In 1998 in Columbia, South Carolina, Teresa Coles and Cathy Monetti of Riggs Partners came up with CreateAthon as an innovative way to provide pro bono creative services to non-profits. Their 24-hour marathon for good became a national program in 2002, delivering pro bono marketing and communications services to non-profits that otherwise would not be able to afford them.
Creative Power for Social Good
Run as a volunteer initiative for 21 years, CreateAthon has recruited more than 100 different partner organizations (marketing, public relations and advertising agencies, universities, corporate marketers and professional clubs) to host pro bono marketing marathons in their communities, generating more than $25 million in pro bono marketing services.
When former Columbia resident and USC professor Peyton Rowe heard about the 24-hour event at Riggs Partners, she extended the idea to engage colleges and universities. In 2007, Rowe founded CreateAthon onCampus to create a deep, meaningful, service-learning program that engages students in philanthropic work through hands-on experience and classroom learning.
VCU is a Pro Bono Pioneer
The first CreateAthon onCampus event was held in 2007-2008 at VCU. Since then, CreateAthon @VCU has mobilized over 1000 volunteers to serve 125 Richmond non-profits, generating work valued over $2.3 million. VCU has passed along its CreateAthon knowledge to 13 other colleges and universities that have successfully held their own CreateAthon events in their communities.
CreateAthon is now a 501(c)3 whose mission is to champion effective non-profit marketing through pro bono marathons. CreateAthon is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. Peyton Rowe is the former Executive Director and a current Board member.