posted by Taylor Craig Nov 18,2015 @ 12:34PM

CreateAthon Flood Relief: Our Deepest Thanks

This year, our 18th annual CreateAthon fell just two weeks after the historic flooding that ravaged Columbia. In addition to our 24-hour pro bono marathon for eight local nonprofits, we launched a campaign to help raise money for the Central Carolina Community Foundation’s Flood Relief Fund. We called upon our friends and neighbors to donate on our behalf for each hour we’d be working during CreateAthon.

We’ve never done a fundraiser like this in association with CreateAthon, so we really didn’t know what to expect. Our best guess was that we could maybe raise $800 if each CreateAthon volunteer received just one donation of $1 per hour.


Our families, friends and colleagues responded beyond our wildest expectations. Donations on behalf of CreateAthon volunteers combined with a matching gift from the Lipscomb Family Foundation totaled $10,617 for flood relief in the Midlands. Extraordinary!

We are so grateful for each and every person who sponsored a CreateAthoner to help raise money for this worthy cause. Gifts came from near and far – from down the street in West Columbia to as far away as Japan, and everywhere in between. Donations came not only from friends in the Columbia area, but also from people around the country who have been touched by this tragedy and who felt compelled to help us help our community.

We are absolutely astounded at the impact generated by this effort. In the immediate aftermath of the flood, we were blown away by the strength of our community and the sheer power of good that we witnessed. Weeks later, members of our community again demonstrated their ability to go above and beyond for people who have lost so much.

On November 16, Governor Haley announced her endorsement of the Community Foundation’s flood fund and renamed it One SC Flood Relief Fund. The money raised by the fund will go toward grants for nonprofit organizations that have provided relief and recovery assistance. Your donations will help provide long-term flood relief to those in need.

Once again, thank you to everyone who gave to this effort – for your support of CreateAthon and for loving our community so steadfastly.

posted by Courtney Melendez Nov 04,2015 @ 11:32AM

A Serious Case of the Feel-Goods: A CreateAthon Recap

There are certain things in this world that give me the warm fuzzies. Quality time with family and friends. Hugs from my hubs. Rainy day naps. Puppies. And CreateAthon.

 Oh CreateAthon – that crazy 24 hours akin to a youth lock-in except with piles of costumes, tons of food, way too much caffeine, and a bunch of volunteer creative rockstars. Every year it blows my mind. Inevitably somewhere around the midnight check-in the panic sets in. The “Oh my God we’re more than halfway how the heck are we going to finish what if we don’t have anything to show the client” kind of panic. So I did what any self-respecting account manager would do. I hid behind a ninja mask, and reported that we had a lot of really good ideas in the works. Which was only a half-truth. Spoiler alert: it all worked out splendidly. It always does.

It took me two full nights of sleep and the best chicken biscuit on the planet to feel normal. Now, about two weeks out I’m in the solid feel-good stage. And I’m (almost) ready to do it again. Here’s a snippet of one of the projects I had the pleasure of working on:

Able SC, a Center for Independent Living (CIL), is focused on empowering people of all ages with all types disabilities. This year, they tasked our CreateAthon team with developing a statewide campaign focused on communicating the benefits of hiring people with disabilities.

We developed a series of direct mail pieces targeted to HR & hiring managers. Our goal was to highlight the strengths that people with disabilities bring to the table, while planting a tiny seed of doubt that they may be overlooking the perfect candidate. Social media ads, and trade show banners rounded out the deliverables for this client.


Our friends at Able SC told our team that this is exactly what they needed, and they can’t wait to deploy the plan. Smiles all-around!


posted by Taylor Craig Oct 29,2015 @ 04:06PM

CreateAthon Recap: Healing Icons and The Therapy Place

CreateAthon week has officially come to an end, but we're still basking in the just-after-CreateAthon glow (and possibly the just-after-CreateAthon leftovers, too) here at the WECO. Even during client presentations, it can be hard to fully grasp the impact of CreateAthon because you're running on fumes after more than 24 hours of work.

Now that we've had time to rest and reflect, we're excited to share some of the outcomes of our annual all-nighter. 

Healing Icons allows cancer patients and survivors to focus on the mental and emotional side of healing through guided art classes. For this client, we were tasked with developing a marketing plan for the online course that the organization plans to launch next year. With this goal in mind, we developed a detailed blog and social media strategy, community outreach plan, and landing pages for their website, like the one pictured below. 

It was important that the work we delivered truly embodied the concepts of healing and self expression embodied by Healing Icons. Many of the materials were complete with original watercolor paintings in order to capture the authentic sense of the art.

The Therapy Place is Columbia's only nonprofit pediatric therapy center. The Therapy Place came to us with the goal of launching a $1.5 million capital campaign to complete a facility expansion on the lot beside their existing space. The newly-purchased lot will eventually be home to an additional building and the Midlands' first inclusive playground. 

During CreateAthon, we developed a campaign handbook for The Therapy Place to assist them as they launch their capital campaign next year. We also prepared a case for support and a donor card (seen below) to use as part of the corporate phase of the campaign.

As always, CreateAthon far exceeded our expectations. It's easy to get caught up in the craziness when it's 4 a.m. and you're struggling to stay awake and wondering, "how will we ever finish in time?" But somehow, it all comes together in the end. 

We are so fortunate to have gotten to work with these incredible clients for CreateAthon 2015. We can't wait to see how they use our work in the future.

Stay tuned to this blog in the coming days and weeks for more sneak peeks at our CreateAthon work.

posted by Teresa Coles Oct 21,2015 @ 01:25PM

The quiet gifts of CreateAthon

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.

  1. 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. 

  2. 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. 

  3. 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. 

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

posted by Taylor Craig Oct 19,2015 @ 11:10AM

Donate to Central Carolina Community Foundation Flood Relief Fund



As National CreateAthon week commences and our beloved city works to rebuild, we were called to do a little something extra. This Thursday and Friday during CreateAthon, we’ll be holding a pledge drive with all proceeds donated to the Central Carolina Community Foundation’s Flood Relief Fund.

If you are interested in donating, please consider sponsoring one of your favorite CreateAthoners (listed below). Remember – we’ll be working all day and night, and you can decide how much you’d like to donate for each hour we’ll be working (i.e. $1, $2, $5 per hour). If you're interested in sponsoring a CreateAthoner or even making a flat donation, just click the image below. When filling out the donation form, make sure to put the total amount you'd like to donate – so if you want to give $1 per hour, you'd put $24 as your donation amount. Oh, and make sure to put “CreateAthon” along with the name of the person you’d like to sponsor in the field marked “how’d you hear about this fund?” (i.e. CreateAthon – Teresa Coles).

Have questions? Email or send us a message on Facebook or Twitter




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