Ad Council Program Connects Creative and Media Pros With Nonprofits

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A new website from the Ad Council and Taproot Foundation helps connect people in marketing with nonprofits.
A new website from the Ad Council and Taproot Foundation helps connect people in marketing with nonprofits. Credit: Create for Change/Ad Council

The Ad Council now has a way for creatives in advertising and media to coin their own "Smokey The Bear" when they're not burning the midnight oil on a client project.

The nonprofit behind public service campaigns like AIDS Prevention ("Help stop AIDS. Use a condom.") and "Love Has No Labels" has partnered with the nonprofit Taproot Foundation on a project to help marketing professionals find pro bono work.

The Ad Council works with creative and media agencies to create public service campaigns at no charge. Taproot is a nonprofit that connects nonprofits and social change groups with volunteers.

The new CreateForChange website will use Taproot to help professionals with at least three years' experience in copywriting, graphic design, strategy, media planning or marketing browse for nonprofit projects based on their skills and availability. The effort is meant to drive more professionals in the advertising and communications fields to Taproot's platform and to help industry professionals find nonprofits that might need help, says Kate Emanuel, head of business operations and strategy at the Ad Council.

A marketing or social media professional could volunteer to work remotely with an environmental group on its end-of-year giving campaign, for instance, or a designer could volunteer to prepare infographics for an annual report. It's a way to give smaller nonprofits that don't have the resources for fancy marketing a leg up.

Small nonprofits aren't necessarily paying for these services, Emmanual says. More often they aren't getting them at all. "They don't know about Google AdWords, they don't know about A/B testing, they don't know about branding."

And for industry types, it might make it a little easier to find projects close to the heart.

"CreateForChange will allow our industry to lend their 'day job' skills for good in way that will make a lasting impact on American life," Ad Council president and CEO Lisa Sherman said in a statement.

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