24-Hour “Design-A-Thon” Crowdsourcing Event Creates Full Slate of Marketing Tools for Safe Haven Family Shelter

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24-hour Design-A-Thon crowdsourcing event created a new website and marketing tools for Safe Haven Family Shelter -- Nashville’s only shelter-to-housing program for homeless families. The volunteer-led event involved nearly three dozen creative marketers. http://www.safehaven.org

“Our goal is to inspire people across the world to contribute to the work of worthy nonprofits like Safe Haven through crowdsourced, rapid-development marketing initiatives like Design-A-Thon,” said Ian Rhett, founder of Design-A-Thon.

Safe Haven Family Shelter, a 27-year-old non-profit agency, is the beneficiary of a groundbreaking creative collaboration of nearly three dozen creative marketers in Nashville.

Safe Haven Executive Director Joyce Lavery spoke this week about the experience of receiving the $100,000 pro bono marketing overhaul at the Center for Nonprofit Management Bridge to Excellence Conference in Nashville.

Led by Ian Rhett, CEO of CivicActions, http://www.civicactions.com, and co-founder Jessica Murray, “Design-A-Thon” is a 24-hour volunteer event that brings together a diverse group of strategists, designers, writers, videographers and web developers to focus their talents on supporting a local nonprofit. Rhett and his team chose Safe Haven as the beneficiary in the second year of the event. Safe Haven is a local award-winning organization dedicated to serving homeless families with children through prevention, shelter, transitional and housing-first strategies.

“Our goal is to inspire people across the world to contribute to the work of worthy nonprofits like Safe Haven through crowdsourced, rapid-development marketing initiatives like Design-A-Thon,” said Rhett.

Because of his team’s efforts, Safe Haven has a new website, marketing strategy, two brochures and two videos. Rhett estimates the collected contributions of the Design-A-Thon team to be more than $100,000. Other volunteer groups partnering in the effort include CoLab Nashville and GeekforGood.net.

“The impact this collaboration will have on the future of Safe Haven is immeasurable,” said Lavery. “We are humbled by the generosity and grateful for the creative donation of time, talent and teamwork by Ian, Jessica, creative director Bruce Stanley and the entire Design-A-Thon team.”

Prior to moving to Nashville to pursue his musical ambition as a singer-songwriter, Rhett was an active community organizer in San Francisco. He has served as online director of the New York Music Festival, worked in Apple’s interactive music group, and co-founded a webcast production company that produced webcasts for the GRAMMYs, the Emmys, Paramount Pictures and other leading businesses and organizations.

About Safe Haven Family Shelter
Safe Haven Family Shelter specializes in family homelessness, providing shelter and transitional services that empower Middle Tennessee homeless families with children to achieve lasting self-sufficiency. SHFS is the only shelter-to-housing program in Middle Tennessee where homeless families can stay together. SHFS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has served the community for over 27 years. For more information, please visit http://www.safehaven.org.

About Design-A-Thon Nashville
Design-A-Thon was launched in 2010 when founders Ian Rhett and Jessica Murray saw the creative talent that existed in Nashville and the potential to help provide much-need marketing resources to local nonprofit organizations. Nearly 30 of Nashville's most creative minds gather each year for a 24-hour design marathon. The volunteers provide website development, marketing strategy, collateral design and other creative services to a deserving nonprofit.

Rhett and Murray created the Design-A-Thon concept as an open source idea to encourage people across the globe to help their local nonprofit organizations by simply tapping the experience and goodwill of local creative professionals. To find out more about Nashville's Design-A-Thon, please visit GeekForGood.net at http://www.geekforgood.net.

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Stefanie Tinnell

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