Imagine a 12-hour day full of virtual meetings…two days in a row.
That’s what The University of Alabama’s nationally affiliated, student-run communications firm, Capstone Agency, undertook for its fifth annual CreateAthon, a pro bono marketing marathon where students harness their skills to benefit the community.
Nearly 70 students took part in the event, producing $40,487 worth of donated marketing work for nonprofit organizations around Tuscaloosa and Birmingham.
This year’s event was held virtually over two 12-hour days. Students worked in their own living spaces, gathering on Zoom calls for collaboration.
Even though the event looked different than in years past — it’s typically a 24-hour marathon where students gather in Reese Phifer Hall to pull an all-nighter — students delivered impressive results.
“I was initially worried about how engaged and enthused our participants would be in this year’s virtual event, but I was blown away by the energy and motivation our members maintained,” said Stephanie Cohen, a junior marketing major who serves as the pro bono director for the Capstone Agency. “I think that speaks volumes about the culture of our agency. It looked different this time, but we were all just really excited for the opportunity to help these nonprofits, who need it this year more than ever.”
“I was blown away by the energy and motivation our members maintained.”
CreateAthon served seven local nonprofits, including Arts ‘n Autism, Miracle League of Tuscaloosa, Parkinson Association of Alabama, Success By 6, Sweetwater Outreach, Tuscaloosa International Friends and YMCA of Tuscaloosa.
Each nonprofit presented the agency with a communications problem, and students worked through the event to create marketing solutions to donate to the organizations. All of the nonprofits who benefited this year were impacted in some way by the pandemic.
“Most of the organizations we worked with wanted help with how to do things virtually, such as how to effectively brand a virtual fundraiser,” said Cohen. “These organizations rely heavily on fundraisers, and the pandemic really affected their ability to do those last year.”
Over CreatAthon’s five-year history at UA, students have donated over $250,000 worth of creative services, benefitting 30 local nonprofits.
“Capstone Agency members are always so eager to give back to the organizations that do so much for our community, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it,” said Cohen.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.