Nonprofit Organizations Invited to Apply for Free Creative Services

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Local agency begins annual international philanthropic event, with CreatAthon 2006.

A 2005 Chester County Leadership Connection Graduate has been inspired to extend outreach specifically because of the impact of the program itself.

“During my years in media and volunteering, I was aware of the variety of needs and the lack of resources for so many of the non-profits that I worked with. However, being a part of the Chester County Leadership Connection opened my eyes to the harsh reality of how thin the budgets of some non-profits truly are; and how their needs must be met in order for them to create resources for the community,” said Michele M. Paiva, director of Global Media Guru.

The Chester County Leadership Connection is a joint effort of the United Way of Chester County, The Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry, and The West Chester University Graduate School. Lauren Atwell-Douglass serves as the main liaison for the students and the programming, and Paiva states that Atwell-Douglass and her graduating class -- which included many of the area’s prominent Medical Doctors, Attorney’s and Bankers -- left an impression on her.

“The students -- the professionals, were so giving, and had great ideas. That year, we as a group, worked with just one non-profit, but had to interview several to come to this decision, which wasn’t an easy one to reach. All were very deserving,” said Paiva.

Most of the clients of Global Media Guru are international in scope -- from Kodak to international authors, and as unique as luxury pee pads for pampered pets of the wealthy, to United Nations Space Flight Endeavors.

Yet, wanting to truly utilize skills in its own backyard, Global Media Guru became the only media and public relations agency in the region to take part in the national CreatAthon outreach program.

“Because I know that I’ll have a hard time turning away non-profits, I am adding a component to the CreatAthon; that week our agency will extend the program to additional select not for profits, and an additional 50 hours -- it will have nominal charges -- just enough to cover base costs -- although we need to see applications and the breadth of what organizations need before setting a cap on how many we can serve. It also depends upon creative volunteer availability.

CreatAthon is a 24-hour, around-the-clock, creative blitz where Global Media Guru will provide selected non-profits that have little or no marketing budget, and provide free services.

Volunteers on the project will work in shifts, on different projects, and Paiva jokes that although everyone will be able to get shut-eye if need be, “There will be a lot of coffee involved!’

“This is an event that our clients and friends are also a part of. For instance, we already have a client who is sending us fresh, ripe pears to munch on. Friends are going to drop by with pizza. We really appreciate the response we’ve already received; the outpouring of support warms the heart.”

The five beneficiaries of the no-cost advertising and marketing services will be underwritten by Global Media Guru and will be selected after applications, downloaded from site, have been returned. At least three of the non-profits must be based and serve, Chester County; two of the non-profits may have either a larger demographic area, or, be stationed outside of Chester County.

This is the first year that a Chester County agency will take part in the internationally grouped CreatAthon. Since 2001, the CreatAthon has benefited almost 700 nonprofit organizations with over 1,000 projects valued at 5.7 million. CreatAthon was the 1998 brainchild of Cathy Monetti and Teresa Coles, of the Rigg’s agency in Columbia, South Carolina. Since it’s inception, it has opened up to select Agencies internationally, for the sole purpose of giving back to the community.

The deadline for applications is September 1st, 2006. The actual CreatAthon will commence September 14th through the 15th, though we will begin some initial interviewing and compiling of resources beginning the 11th, which is National CreatAthon Week.

Interested in volunteering? Email Michele @

Interested in participating as a nonprofit? See the site for application and details.

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Michele Paiva
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