We've discovered that we can accomplish more in one year of partnership with a single pro-bono client than we can by filling requests for dozens of scattered solo projects. So that's what we do.
Every non-profit we've ever worked with has the same problem: too much to do, and not enough people to do it.
The volunteers and staff manage to move mountains on a daily basis, but it's a rare organization that has the time to work on bigger, longer-range projects:
- Connecting with new audiences
- Re-imagining their membership package
- Competing more effectively for community attention and fundraising dollars
- Plain old strategic marketing plans
That's where we come in. Each year, we choose one local non-profit organization to partner with for the calendar year. Together with the client, we choose a few high-priority, big-picture challenges, and try to make some serious progress.
C3 Advertising Pro Bono Program FAQs
Why just a year?
The short answer is that when you know you have just a year to work together, nobody misses a meeting. The time limit helps us all focus attenton on two or three key problems, and make serious progress in getting them solved.
(When you grow up in direct marketing, you're used to just getting things done. We're not big fans of committees that meet just to form other committees.)
The longer answer is that while we pride ourselves on our great creative work, as an agency, our real strength lies in how we put that creative into the context of a bigger plan. A year is enough time to get to know the organization and develop plans and strategies that they can continue, on their own or with other vendors, after we're gone.
What are the criteria for selection?
- The organization has to be a registered non-profit, preferably in Southern California, and a cause that we can feel passionate about.
- They have to have a pretty good idea of the two or three big-picture projects that they need help with.
- They have to be committed to meeting with us at least once a month, and to providing the information we need to make significant progress on the tasks at hand.
- They need a supportive board.
That's about it.
How does a non-profit become a C3 Pro Bono client?
Just like our paying clients, we get most of our pro-bono clients by referral or personal acquaintance with one of our team members. We meet with them, figure out if we're sympatico, and go from there. If you'd like to introduce yourself, however, you may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org between November 1 and December 1.
What happens if I send an email sooner than November 1?
It won't go anywhere. That email address is only turned on for the last two months of the year. We'll post an announcement on our home page when it's working.
What if I send a request through one of your other email addresses, or call you on the phone?
We'll send you a friendly note referring you back to this page.
Chumash Indian Museum
For 2011, we're delighted to be working with the Chumash Indian Museum in Thousand Oaks, California.
It's a jewel of a museum on a large, spectacular property, where Chumash lived for thousands of years. The lively, engaging exhibits give you a real feel for the pre-European daily lives of California's largest Native American tribe, and an understanding of how Chumash traditions are realized in the Chumash people today.
If you're in Southern California or planning to visit the area, please stop by to enjoy the museum—it's a short drive from Los Angeles and it makes for a delightful afternoon.
And by the way...
...in addition to visitors and monetary donations, the Chumash Indian Museum could really use some vintage mannequins for their exhibits. They're looking for donations of adult, teen, and child mannequins made before 1980—modern fashion mannequins are too tall, too skinny, and too angry-looking.
The mannequins can be any race or color, with moderate damage and even missing parts. (As you can tell from this photo, Museum Director Alfred Mazza is pretty great at remodeling them.)
If you can help, contact the Chumash Indian Museum at (805) 492-8076, or visit their website.