Long hours and no sleep results in over $150,000 in free marketing for organizations
For more than 24 hours straight last week, the team at J. Fitzgerald Group in Lockport, along with a few volunteers, traded sleep for the cause of helping area nonprofits as part of the 11th annual CreateAthon.
Starting at 8 a.m. Thursday, representatives from nine area nonprofit organizations arrived at Space Between, located next door to J. Fitzgerald Group, to kick things off and give their last-minute input to the creative team, which included experts in layout, design, brand strategy, copywriting, social media and web design. Following the launch meeting, a flurry of activity ensued, starting with brainstorming meetings and breaking into individual work sessions for crafting copy, creating designs and refining new looks and styles. The 14 team members worked together throughout the day and night, completing 26 projects before dawn the next morning.
"This was by far the best CreateAthon we've ever held," said Carmel Cerullo-Beiter, vice president. "The team was extremely passionate about the various causes and cranked out some incredible work."
Fueled by coffee and sustained by meals generously donated by the organizations, the JFG team and volunteers created logos, brochures, advertisements, email templates, posters, TV and radio scripts, billboards, communication strategies, social media campaigns and even a whole new website. Many of the nonprofits received more than initially requested, as well, thanks to the support of media partners who contributed TV airtime, radio spots, print space, printing services, bus shelter ad positions and billboard placements.
At the conclusion of the marathon work session, all created work was presented to the selected nonprofit groups at 8 a.m. Friday. During a presentation session filled with amazement (and sometimes tears), the exhausted volunteers showed off the created materials to representatives from each of the nonprofit organizations before leaving for a well-earned nap.
"It's just so gratifying to be able to give back to groups that work to improve our communities every day," Cerullo-Beiter said. "The work we produced will go a long way to helping them continue their missions and drive awareness."
Each nonprofit group now has a week to review the materials before JFG finalizes and completes the work for each group to use in their ongoing efforts.
The organizations receiving support from CreateAthon in 2018 were:
Held annually, CreateAthon is part of a national effort to give back to local communities. The 2018 CreateAthon campaign marked the 11th year JFG has participated in the 24-hour marketing blitz. JFG hosts the only CreateAthon event in Western New York, and is the longest-standing partner of the national CreateAthon effort in the U.S.
CreateAthon applicants were evaluated for inclusion based on audience reach, the ability of services to make an impact on the nonprofit organization and the communities they serve, and the scope of each organization's financial need.
This year's event not only marked the highest total volume of work created for deserving organizations, but also the highest total value, with the estimated worth of all donated work, effort and media placements exceeding $150,000.