Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Progress so far...Where's this bus going?

Well, the idea for CPR began about 2 years ago, during CreateAthon - our annual pro-bono marathon event for non-profit organizations. What's a CreateAthon? For 24 hours (non-stop) we work through the night to supply Non-profits with whatever they need (once a year) to help them with marketing and advertising for their missions. Marketing ideas, logos, websites, brochures, ads, storyboards for TV spots, radio scripts, and more. We've helped over 65 organizations in the past 8 years producing somewhere near $1.2 million worth of creative services and work. This is all good work. But something was missing.

Over 2 years ago we started thinking about all the worthy organizations who don't get accepted each year, and how we would like to help them as well. We always tell them to "apply again next year", and there are examples of non-profit orgs who did not get in for 3 years in a row, but did get accepted the 4th time they applied. We simply can't serve everyone's needs in one 24 hour period. No matter how hard we want to help them all.

So the idea of hosting an open seminar for all non-profits bubbled up, based on a concept of speed dating, tag-team wrestling, and useful resources wrangling. We could invite all the non-profits who have applied in the past, and have a 15 minute face-to-face review with round-robin sessions where Creative professionals of all kinds (writers, marketers, art directors and designers, web gurus, social media experts) review the non-profits' needs and give them some open, honest, and easy to implement (i.e. affordable) suggestions that will help them with their missions. Many of the ideas can come out of things we know have helped our other CreateAthon clients in the past, and many will be fresh, on the spot thinking, but the end goal is to help many more non-profits, and have some fun while doing it.

So here we are. And here's what's happened so far, and what still needs to happen.

March 11. Invited all past CreateAThon creative volunteers to contribute ideas and join our cause. We received a ton of great feedback and ideas.

March 18 - met with core group of volunteers for brainstorming and planning

To Do:

1. Planning with a very nice space provider who is donating space for the event.

2. Creating a short video "call to arms" to get more creative people inspired to be part of what we're doing. We need new creative blood in addition to the tried and true CreateAthon hardcore crazies we know and love already. We really think this will bring a new and exciting dynamic to this that will result in an excellent experience for the non-profits, and for our volunteers. Positive energy will abound! The side benefit is some great networking.

3. Writing and setting up the RSVP form for Non-Profits to RSVP for the event online.

4. Organizing messages to the non-profits, and creating the email campaigns that will be sent to them to announce the event.

5. Reaching out to the non-profit grapevines to help spread the news.

5. Preparing press releases to help spread the word that the event is happening and that it's completely No-Strings-Attached Free.

6. A new logo design for CPR is needed for branding and awareness campaigns.

7. Setting up a blog or special Facebook page for daily updates and news on how it's all coming together. (DONE!)

8. Start spreading the news on Social Media and asking friends to help spread the word. (STARTED!)

9. Brainstorming session with CPR creative volunteers for March 31st at Hypno.

More to come. please stay tuned!

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