06/03/2013 05:03 pm ET Updated Aug 03, 2013

Using Marketing Expertise to Help Causes in a 24-Hour Blitz

Cathy Monetti is the founder of CreateAthon, where ad agencies take a day off to help nonprofits with their branding and message -- over the course of a single, frenetic day.

Cathy Monetti was in her 20s when she founded Riggs Partners, a creative marketing consulting firm in Columbia, S.C. in 1987. Through her work there, Monetti often encountered one of the classic paradoxes of the nonprofit world: organizations that had a great need for marketing expertise but lacked the financial means to pay for it.

Eager to bring her firm's talent and skills to help the organizations, their missions and their constituencies, Monetti and fellow Riggs partner Teresa Coles co-founded CreateAthon, a 24-hour pro bono creative blitz, in 1998. The goal was twofold: to have a positive impact on the organizations in need and to set aside time to work on pro bono projects without interfering with the workflow for paying clients. With CreateAthon, these pro bono volunteers launched a new form of giving.

During the nonstop marathon that is CreateAthon, marketing, advertising and public relations firms provide creative services pro bono for nonprofits. "We have something to offer that they desperately need," she says. "And it's a perfect match." According to Monetti, CreateAthon is the best day of the year for all Riggs employees.

Read the entire article on FastCo.Exist.