Eighteen years later, and it’s CreateAthon Eve yet again. As with Christmas or any other holiday, it astounds me how quickly the calendar pages roll off to unveil our 24-hour pro bono marketing marathon. The weeks of how will we ever fit it all in preparation at Riggs Partners have come and gone, leaving us with a few quiet hours to situate our hearts and minds on what matters most with this endeavor.
Without question, we will have our A-game firing on all cylinders to produce meaningful marketing and communications strategies for eight nonprofits. We’ll meet the Herculean challenge of delivering inspired creative materials that execute the vision behind those strategies.
But that’s just here at Riggs Partners. Thirteen other agencies across the US and Canada will be holding CreateAthon events right along with us, bringing the pro bono marathon movement to their communities. All told, CreateAthon partners are serving 98 nonprofits this week. Ninety. Eight.
CreateAthoners circa 1998, during the very first CreateAthon event
Then there are the stories that will be told this week, of how CreateAthon has grown from a side project here at Riggs Partners to a sustainable nonprofit organization. You can check this national story out in none other than the Chronicle of Philanthropy, in an article released just today. I can assure you this kind of national attention never crossed our minds when 11 of us pulled the first all-nighter for charity in our old Lady Street offices.
This friends, is just the surface. In these last hours, I’m reminded of the five things CreateAthon really accomplishes inside of everyone who bumps into this 24-hour vortex of good.
Connectivity: CreateAthon has given us a door to interact with some of the world’s most exceptional people, those nonprofit folks who devote every day of their lives to social causes we too seldom consider. Imagine our lives without these friendships.
Self-Discovery: We come to know a bit more about the stuff we’ve made of during CreateAthon. Most importantly, how the right energy within us can help us transcend any challenge that’s staring us in the face.
Empathy: CreateAthon brings us to the doorstep of humanity, forcing us to open ourselves to a vulnerable, emotional and passionate state of mind. This is where the truth resides, and where meaningful communications are born.
Humility: We understand this is not about us, our strategic expertise or our creative prowess. It’s about service to a cause that is bigger than ourselves.
Love: CreateAthon teaches us to see clearly the gifts that we all bring to the table. It abolishes titles and departments, and catalyzes us as teammates in ways that can impact the way we work together the other 364 days of the year.
So to every CreateAthoner far and wide, young and old, veteran and virgin: I bid you a peaceful night, and the promise of a day that will forever change you.