Richardson, TX, is home to a number of communications companies, including AT&T, Ericsson, Verizon and Samsung, that collectively employ tens of thousands. Things are moving forward in Richardson, including the efforts of one of its companies that is dwarfed by its neighbors, at least in physical size. But when it comes to creative and charitable output, they’re a worthy contender.
Founded in 2008, MODassic Marketing (asi/269963) in Richardson boasts a team of six marketing experts tasked with providing full service to small businesses. “Every month, we work on our clients’ brands, websites, print materials and promotional items,” says Ryan Short, founder and creative director. “We’re positioned to work with small companies without the budget for in-house marketing departments.”
Indeed, Short and his team feel so strongly about the importance of marketing that they actively look for businesses that could benefit from pro bono work. “We’d like to expand that aspect of our business,” he says. “It’s very important to us. We’ve found that often, just a couple of hours makes a lot of difference for them.”
When MODassic came across CreateAthon, they jumped at the chance to participate. A nonprofit founded to benefit other nonprofits, CreateAthon gives small businesses in need of marketing know-how the opportunity to receive pro bono service via a 24-hour blitz. Companies across the country interested in providing this service find worthy organizations, and then spend an entire day working solely on their charges’ individual marketing strategies. “We thought it would be fun for the team to work together for a nonprofit, while staying up all night to get it done,” says Short. “When we proposed it, I honestly wasn’t sure how the team would react. But they were really excited.”
To find a worthy cause, the team reached out to clients and contacts, and pushed the effort on social media, with a request for applications. By decision time, they had looked at 40 organizations. “Of course we wanted to tackle all of them,” says Short. “But we picked the ones on which we thought we could make the biggest impact. They were already doing great stuff, and we just gave them a boost with improved websites, branding and promotional strategies.”
After ensuring that each nonprofit was a 501(c)(3) and had a Board of Directors, the team chose three based in Texas: The Healing Branch offers support for sexually assaulted children and their families; Lovepacs provides food packs for children who don’t receive adequate meals over weekends and school breaks; and the Texas Ramp Project brings together volunteers to build wheelchair ramps for the homebound. In the weeks before the event, the MODassic team met with all three to discuss proposals, and to look over priority lists. They then created event T-shirts and recruited a coffee shop and food truck to stop by during breaks.
Finally, on October 23, it was game time. In 24 hours, two of the companies received complete website redesigns, each headed by one employee while other team members multitasked as needed. “We worked on rebranding and logo designs,” Short explains. “We developed branding standards, mockups, content strategy, print materials, PowerPoints and more.”
By the end of the blitz, each nonprofit’s marketing had reached a different stage of completion. The Healing Branch, for one, is enjoying a new and improved website, and MODassic continues to give them advice on adding content. While the team is satisfied with what they accomplished, they’re the first to say that their efforts were the first steps of a journey alongside these organizations. “They were understanding and grateful, and very respectful of our time,” says Short. “We knew the tweaking would extend beyond 24 hours, but of course, I gave everyone off the next day to sleep in.”