For Nonprofits

 Want to apply to be a CreateAthon@VCU nonprofit recipient?

Read our detailed F.A.Q. below to see if you might be a fit.

How many nonprofits do you select?

On average, 10 nonprofits are selected to be the recipients of free advertising and marketing services, courtesy of CreateAthon@VCU each year.

How long is the program?

If your nonprofit is selected, you will work directly with a student Team Leader from the middle of January to the beginning of May.

Are students in a class?

The student Team Leaders are enrolled in a capstone class taught by faculty in the VCU Robertson School of Media and Culture. The student Team Leaders and approximately 5 more student volunteers per nonprofit agree to work 24 hours during Spring Break, typically. This year, due to COVID-19 Precautions, students will work virtually in sprints over one week and add up 24 hours during the week of March 29th. During these creative springs, professionals from the Richmond area volunteer as mentors to guide the students.

What is the timeline after I have been selected?

January – March
Team leaders are matched with nonprofits; students conduct research on the nonprofit and create a communications plan; creative brief created, reviewed and approved by nonprofit; assets needed to create work (photos, logos, videos, copy, etc) are delivered from the nonprofit.

March 29th-April 2nd
Each nonprofit attends a presentation of work at the end of CreateAthon@VCU. Typically, these presentations are for 1-hour at various time slots from 8:30am to noon.

April – May 
Work reviewed and approved by nonprofits. Students produce print work if applicable. Students complete final edits and hand over final files to nonprofits.

What kind of work do the students create?

Our students create a wide variety of deliverables including but not limited to: logos, identity packages, posters, advertising campaigns, website moodboards and content development, copywriting, social media campaigns, brochures, promotional collateral, video scripts, storyboards, radio scripts, and direct mail.

What kind of work is not appropriate for the students to create?

Because our process occurs during a specific five-month period, we do not create work for events occurring between January and May. Additionally, because of the time constraints of CreateAthon@VCU, we cannot complete renaming of your nonprofit or website development.

Is everything created in the 24-hour sprints?

Yes and no. The student Team Leaders spend January and February researching your organization, understanding your needs and developing a strategy. From that strategy, they write a creative brief. That brief is the map for the teams of students who work the 24 hour sprints. They develop and create solutions to the problems defined in the brief. In March and April, the student team leaders work with vendors to produce the solutions they have created.

How can my nonprofit receive work at the next CreateAthon@VCU?

Step 1: Attend an information session
In the fall, we hold 2 information sessions about CreateAthon@VCU. Each workshop touches on understanding what is expected of nonprofit recipients, things to consider when applying and learning about key elements that are needed to be a successful CreateAthon recipient. 

Step 2: Complete an application
In mid fall, an online application is made available for nonprofits to complete. Once the online application closes, interviews are scheduled with each applying organization to learn a little bit more.

Step 3: Organizations selected
In mid December, the nonprofit recipients are selected and notified.