bono work offers many benefits to ad agencies, and we’ve often touted its value in growing creative reputation, giving your creative team a chance to let loose their creative beasts on fun projects, and making important business contacts through community and civic work.

Why a Marathon?


The 24-hour format is designed to create excitement and focus. CreateAthons are great opportunities for employees to flex leadership, problem-solving and presentation skills. The majority of team members enjoy the purposeful and energizing experience, which also provides a wonderful chance to focus on brainstorming, creativity and nontraditional production skills in new avenues. But depending on your organization and workload, you can extend the marathon over a few days, a weekend, or whatever works for your team and schedule.

Some agencies produce videos; others develop print communications; a few design websites or execute public relations efforts. Many assist non-profits with branding, identity design, and brand messaging. All aim to help local communities through strategic thinking, great design work and promotional outreach.

The team behind CreateAthon has developed a host of best practices for pulling off a successful CreateAthon event, from how to select the non-profits you assist, to developing your scope of work, to measuring and reporting on the impact of your specific pro bono projects. Partners receive free access to this special toolkit and gain the right to use CreateAthon’s trademarked name for their events. The national CreateAthon team boosts efforts of participating partners with public relations year-round and provides support for first timers on implementing the workflow and promoting your event. 

When Do We Hold It?


While many agencies execute their marathon creative blitzes during National CreateAthon week—typically the third week of October—you are free to hold your event any time during the year. CreateAthon asks participating agencies to sign a Letter of Agreement to abide by brand guidelines and support the ongoing effort through active participation, fundraising, philanthropic gifts, or an in-kind service.

Interested agencies should contact Yanti Pepper, of Riggs Partners, or apply using the contact form at the CreateAthon website. You can also see examples of past CreateAThon work at the Riggs Partners website.

Pro bono work is a wonderful way to engage your creative team, execute exciting work for valued service organizations and community groups, and build great community relations. It also boosts your agency’s profile in your market area. Consider CreateAthon as you plan your pro bono efforts in the coming year. 

See also: What’s Good About Pro Bono?

Spread the Love: Pro Bono and Cause Marketing Benefits


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